Francis Patrick Dwyer was born in Maitland, NSW in 1910. In 1930 he graduated Bachelor of Science in Chemistry from the University of Sydney and continued on in inorganic chemistry under the supervision of David Mellor gaining his Master of Science in 1933 from the same institution. The following year he was appointed Head Teacher of Inorganic Chemistry at Sydney Technical College. In 1946 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science for his research on 'Diazoamino Compounds and Their Metallic Salts and Metallic Hydroxide Lakes' and shortly afterwards was appointed Senior Lecturer at the University of Sydney. In 1958 he accepted the position of Reader in Biological Inorganic Chemistry, John Curtin School of Medical Research at the Australian National University and in 1960 was given a Personal Chair at the ANU. In 1961 he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy. He died suddenly in 1962 at the age of 51.
Dwyer worked on many aspects of coordination chemistry, in particular, platinum metal chemistry and optical resolution of metal complexes. He was a pioneer of bio-inorganic chemistry and was making important contributions in this area at the time of his death. Late in 1962 his friends, colleagues, and former research students within the UNSW Chemical Society set up a fund to endow the Dwyer Memorial Lecture and Medal. The lecture is to be in the field of coordination chemistry and to be delivered by a distinguished worker in this field.
A complete list of the Dwyer Lecturers is given below.
I 1962 R. S. Nyholm, University College, London.
II 1964 M. Calvin, University of California, Berkeley
III 1965 J. C. Bailar, University of Illinois.
IV 1966 F. A. Cotton, Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
V 1967 H. B. Jonassen, Tulane University.
VI 1968 F. Lions, University of Sydney.
VII 1969 D. P. Mellor, University of New South Wales.
VIII 1972 J. F. Duncan, Victoria University of Wellington.
IX 1973 H. Taube, Stanford University.
X 1975 J. Ibers, Northwestern University
XI 1975 G. Schwarzenbach, ETH, Zürich.
XII 1976 F. Basolo, Northwestern University.
XIII 1977 G. Wilkinson, Imperial College, London.
XIV 1977 L. Sacconi, University of Florence.
XV 1978 D. H. Busch, Ohio State University.
XVI 1980 R. J. Gillespie, McMaster University, Ontario.
XVII 1980 J. Chatt, University of Sussex.
XVIII 1982 J. Lewis, University of Cambridge.
XIX 1985 A. M. Sargeson, Australian National University.
XX 1986 H. Schmidbaur, Technische Universität München.
XXI 1988 R. H. Holm, Harvard University.
XXII 1989 J. D. Dunitz, ETH-Zentrum, Zürich.
XXIII 1989 T. J. Meyer, University of North Carolina.
XXIV 1991 R. D. Peacock, University of Leicester.
XXV 1993 G. C. Christou, University of Indiana.
XXVI 1994 D. C. Bradley, University of London.
XXVII 1997 M. L. H. Green, University of Oxford.
XXVIII 1999 P. J. Sadler, University of Edinburgh
XXIX 2000 W. R. Roper, University of Auckland
XXX 2002 I. G. Dance, University of New South Wales
XXXI 2003 H. Gray, California Institute of Technology
XXXII 2007 C. P. Casey, University of Wisconsin-Madison
XXXIII 2009 M. D. Fryzuk, University of British Columbia
XXXIV 2010 R. Eisenberg, University of Rochester
XXXV 2017 A. L Goodwin, Univerity of Oxford