A history of research at Oxford, 1100–2010

1100
1175
Edmund Rich (born 1175) lectures on Aristotle.
1200
1200
Teaching begins at Oxford during the 12th century.
c.1220–92
Roger Bacon studies chemistry, astronomy and mathematics and discovers the magnifying glass.
Robert Grosseteste1224
Robert Grosseteste, Rector of the Franciscans, becomes Master of the Oxford Schools.
1300
Thomas Bradwardine1328
Thomas Bradwardine (Merton) publishes his Treatise on Proportions. By 1350 he and the other ‘Merton calculators’, William Heytesbury and Richard Swineshead, develop a quantitative approach to scholastic philosophy, unsurpassed until the 17th century.
c.1330–84
John Wyclif founds the Lollard religious reform movement and instigates the first complete translation of the Bible into English.
1400
1478
Oxford’s first printing press established.
Duke Humfrey's Library1489
Duke Humfrey’s Library opens.
1500
1518
Thomas Linacre, Fellow of All Souls, founds the Royal College of Physicians in London and later two readerships in medicine at Oxford.
John Taverner1525
The master of polyphony John Taverner is appointed to Cardinal College (later Christ Church).
1546
Henry VIII founds Regius Professorships in Divinity, Civil Law, Medicine, Greek and Hebrew.
1600
Bodleian Library1602
Bodleian Library opens.
Botanic Gardens1621
The University Botanic Garden (the first botanic garden in England) is founded by the Earl of Danby.
1640–60
William Harvey, Christopher Wren, Thomas Willis, Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke conduct meetings and experiments with John Wilkins, Warden of Wadham. This group forms the nucleus of the Royal Society of London, founded in 1660.
John Locke1660
John Locke (Christ Church) begins to draft his influential writings on political philosophy.
Robert Boyle1662
Robert Boyle publishes his law relating the volume and pressure of gas.
Ashmolean Museum1683
Ashmolean Museum founded in Broad Street to support the pursuit of ‘natural knowledge’ under Keeper and Professor of Chemistry Robert Plot.
1700
Edmund Halley1704
Edmund Halley becomes Savilian Professor of Geometry, and the following year accurately predicts the return of a comet in 1758.
John Wesley1729
John Wesley (Lincoln) and his brother Charles (Christ Church) establish through their teachings the foundations of the Methodist Church.
Radcliffe Infirmary1770
The Radcliffe Infirmary opens: two years later the Radcliffe Observatory is founded from physician John Radcliffe’s legacy.
1800
1823
Oxford Union Debating Society founded.
William Buckland1824
William Buckland (Corpus, Christ Church) describes the first complete dinosaur skeleton.
1833
John Keble inspires the ‘Oxford Movement’, later led by John Henry Newman (Trinity).

The University Galleries1845
The University Galleries open in Broad Street; in 1894 the building is expanded and amalgamated with the Ashmolean Museum to house collections of fine art and antiquities.

The Taylor Institution Library opens as a centre for the study of modern European languages and literatures.

University Museum of Natural History1850
Honour Schools of Natural Science founded, and in 1860 University Museum of Natural History opens, both thanks to Sir Henry Acland, Regius Professor of Medicine from 1857.
John Murray1858
John Murray begins work on the Oxford English Dictionary: first volume published in 1879.
1860
Debate on evolution between Bishop Samuel Wilberforce and T H Huxley takes place in the University Museum.
Charles Dodgson1865
Charles Dodgson/Lewis Carroll (Christ Church) publishes Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
John Ruskin1869
Art historian John Ruskin becomes the first Slade Professor of Fine Art.
1885
First volume of the Dictionary of National Biography published.
1900
William Osler1904
William Osler appointed to Regius Chair of Medicine and modernises medical training.
Heberden Collection1922
Heberden collection of Greek and Roman coins established at Ashmolean Museum.
1925
J R R Tolkien (below)appointed to Rawlinson and Bosworth Chair of Anglo-Saxon, and soon after founds the Inklings with C S Lewis.
1925
William Hume-Rothery (Magdalen) begins studies that establish the field of scientific metallurgy.
1936
Positivist philosopher A J Ayer, later Wykeham Professor of Logic, publishes Language, Truth and Logic.
1932
Sir Charles Sherrington (Magdalen) wins Nobel Prize for Medicine for his studies of the nervous system.
1933
Refugee physicist Franz Simon (later Christ Church) establishes low-temperature physics laboratory, and subsequently works with Nicholas Kurti on the Manhattan Project (the effort of the USA, Canada and the UK to develop the first nuclear bomb).
Howard Florey1940
Howard Florey (Lincoln) and colleagues demonstrate antibacterial effects of penicillin. He and Ernst Chain share the 1945 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
1944
G D H Cole appointed first Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory: publishes on the cooperative movement and the British working class.
1947
Robert Robinson (Magdalen) wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry for chemical structure of plant products such as quinine.
1947
Hugh Trevor-Roper, later Regius Professor of History, publishes The Last Days of Hitler.
Neville Coghill1951
Nevill Coghill (Exeter, Magdalen) publishes modern translation of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.
Beazley Archive1956
Beazley Archive of Classical Art and Archaeology established at Ashmolean Museum.
1956
W H Auden (Christ Church) becomes Professor of Poetry.
1956
Cyril Hinshelwood (Exeter) wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry for mechanism of chemical reactions.
1959
Martin and Audrey Wood found Oxford Instruments, Oxford University’s first spin-out company, which becomes world leader in superconducting magnets.
Dorothy Hodgkin1964
Dorothy Hodgkin (Somerville) wins Nobel Prize for Chemistry for her crystallographic studies of large molecules.
1967
Rodney Porter (Trinity) discovers how antibodies fight infection and wins the 1972 Nobel Prize for Medicine.
Nikolaas Tinbergen1950s–60s
Nikolaas Tinbergen (Wolfson) develops the science of ethology, for which he shares the Nobel Prize in 1973.
Richard Doll1969
Richard Doll (Magdalen, Green) appointed Regius Professor of Medicine: his studies show that smokers are three times more likely to suffer premature death.
1970s
Roger Penrose (Wadham) develops mathematical basis of the theory of black holes.
1996
Queen’s Anniversary Award for Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine, founded in 1988.
2000
2000
Queen’s Anniversary Award for Centre for Clinical Vaccinology and Tropical Medicine.
2002
The Refugee Studies Centre, part of the Oxford Department of International Development, wins the Queen's Anniversary Prize.
2005
Professor Sir Ed Southern, Whitley Professor of Biochemistry and a Fellow of Trinity College, wins a Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research.

The Clinical Trial Service Unit, a world renowned research institute within the Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, wins the Queen's Anniversary Prize.

Founding of the James Martin 21st Century School to tackle 21st global challenges.
2007
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, published by Oxford University Press, wins the Queen's Anniversary Prize.
2009
John Boardman wins the 2009 Onassis Prize for Humanities.

Professor Terence Cave is awarded the International Balzan Prize for his research on 'literature since 1500'.
2010
Professor Peter Ratcliffe and Professor Nick White are named winners of Canada Gairdner Awards for 2010.
2013
Isis Innovation celebrate their 100th spin-out company.