Richards, Francis John
RICHARDS, FRANCIS JOHN
(b. Burton-upon-Trent, England, 1 October 1901; d. Wye, Kent, England, 2 January 1965), Plant Phsiology.
Richards was educated at the University of Birmingham, where he studied botany and biochemistry. In 1926 he joined F. G. Gregory at the Research Institute of Plant Physiology at Imperial College, London. In 1958, when Gregory retired, the Institute was dissolved, and Richards was made director of the new Agricultural Research Council Unit of Plant Morphogenesis and Nutrition at Rothamsted. This unit was later moved to Wye College, Kent. In 1954 he was elected a member of the Royal Society.
Richards is best known for his research on the mineral nutrition of cereal crops, especially the role of potassium and phosphorus. His international reputation has been established by his detailed studies and analyses of growth, respiration, photosynthesis, water content, carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolism in cereals under varying levels of nutrient supply, and his investigations of the substitution or partial replacement of the essential role of potassium by rubidium. This work emphasized that certain nutritional requirements are not absolute but may be a function of the environmental conditions under which plants grow—a view that has led to and still continues to yield important concepts in plant growth and development.
Richards’ studies also disclosed many features of the metabolic consequences associated with mineral nutrient deficiency, such as the accumulation of the amide putrescine under potassium deficiency conditions. Richards appreciated that many factors of the environment interact with nutritional variables. He was one of the first to apply the then newly developed statistical methods to physiological and ecological data. His mathematical skill found expression in the devising of new methods of describing growth rates and leaf pattern production and arrangement in growing points (phyllotaxis).
On Richards’ life and work, see Helen K. Porter, “Francis John Richards 1901–1965,” in Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 12 (1966), 423–436, with complete bibliography; and W. W. Schwabe, “Dr. F. J. Richards, F.R.S.,” in Nature, 205 (1965), 853–854, and “Francis John Richards 1901–1965,” in Plant and Soil, 22 (1965), 319–322.
A. D. Krikorian
"Richards, Francis John." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Encyclopedia.com. (September 24, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/richards-francis-john
"Richards, Francis John." Complete Dictionary of Scientific Biography. . Retrieved September 24, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/richards-francis-john
Encyclopedia.com gives you the ability to cite reference entries and articles according to common styles from the Modern Language Association (MLA), The Chicago Manual of Style, and the American Psychological Association (APA).
Within the “Cite this article” tool, pick a style to see how all available information looks when formatted according to that style. Then, copy and paste the text into your bibliography or works cited list.
Because each style has its own formatting nuances that evolve over time and not all information is available for every reference entry or article, Encyclopedia.com cannot guarantee each citation it generates. Therefore, it’s best to use Encyclopedia.com citations as a starting point before checking the style against your school or publication’s requirements and the most-recent information available at these sites:
Modern Language Association
The Chicago Manual of Style
American Psychological Association
- Most online reference entries and articles do not have page numbers. Therefore, that information is unavailable for most Encyclopedia.com content. However, the date of retrieval is often important. Refer to each style’s convention regarding the best way to format page numbers and retrieval dates.
- In addition to the MLA, Chicago, and APA styles, your school, university, publication, or institution may have its own requirements for citations. Therefore, be sure to refer to those guidelines when editing your bibliography or works cited list.