Pittcon Roundup in Chemical & Engineering News

April 2, 2012 - Washington, DC

by A. Maureen Rouhi

Pittcon is a signature event for the instrumentation and analytical chemistry communities. C&EN’s comprehensive coverage of Pittcon 2012 begins on page 32, reported by Senior Editor Celia Arnaud, Deputy Assistant Managing Editor Stu Borman, and Senior Correspondent Marc Reisch.

Despite some questions about the exhibition (C&EN, March 19, page 3), Pittcon offers not only a terrific overview of the breadth of instrumentation innovations and offerings, but also historical perspective in the form of the annual Pittcon Heritage Award. I attended the meeting’s plenary lecture and was delighted with the accessibility of the lecturer’s talk. Most of all, I enjoyed the conversations with visitors at C&EN’s booth.

The opening session featured the presentation of the first-ever posthumous Pittcon Heritage Award, to Genzo Shimadzu, Sr. and Jr., father and son founders of the Japanese instrumentation company that bears their name. Shimadzu Chairman of the Board Shigehiko Hattori accepted the award from Chemical Heritage Foundation President and CEO Thomas R. Tritton and Pittcon President Jon Peace.

Genzo, Sr., was a maker of Buddhist altars before he became an inventor of instruments. When Western powers forced Japan to open its ports to international trade in 1868, the nation also opened its eyes to Western technology. At the Physics & Chemistry Research Institute in Kyoto, the elder Shimadzu learned to repair and maintain foreign equipment. In 1875, he began manufacturing distillation and other devices for use in Japanese schools. After Genzo, Sr., died in 1894, control of the business went to his eldest son, Umejiro, who changed his name to Genzo. . . .

Link to C&EN

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