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Carlyle B. Storm

  • Born: March 2, 1935, Baltimore, Maryland

  Interview Details

Interview no.: 0261
Interview Date: August 22, 2002
Location: Gordon Research Conferences Headquarters, West Kingston, Rhode Island
Interviewers: Arthur Daemmrich and Arnold Thackray
No. of pages: 49
Sponsor: Gordon Research Conferences
Gordon Research Conferences

  Abstract of Interview

Reflections on the Gordon Research Conferences

Carlyle B. Storm begins the interview describing his family background and chosen academic path. After obtaining his Ph.D., Storm became a professor of chemistry at Howard University and worked to secure funding for research. In the early 1980s, he accepted a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he researched conventional high explosives as chief scientist, becoming program manager in 1989. Storm first attended Gordon conferences in the early 1970s, and in 1988, he founded and chaired the Energetic Materials Conference. Storm's experiences managing scientists at Los Alamos and working with non-profit boards uniquely qualified him to become the director of the Gordon Research Conferences in 1993. As director, Storm traveled to many conferences, improved administrative processes, and evaluated the economic, participation dynamics, and governance of the organization. Under his leadership, the conferences expanded across the country and the globe. Storm has worked hard to ensure that each conference follows the Gordan format and brand image, no matter where in the world it is. Storm feels strongly that graduate students should participate in the conferences, and has encouraged their participation through programs such as the Gordon-Kenan Summer Schools and Graduate Research Seminars. Additionally, he has considered developing a permanent facility for the Gordon Research Conferences. Storm concludes the interview by recalling scientific advances that have been realized as a result of the interaction among leading scientists at the Gordon Research Conferences.


1961 B.S., Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University
1963 M.S., Chemistry, Johns Hopkins University
1965 Ph.D., Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry, Johns Hopkins University

  Professional Experience

Howard University

1968 - 1970 Assistant Professor of Chemistry

Howard University

1970 - 1973 Associate Professor of Chemistry

Howard University

1972 - 1985 Consultant, Center For Sickle Cell Disease, College of Medicine

Howard University

1973 - 1986 Professor of Chemistry

Howard University

1976 - 1986 Graduate Professor of Chemistry

Howard University

1982 - 1985 Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry

National Institute of General Medicinal Sciences

1972 - 1985 Consultant, General Research Support Program Advisory Committee

University of Oxford

1974 - 1975 Senior Visitor, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory

National Institutes of Health

1975 - 1985 Consultant, Minority Biomedical Research Support Program

University of Trondheim, Norway

1977 - 1977 Visiting Professor, Department of Chemistry

Down Syndrome, Papers and Abstracts for Professionals

1978 - 1985 Assistant Editor

Los Alamos National Laboratory

1981 - 1982 Visiting Staff Member, Stable Isotope Research Resource

Los Alamos National Laboratory

1985 - 1989 Staff Member, Explosives Technology Group, Dynamic Testing Division

Los Alamos National Laboratory

1989 - 1992 Program Manager for Materials Research, Dynamic Testing Division

Los Alamos National Laboratory

1992 - 1993 Chief Scientist and Program Manager for Technology Development, Explosives Technology and Applications Division


1991 - 1993 Consultant

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

1989 - 1993 Member, Research Center for Energetic Materials, Industry Advisory Board

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

1991 - 1992 Vice Chair, Research Center for Energetic Materials, Industry Advisory Board

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

1992 - 1993 Chair, Research Center for Energetic Materials, Industry Advisory Board

Gordon Research Conferences

1993 Director

Panel on Research Opportunities in Energy Conversion

1994 - 1994 Chair, Naval Studies Board


1959 Phi Lambda Upsilon
1961 Gilman Fellow, Johns Hopkins University (completed in 1962)
1962 Sigma Xi
1962 NIH Predoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University (completed 1965)
1965 NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University (completed 1966)
1966 Staff Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health (completed 1968)
1973 Research Career Development Award, National Institute of General Medical Sciences (through 1978)
1974 Presidents Award, Maryland Association for Retarded Citizens
1977 Senior Fulbright-Hays Fellow, University of Trondheim, Norway
1982 Washington Chemical Society Community Service Award
1988 Chair (Founding), Gordon Research Conference on Chemistry of Energetic Materials
1992 Sigma Xi Lecturer, Army Research and Development command, Dover, NJ
1992 Invited Speaker, Gordon Research Conference on the Chemistry of Energetic Materials
1997 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

  Table of Contents

Title and Description Page

Personal Background and Career Path 1

Family background and early interest in chemistry. Academic and career related choices. Efforts to secure funding for research at Howard University. Experiences and development of management style at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Getting Involved with the Gordon Research Conferences (GRC) 9

Introduction to GRC. Dynamics of participation and economy of GRC. Founding Energetic Materials Conference. Proposing and chairing a conference.

Administration, Management, and Governance of GRC 17

Directing GRC. Modifying administration and management. Governance structure. Starting, evaluating, and terminating conferences. Relationship between the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and GRC. Activity of the board of trustees. GRC staff. Marketing GRC.

Expansion of GRC 27

National and international expansion. GRC as a model for other conferences. Institutional and international representation at conferences. Prepping conference chairs and evaluating conferences. GRC brand image.

GRC Innovation, Growth, and Future Endeavors 33

The Gordan-Kenan Summer Schools and Graduate Research Seminars. Participation of graduate students. Growth of GRC. Current and prospective conference facilities and locations. Scope of science at GRC. Flagship conferences and moments of innovation. Endeavoring to understand the history of innovation at GRC.

Notes 41

Index 43

  About the Interviewer

Arthur Daemmrich

Arthur Daemmrich is an assistant professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School and a senior research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. His research examines science, medicine, and the state, with a focus on advancing theories of risk and regulation through empirical research on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemical sectors. At HBS he also plays an active role in an interdisciplinary Healthcare Initiative, advancing scholarship and developing applied lessons for the business of creating and delivering health services and health-related technologies. Daemmrich was previously the director of the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He earned a Ph.D. in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University in 2002 and has held fellowships at the Social Science Research Council/Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He has published widely on pharmaceutical and chemical regulation, biotechnology business and policy, innovation, and history of science.

Arnold Thackray

Arnold Thackray founded the Chemical Heritage Foundation and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.

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