- Babson, Arthur L.
Interview Dates: December 6, 2011 and December 8, 2011
- Bader, Alfred R.
Interview Date: July 31, 1987
Alfred Bader discusses his early life in Vienna and his broad education, stemming from instruction in a Gymnasium, Queen’s University in Canada, and his graduate studies at Harvard. The interview continues with Bader's move to Milwaukee, his research with PPG, and the origin and growth of the Aldrich Chemical Company, including the merger with Sigma Chemical Company and the decision to go public. The interview concludes with Bader's comments on his art collection and family matters.
- Bailar, Jr., John C.
Interview Dates: May 28, 1987 and June 17, 1987
John C. Bailar, Jr. discusses his upbringing, during which he often helped his father with his chemical research. This, in turn, influenced Bailar to pursue a B.A. and M.A. in chemistry from the University of Colorado and later a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Michigan. Bailar reflects on his academic career at the University of Illinois, where he changed his focus to inorganic chemistry while he conducted research on isomerism and molecular rearrangements, and later on coordination compounds. He eventually began to advise graduate students, as well as to become involved with the American Chemical Society, in which he was elected as president in 1959.
- Bailey, William J.
Interview Date: June 3, 1986
William Bailey describes his upbringing in rural Minnesota, his early interests in science, his undergraduate studies in chemistry with Lee Irving Smith at the University of Minnesota, and his graduate work with C.S. “Speed” Marvel on polymer synthesis in Illinois. Bailey continues to reflect on his research and academic career, as a postdoctoral assistant at MIT, an instructor of organic and polymer chemistry at Wayne State University, and a research professor at the University of Maryland, where he spent the rest of his career. The interview concludes with an account of Bailey's long involvement with the American Chemical Society, including his presidency in 1975 and his thoughts on the current image of chemistry.
- Baker, Dale B.
Interview Date: June 9, 1997
While a student, Baker began working for the American Chemical Society's (ACS) Chemical Abstracts Service as an office boy. Aside from a brief time as a chemist working with explosives at DuPont, Baker spent his entire career with the ACS and Chemical Abstracts Service. In 1946, Baker became assistant editor of Chemical Abstracts. In 1958, Baker became Director of Chemical Abstracts Service, a position he held until 1986. Baker was instrumental in developing an on-line system for Chemical Abstracts in the early 1980s.
- Baker, William O.
Interview Dates: May 23, 1985 and June 18, 1985
William O. Baker was raised on Maryland's eastern shore, where he developed an interest in organic and inorganic chemistry from his parents. In college, Baker pursued the field of physical chemistry for his graduate degree at Princeton University focusing on the dielectric properties of medium length chains. After graduating, he accepted a Bell Labs position as member of technical staff and began work with C. S. Fuller and J. H. Heiss on structures and properties of high polymeric substances. A majority of this interview centers on Baker's time at Bell Labs, the development of synthetic rubber, and Baker's many other accomplishments.
- Baker, Dexter F.
Interview Date: January 27, 1995
Dexter F. Baker discusses his early life in the suburbs of Philadelphia during World War II. He was drafted into the U.S. Navy after graduating from high school and admitted into the Naval Academy Preparatory program. Later, he studied mechanical engineering at Lehigh University, developing an interest in turbines. Baker was drafted again, serving the U.S. Army during the Korean War in engineering research and development laboratories and working on high-speed, small-size gas turbine engines. Eventually, Baker resumed his career in industry and business, working in a variety of positions including sales, president of air products, and Chairman of the Board.
- Baldeschwieler, John D.
Interview Date: June 13, 2003
John D. Baldeschwieler grew up in Elizabeth, New Jersey and graduated from Cornell University with an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering. While attending the University of California, Berkeley for graduate school, Baldeschwieler was introduced to infrared spectroscopy. After faculty positions at Harvard and Stanford, Baldeschwieler worked in various government positions, including the deputy director position for the Office of Science and Technology, and the coordinator position for the Chemical Catalysis Program in the U.S.-U.S.S.R. Commission on Science and Technology. In 1981, Baldeschwieler undertook his first commercial endeavor with the creation of Vestar, Inc. Thus began his work on a string of entrepreneurial ventures, which has included Combion, Inc., Epic Therapeutics, Inc., GeneSoft, Inc., and many others. In 1999 and 2000, Baldeschwieler was responsible in part for the creation of the Athenaeum Fund and Pasadena Entretec; two organizations established to fund and support young entrepreneurs from Caltech.
- Baltimore, David
Interview Dates: 7 February 1994, 13 and 29 April 1995
David Baltimore recounts his early interest in biology, ultimately devoting his PhD thesis to the study of animal virology. To complete his thesis he moved from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to Rockefeller University to join Richard M. Franklin who was working with mengovirus. After graduating, Baltimore spent some time at the Salk Institute and then returned to MIT where he continued work on poliovirus and began work on vesicular stomatitis virus. He and his wife, Alice Huang, who at the time was a research associate in his lab, discovered that VSV carried an RNA-dependent RNA polymerase within the virus particle. This work provided the insight that led to his discovery of reverse transcriptase—the enzyme in retroviruses that transcribes DNA from RNA—and won Baltimore the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1975.
- Barrett, Craig R.
Interview Dates: December 14, 2005 and March 23, 2006
After being accepted to Stanford University, Craig R. Barrett chose to major in metallurgical engineering and continued on to receive his master’s and doctoral degrees at the institution. He then spent a year in the National Physical Laboratory in England as a postdoctoral fellow before returning to Stanford as an assistant professor. Frustrated with basic research, Barrett jumped at the chance to take a temporary leave of absence to join the Intel R&D department. In 1984, Barrett’s promotion to vice president signaled Intel’s commitment to the manufacturing division and coincided with the company’s shift from memory to microprocessor manufacturing. Barrett then described his career rise to senior vice president, executive vice president, and eventually to chief executive office and president.
- Bartolucci, Sherry
Interview Date: January 5, 2005
Sherry Bartolucci describes her early introduction to business management at AT&T and explains her decision to join the Peace Corps in Peru. After gaining more experience in business, she became the Chief Administrative Officer at the Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore Foundation. As a member of the Management Committee, she helped design an “outcome-based” grantmaking strategy that retains the ideals of Gordon E. and Betty I. Moore while insisting on quantifiable progress from grantees. Bartolucci concludes the interview with reflections on her professional and life experiences which have culminated in her current position in the Moore Foundation.
- Basolo, Fred
Interview Date: September 27, 2002
Fred Basolo played a major role in the development of the discipline of inorganic chemistry—what he refers to as “the birth of inorganic chemistry.” The formation of the Inorganic Chemistry Gordon Research Conference, which Basolo helped organize, was a key factor in inorganic chemistry’s rising significance. Basolo describes the Inorganic GRC, as well as his heavy involvement in it. He also discusses his role in GRC governance, first being nominated to council, then to the board of trustees, and eventually becoming the board chairman. He ends his interview with his thoughts about the future of chemistry and GRC.
- Basolo, Fred
Interview Date: March 1, 1991
Fred Basolo begins this interview by discussing his childhood in Coello, Illinois, and his elementary and high school education. He attended Southern Illinois University where he studied to be a chemistry teacher but his instructors encouraged him to attend graduate school in chemistry. At University of Illinois, he studied inorganic chemistry with John Bailar. After receiving his Ph.D., he worked at Rohm and Haas in Philadelphia for three years. He decided to return to academia and accepted a positions as professor of Chemistry at Northwestern University. His research interests have included kinetics and mechanisms, and metal carbonyls. Basolo describes the connections he made with Italian scientists and his American Chemical Society presidency and concludes by offering his opinion of how general and inorganic chemistry courses should be taught.
- Battista, Orlando A.
Interview Date: February 23, 1992
O. A. Battista was one of eight siblings born to a poor, uneducated laborer and a housewife; he proudly details his family's hard-working nature. Attending McGill University along with his younger brother, Battista earned a B.S. in chemistry while supporting his household by writing epigrams for the Saturday Evening Post. Upon graduation Battista obtained a research chemist position at American Viscose Corporation. He worked on the rubber program and other war-related projects until the end of the war. Later, his work at American Viscose and its predecessor, FMC, earned him over sixty-five patents, including patents on viscose molding, novel yarn, pure cellulose, and microcrystalline collagen. In the early 1960s, Battista realized the medical applications of microcrystalline collagen and obtained pharmaceutical backing from Alcon to license the substance as the patented hemostat Avitene. In 1974 Battista took early retirement from Avicon to start his own research institute and promote an Olympiad of Science that encourages and facilitates new product innovations. His institute created over fifty-five new products and publishes of Knowledge Magazine.
- Beckman, Arnold O.
Interview Date: July 23, 1985
In this interview Dr. Arnold Beckman begins with the National Technical Laboratories in the late 1930s, and includes details on its policies and operations. He continues with the change from NTL to Beckman Instruments, and emphasizes the development of spectrophotometry instrumentation during the 1940s. Other projects, including mass spectrometers, Geiger counters, pocket electroscopes, and the oxygen analyzer, are also discussed. Following World War II Beckman describes his reinvolvement with Caltech. The interview concludes with Beckman talking about air pollution work in Los Angeles, the formation of Shockley Laboratories, and the future of the instrumentation industry.
- Beckman, Arnold O.
Interview Date: April 23, 1985
In this interview Arnold Beckman begins with his teenage experience as an industrial chemist at a local gas works in Bloomington, Illinois and the Keystone Iron and Steel Works. This is followed by reflections on his student days at the University of Illinois, with special emphasis on some of the faculty and students. The central portion of the interview considers Beckman as a student and faculty member at Caltech and includes his early experiences with instrumentation, patents, and serving as an expert witness. The interview continues with Dr. Beckman discussing the origin of the pH meter and DU spectrophotometer, and concludes with the beginning stages of manufacturing and sales, emphasizing the principles used to build National Technical Laboratories, the company that would become Beckman Instruments.
- Benedict, Manson
Interview Date: January 24, 1991
Manson Benedict had an early enthusiasm for chemistry, which was promoted both by his father's work and his summer jobs with Calumet and Hecla Copper Company. He entered Cornell University as an undergraduate, but quickly became dissatisfied with his Cornell education. After a year at National Aniline benedict decided to enroll at the University of Chicago to obtain a broader liberal education during which he explored economics and socialism. He then went into in a graduate physical chemistry program at MIT and received a National Research Fellowship at Harvard. Benedict ultimately chose to work at Kellogg, where he developed the Benedict-Webb-Rubin equation. He played a significant role in the Manhattan Project, and touches on his subsequent appointment to the Atomic Energy Commission. The concludes with his return to MIT to develop a nuclear engineering curriculum, the accomplishment of
which he is most proud.
- Benfey, O. Theodor
Interview Dates: May 24, 1991 and June 5, 1991
O. Theodor Benfey was raised in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich, but traveled to England, where he was a student during the war, and then to the United States for a postdoctoral fellowship at Columbia University. He developed an interest in physical organic chemistry and structure, and the history of chemistry, and recounts pursued a career as a professor of chemistry and history of science at Haverford, Earlham, and Guilford Colleges. Benfey also had a parallel career as a writer, translator, and editor; he provided details of the various translations he has published, and recalled his term as editor of Chemistry magazine during the interview. The interview concludes with his memories of his studies in Japan and China and his current interests.
- Berman, Helen M.
Interview Date: February 11, 2000
Helen M. Berman was influenced to go into crystallography through a laboratory internship with Barbara W. Low, while studying at Barnard University. After receiving her doctorate at the University of Pittsburgh, Berman went to work for the Fox Chase Cancer Center, where she researched nucleic acid crystallography and drug nucleic acid interactions. Twenty years later, she moved to Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey and expanded her program to include protein crystallography. Berman was convinced that archiving protein structures and studying their sequences would allow researchers to predict future protein structures, instead of relying on theoretical calculations. She worked with Walter C. Hamilton and Edgar Meyer to establish the Protein Databank (PDB) at Brookhaven National Laboratory. At the same time, Crysnet was developed to enable researchers to work on big calculations remotely, from another computer: Berman was the program’s prototype user. She currently manages the PDB and applies the most modern technology to keep it running smoothly.
- Berson, Jerome A.
Interview Date: March 21, 2001
Jerome A. Berson graduated from high school at fifteen and then rode a Good Humor tricycle to earn some money before beginning City College of New York, chosen primarily for economic reasons. He finished at City a semester early and began working on penicillin at Hoffmann-LaRoche. From there he was drafted into the U.S. Army, in which he worked as a medic in India until the end of World War II. Knowing he could not progress with only a bachelor's degree, Berson, with the help of the GI Bill, enrolled at Columbia University, where his Ph.D. mentor was William von Eggers Doering. Doering urged Berson to consider academia as a career and was instrumental in arranging for a postdoctoral fellowship for him with R.B. Woodward at Harvard. Berson credits Woodward and Doering with being two of his prime influences. Berson then went to the University of Southern California (USC) . Limited resources and manpower at USC caused him to shift his focus to physical organic chemistry. After thirteen years at USC Berson, by now a fully-fledged physical organic chemist, was recruited to the University of Wisconsin, where he stayed for “six of the happiest years of [his] life.” Thermal and carbocationic rearrangements, and the role of orbital symmetry in chemical reactions, were the focus of his laboratory during this period. While at Wisconsin, Berson had taken note of Erich Hückel's work, which with Hund's Rule provided continuing themes in his thinking and research. Yale University then recruited Berson. He believed that he had much yet to learn, and he found many teachers and colleagues at Yale and elsewhere. The Yale period included many new studies, especially on non-Kekulé molecules.
- Beynon, John H.
Interview Date: April 22, 2008
John H. Beynon was born in Ystalyfera, Wales, and grew up in a coal mining town. He attended a local university, the University of Wales at Swansea (Swansea University), during the early years of the Second World War. Graduating with a degree in physics, Beynon decided that the pursuit of a PhD was a waste of time and money and he committed himself fully to wartime work, including the development of weapons system used to track targets while a weapon was in motion. He spent much of his career in industry, principally working at the Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI), a British chemical company, at which he was put to work on building a mass spectrometer. He founded the Mass Spectrometry Unit at Swansea University, and was also a founding member of both the British Mass Spectrometry Society and the American Society of Mass Spectrometry. All through his long career Beynon trained a number of students (one of whom is Gareth Brenton; Brenton’s reflections on his mentor are recorded in the appendix to this transcript) and did much to advance the field of mass spectroscopy.
- Biemann, Klaus
Interview Date: August 29, 2006
Klaus Biemannwas born and raised near Vienna, Austria. As pharmacy was the family profession, Biemann chose to study it at the University of Innsbruck. He soon developed an interest in organic chemistry, however, and shifted his focus, becoming the only graduate student in this field at that time at the University of Innsbruck. Upon finishing his degree, Biemann then received an appointment at the University of Innsbruck, in the context of which he discusses his experiences as well as the post-World War II university environment. After a summer at MIT working with George Buchi, Biemann decided that the American academic system offered more opportunities than the European one and he subsequently accepted a post-doctorate position at MIT. After two years he was appointed to a faculty position in the analytical division by Arthur C. Cope, the Head of the chemistry department. Early in his tenure at MIT, Biemann’s research interest shifted from natural product synthesis to the mass spectrometry of peptides and alkaloid structure. He explains how his early work expanded the perceived applications of early mass spectrometry.
- Biondi, Frank J.
Interview Date: March 19, 1996
Frank J. Biondi majored in chemical engineering at Lehigh University, and worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories (BTL) in the 1930s. After being in industry for a short period of time, he decided to pursue a graduate education at Columbia University. After completing his master’s degree in chemical engineering, he enrolled in the Ph.D. program and became involved in the Manhattan Project. Biondi worked on a gaseous diffusion program to separate uranium 235 from uranium ore, designing the diffusion barrier used for the atom bomb. After making his contribution to the Manhattan Project, Biondi returned to BTL work and focused on electronics, initially developing long-life cathodes used by the British during the war. He continued cathode work, becoming involved with the ASTM to standardize three nickel alloys for electronics industry electron tube cathodes. Biondi's later work focused on fuel cells, the electronics industry’s first dust-free white room, semiconductors used for satellites, and improvements in battery manufacture and design.
- Bird, R. Byron
Interview Date: October 1, 1998
R. Byron Bird was born in Texas, but Bird’s family moved frequently, following Bird’s father, a professor of civil engineering. During high school in Washington, DC, Bird developed his interest in foreign languages, and wanted to pursue either language or music in college. However, his father pushed him towards a degree in chemical engineering. Bird completed two years of study at the University of Maryland before entering the U.S. Army to fight in World War II. When he left the Army, he resumed his studies after a brief hiatus in a biochemistry lab of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Bird completed his degree at the University of Illinois, at Urbana. It was there that he decided he wanted to enter a Ph.D. program in chemistry, and he chose to study at the University of Wisconsin. While in graduate school, Bird conducted rigorous research under Joseph Hirschfelder, and went on to a post-doctoral, Fulbright grant for research in the Netherlands. Bird returned to the United States to take a teaching position in the chemistry department at Cornell University, and after a year there, accepted a position in the chemical engineering department at the University of Wisconsin. Before returning to Wisconsin, Bird spent a summer working for DuPont, where he was introduced to the subject of rheology.
- Blank, Julius
Interview Date: March 20, 2006
Julius Blank graduated high school at the age of fifteen and began taking classes at the City College of New York while working various jobs. When Blank turned eighteen, he enlisted and was sent to Europe to serve until the end of World War II. When he came home he finished college with the aid of the GI Bill and received a degree in mechanical engineering. Blank worked as an engineer at Babcock and Wilcox Company in Ohio, and then moved to Goodyear Aircraft. After two years, he and his wife moved back to New York where Blank got a job at Western Electric. In 1956, Blank was asked to join Shockley Semiconductor in California. Blank met Gordon Moore at Shockley, and eventually joined Moore and six other Shockley colleagues to form Fairchild Semiconductor. Blank first worked on crystal growing and research and development at Fairchild, but later helped set up assembly plants overseas.
- Bloch, Konrad E.
Interview Date: March 22, 1993
Konrad E. Bloch was born and raised in Neisse, Germany, and he studied at Technische Hochschule in Munich for his undergraduate degree. During a research assistantship in Davos, Switzerland, Bloch became aware of the cholesterol molecule for the first time. He also produced and published three papers that Columbia University later accepted as partial fulfillment for a Ph.D. in biochemistry, earned in 1938. Bloch describes his teaching and research in biochemistry at Columbia and later the University of Chicago, where he developed an interest in the mechanism of protein synthesis from amino acids. He won the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology with Feodor Lynen in 1964 for his work on cholesterol and fatty acid metabolism.
- Blout, Elkan R.
Interview Dates: May 30, 1991 and September 13, 2002 and November 22, 2002
Elkan R. Blout attended DeWitt Clinton High School, in the Bronx, earning marks that were high enough to skip three grades. He was still too young to attend college when he graduated, so he enrolled in the Philips Exeter Academy. After a year at Exeter, Blout attended Princeton University, becoming one of only twelve Jewish students accepted in 1935. As a Jewish student, Blout struggled against discrimination from both the University and the students. In 1942, Blout received his Ph.D. in chemistry from Columbia University. He then accepted a fellowship at Harvard University, where he worked with Louis Feiser and R. B. Woodward. After a year, Edwin H. Land offered Blout a position at the Polaroid Company. At Polaroid, he helped develop the instant photographic process and the color translating microscope. At the same time, he received a research grant to study synthetic polypeptides, and established a spectroscopy laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Boston. In 1961, Blout left Polaroid for more academic pursuits at Harvard Medical School. In 1991, Blout became the senior science advisor for the Food and Drug Administration.
- Borovoy, Roger S.
Interview Date: August 3, 2007
Roger S. Borovoy worked as counsel at both Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation and Intel Corporation, placing him at the heart of the semiconductor revolution in America. He received his undergraduate degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and, after a short period of time at Chevron Research, Borovoy began to work as Patent Counsel at Fairchild Camera Instrument Corporation, meeting Gordon Moore. Borovoy quickly became entrenched in the burgeoning electronics industry and legal issues surrounding intellectual property and patents. After fighting legal battles with Motorola, and dealing with international licensing issues, he moved on to working for Intel in 1974.
- Boundy, Ray H.
Interview Date: August 21, 1986
Ray Boundy studied chemical engineering at Case Institute of Technology where there was a strong interaction with the Dow Chemical Company. Before Boundy had completed his degree at Case he had met Herbert Dow who offered him a position in the Midland laboratories. Starting in the analytical laboratory, Ray Boundy moved to the productive physics group headed by John Grebe. After describing his involvement with early Dow projects, such as the seawater bromine process, sodium electrical conductors, electrolytic chlorine production and applications for ferric chloride, Boundy briefly reviews the work on styrene polymerization, monomer purity, and wartime production. At the end of hostilities in the European sector Boundy joined one of the teams of experts sent over to assess the German chemical industry. Postwar, Boundy had responsibility for plastics at Dow before his promotion to research director.
- Boyer, Raymond F.
Interview Dates: January 14, 1986 and August 19, 1986
Raymond Boyer was born and raised in Ohio and he had an early interest in electricity. He received his undergraduate and graduate education at Case Institute of Technology. In discussing his career at the Dow Chemical Company, Boyer provides accounts of discoveries and innovations, especially involving polystyrene; several leading figures there, including Willard and H. H. Dow; and major organizational changes that occurred during his career.
- Brandt, E.N. (Ned)
Interview Date: June 17, 1992
E.N. (Ned) Brandt, company historian of The Dow Chemical Company and a major figure in Dow’s public relations activities for over three decades, begins the interview by touching on his family background and early education, before recalling his activities in news writing positions during high school and journalism school at Michigan State. Brandt joined a quartermaster ROTC unit in 1941, went through Officer Candidate School, and in 1944 volunteered for overseas duty. He describes several interesting experiences during the war in France when he was an intelligence officer and a public relations officer. After a brief stint with UPI in Detroit, Brandt returned to France and worked for the French broadcasting system and the State Department at the Paris embassy. He discusses his work in France, art studies in Paris, and travels to Algeria. In 1953 Brandt resigned from the foreign service and joined Dow. This section of the interview includes recollections of Dow’s early public relations department and Bud Smith, and work with Bill Schuette as public relations manager of the newly created Midland Division. Brandt next discusses his concerns as assistant director and then director of public relations in the 1960s, including such topics as Dow’s global reorganization in 1965, speech writing for Dow’s top executives, environmental issues, The Dow Story, and outside involvement with public affairs organizations. In describing his activities during the 1970s and 1980s, Brandt talks about a visit to Chile, public relations in South Africa, difficulties with Mark Batterson during Zoltan Merszei’s tenure as president of Dow, the TV Hot Box, the origins of Dow’s history function and the Dow archives, his own decision to retire, and the Futures Initiative. The closing segments of the transcript focus on Brandt’s outside activities, especially for historical societies and foundations.
- Breslow, Ronald C.
Interview Dates: March 19, 1999 and April 9, 1999
Ronald Breslow grew up in Rahway, New Jersey, the son of a physician. Max Tishler, a family friend, helped to pique Breslow’s interest in chemistry. In high school, Breslow entered the Westinghouse Science Contest, which enabled him to meet like-minded teenagers. He entered Harvard University, graduating with his A.B. in chemistry in 1952, having attended chemistry courses taught by Louis Fieser and Paul Bartlett, and having conducted research with Gilbert Stork on the structure of cedrene. Breslow earned his Ph.D. in chemistry in 1955 for his work on magnamycin under R. B. Woodward. In 1956, Breslow joined the faculty of Columbia University, where he has worked on a variety of subjects, including thiamine, cyclopropenyl cation, cyclodextrins, and electron transfer.
- Brewer, Leo
Interview Date: April 3, 1992
Leo Brewer became interested in chemistry through the influence of a high-school chemistry teacher in Los Angeles. He attended Caltech and,.after receiving his B.S. in 1940, Linus C. Pauling advised him to begin his graduate work at the University of California at Berkeley, where he studied under Axel R. Olsen. Upon receiving his Ph.D., Brewer immediately joined the Manhattan Project as a research associate. Brewer’s job was to use models in the periodic table to determine the worst properties of plutonium. He tested refractory materials, such as nitrites, carbides, lanthanides, actinides, sulfites, sulfides, and phosphides, and determined that cerium sulfide would serve as the best model (later, Brewer predicted the electronic configuration of all the actinides). His research for the Manhattan Project found direct application at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, and was later published as part of the Manhattan Project Technical Series. In 1946, Brewer joined the faculty of the University of California at Berkeley. During his career at Berkeley, Brewer worked in many fields, including organic chemistry, ceramics, astrochemistry, and even geology. Within these areas, he applied his thermodynamic research, including studying high-temperature molecules present in comets and stars, and the distribution of elements in the earth’s gravitational field.
- Brown, Herbert C.
Interview Date: November 11, 1994
Herbert C. Brown studied at Crane Junior College, where he became fascinated by chemistry and its history; when Crane closed down, Brown was among the students invited to work in Nicholas D. Cheronis' Synthetical Laboratories, where he earned enough to enroll in a University of Chicago correspondence course on qualitative analysis and supplemented his education by working with Fales's Quantitative Analysis. Brown continued his studies and lab work at Wright Junior College and the University of Chicago. During his career he worked at the University of Chicago, Wayne State University, and later Purdue University; during the interview he detailed his studies on steric effects, boranes, and borohydride synthesis. Brown worked for the National Defense Research Committee during Worald War II, which included research on the volatile compounds of uranium, uranium borohydride production and testing, sodium trimethoxyborohydride production, and sodium borohydride development.
- Bryant, David R.
Interview Date: April 8, 1998
David R. Bryant was one of seven children and grew up in North Carolina. He began working at age ten, and held various jobs until he earned a scholarship to Wake Forest University. Influenced by his high school science teacher, Bryant double-majored in chemistry and math. After receiving his B.S. in 1958, Bryant decided to attend graduate school at Duke University. Focusing on organic chemistry, he worked on the conversion of organic compounds into dianions under Charlie Hauser. Bryant earned his Ph.D. in 1961 and immediately took a job with Union Carbide Corporation. He worked on developing a method of producing vinyl acetate without halide, and later worked with benzyl acetate, acrylic acid, and rhodium triphenylphosphite in the Oxo process.
- Burrows, Cynthia J.
Interview Dates: July 15, 2009 and July 16, 2009
Cynthia J. Burrows was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, one of two children. When she was in ninth grade the family moved to Boulder, Colorado, where later her high school chemistry class made beer that eventually exploded all over the classroom. That was her first clue that she wanted to be a chemist. She attended the University of Colorado and spent her junior year at the University of Edinburgh taking courses from Evelyn A.V. Ebsworth. In her senior year she entered Stanley Cristol’s lab, working on Stern-Volmer plots. Next she spent four months as balloon technician on Ascension Island, returning to Cristol’s lab for the remainder of the year. Burrows entered Cornell University’s PhD program, where she became intrigued by Barry Carpenter’s class and by reaction mechanisms. For a postdoc she went to the lab of Jean-Marie Lehn in Strasbourg, France. She went on to positions at the State University of New York at Stony Brook and then the University of Utah, universities in which she was the only woman in her departments. Burrows discusses at length women in chemistry and the changes she has seen during her career; support and mentoring from her friends and colleagues in COACh and more informal groups; her sabbatical in Okazaki, Japan; being mentored by John Osborn and mentoring her own students; and about how to interest more young women and men in science by teaching more science earlier.