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CHF staff and scholars provide a behind-the-scenes guide to activities at CHF, with reflections on science education, provocative explorations of chemistry in the wider world, and much more.

This page holds archived blog posts. Visit our Tumblr page to see recent content and to join the conversation.

All posts by Sarah Hunter-Lascoskie

First Person: Hidden Stories

First Person mainly deals with the subjects of oral histories at CHF, but I thought it might be an interesting change of pace to take you behind the scenes of the oral history process. Today I’ll be highlighting the people and processes that make those oral histories possible.

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Posted In: Education | History

First Person: William McMillan

In the interest of history, chemist William McMillan wrote two volumes reflecting on his work in the Manhattan Project. But as of the date of his oral history—1999—those documents were still classified.

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Posted In: History | Policy | Technology

First Person: Manson Benedict

Sometimes the path to becoming a chemist isn’t straightforward. Though Manson Benedict would later play a pivotal role in the Manhattan Project, serve on the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, and win the National Medal of Science, the Great Depression made him question his decision to study physical chemistry.

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Posted In: History

First Person: Calvin Fuller

While CHF's oral history interviewees are often distinguished scientists with lengthy careers, it's rare that one can say he or she made it to Hollywood. But Calvin Fuller of Bell Labs did—due in part to his role in World War II synthetic rubber research.

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Posted In: History | Technology

First Person: Orlando Battista

Orlando Battista was a prolific polymer chemist; there are over 65 patents to his name. But his scientific career wouldn't have happened without his non-scientific talents.

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Posted In: History

First Person: Claire Schultz

Most of CHF’s oral histories focus on scientists—the individuals producing scientific research. But CHF also has an insider’s look into how that research gets to others, via the interviewees in our Scientific and Technical Information Systems collection. One of these interviewees is Claire Schultz, who observed wartime technologies turn into to computerization and, ultimately, the internet – a tool that would revolutionize scientific research and human knowledge worldwide.

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Posted In: History | Technology

First Person: Kathryn Hach-Darrow

"I had a date with Clifford Hach. He came up to the door and had a nice little package all wrapped up for me. I thought, 'It’s a box of candy.' He gave me the package, I opened it up, and there was a book for me to read by Dr. Otto Eisenschiml - Without Fame: The Romance of a Profession. Cliff said, 'I want you to read this because we’re going to build a chemical company.' His ambition was already very clear, even back in those days."

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Posted In: History | Technology

Discount DNA

Researchers are working hard to lower the cost of DNA sequencing. What are the benefits and why does this matter? CHF oral history interviewee George Church weighs in.

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Posted In: History | Technology

Why a Peach Sent Me to the Emergency Room

Ever since early childhood, a ripe plum, apple, or another select fruit would sometimes create a series of hives on my lips and cause a tickly sensation in the back of my throat. But as I ate my peach that night, the sensation didn’t go away, even with the assistance of an antihistamine.

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Posted In: Education