Arthur L. Babson grew up in Essex Fells, New Jersey, one of two children. Babson began college and the Army Special Training Reserve Program at Rutgers. He worked in a laboratory at American Dyewood until he was drafted. When he left the service and returned to the United States, he matriculated into Cornell University, majoring in zoology and taking courses in biochemistry. He went to graduate school at Rutgers University, earning a Master’s in Biochemistry. Under James Allison, he worked on protein nutrition, earning his PhD. After a short postdoc, Babson began work at Warner-Chilcott Laboratories. It was there that Babson’s career in diagnostics was launched and automating clinical chemistry emerged as Babson’s core interest. Eventually, Babson started his own company, Babson Research Laboratories.
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.
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 BA and MA in chemistry from the University of Colorado and later a PhD 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.
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.
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.
Dexter F. Baker discusses his early life in the suburbs of Philadelphia during World War II. He was drafted into the US 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 US 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.
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.
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 US–USSR 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.
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.
James C. A. Bardwell was born in Saskatoon, Canada and attended University of Saskatchewan. He worked with Louis P. Visentin at the Canadian National Research Council, where he focused his work on recombinant DNA. Bardwell's interest in the outdoors led him to take trips between undergraduate and graduate school to Papua, New Guinea and the Northwest Territories. He continued to travel throughout his graduate career. While at University of Wisconsin, Madison, Bardwell worked in Elizabeth Craig's laboratory on heat-shock proteins. His postdoctoral work included research in genetics on protein disulfide isomerase. Now at University of Michigan, he has continued his research on protein folding. Bardwell reflects on scientific policy, public awareness, scientific funding, and how these broader themes have influenced his work.
Charles K. Barlowe was raised in Saluda, Virginia. Following in his family's footsteps, Barlowe attended the College of William and Mary for undergrad, where he studied chemistry. He worked with Gary C. DeFotis, analyzing crystal complexes by x-ray diffraction method and measuring their ferromagnetic properties with large magnets. Barlowe next received a position with I. David Goldman in the Hematology/Oncology department of the Medical College of Virginia, where he worked on antifolate polyglutamylation and competitive drug displacement at dihydrofolate reductase as important elements in leucovorin rescue. While receiving his doctorate at the University of Texas, he studied with Dean R. Appling and continued research on tetrahydrofolate enzymology. After a postdoc with Randy Schekman at the University of California Berkeley, family and professional considerations led him to accept a faculty position at Dartmouth Medical School, where he now has his lab.
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.
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.
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 PhD, 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.
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.
Brenda L. Bass grew up in Florida. After briefly attending Emory University, she transferred to Colorado College, obtaining her degree in chemistry. She became a research technician at Rush Medical College, where she worked for three years before returning to University of Colorado, Boulder to pursue a PhD. There she worked in Thomas R. Cech's lab, focusing on self-splicing RNA and its implications for biological catalysis. In 1985, she accepted a post-doc with Harold Weintraub in Seattle, Washington and worked at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center for four years. She then accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Utah, where she is still an associate professor and an assistant investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
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 BS 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.
For more information on Peter Baumann, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.
For more information on this oral history, please contact the Director of the Center for Oral History.
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.
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.
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 ofwhich he is most proud.
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.
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.
Michael J. Berry II was influenced by the chemistry careers of both his parents, and during his youth developed twin interests in physics and philosophy. After earning a bachelor's degree, Berry chose to pursue a PhD in physics at Harvard University under Robert M. Westervelt. In a Marine Biological Laboratory course at Woods Hole, Berry focused on electrophysiology and found a community of physicists working in neuroscience and the biological fields. His post-doctoral research with Markus Meister at Harvard University allowed him to transition successfully into the field of neuroscience. Throughout his oral history, Berry addresses such important issues as funding, mentoring his students, and attempting to balance his personal life with his career.
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 US 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 PhD 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.
Carolyn Bertozzi grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts and attended Harvard. Though she majored in chemistry, she worked in a biochemistry lab, where Joseph Grabowski was so impressed with her work that he required her to write a graduation thesis, which he then submitted for an award. He convinced her to attend University of California, Berkeley. There, wrote her doctoral dissertation on the synthesis of carbohydrate analogues for biological applications. Continuing her interest in carbohydrates, and contrary to the advice of other chemists, she next worked in Steven Rosen's cell biology laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. She now has her lab at University of California, Berkley. She and Rosen also founded Thios Pharmaceuticals, Inc. At Berkeley she enjoys teaching, publishing, and managing her lab.
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.
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.
Mark D. Biggin grew up in Chesterfield, England and developed an early interest in science thanks to an inspiring biology teacher. He attended the University of Lancaster and so loved working in a lab that he applied to graduate school at Cambridge University, where he joined Frederick Sanger's Division at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology. There he worked in Bart Bart Barrell's lab, where he sequenced Epstein-Barr virus DNA. After becoming interested in transcription, he took a post-doc at Robert Tjian's lab at UC Berkeley. He then moved to a professorship in Department of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry at Yale University, where he continues to teach, advise graduate students, and work in his laboratory.
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 PhD 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.
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 US 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 US 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 PhD 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.
Pamela Bjorkman became interested in science when she took chemistry and physics in high school. She attended the University of Oregon, working in the labs of Larry Church at Reed College and O. Hayes Griffith. Bjorkman chose Harvard University’s PhD program as the best place to learn biochemistry and molecular biology. She found Don Wiley’s lab exciting and fast-paced and became interested in using X-ray crystallography to understand how major histocompatibility complex proteins are involved in the immune response to pathogens. She accepted a postdoc at Stanford University in Mark Davis’s lab, where she worked producing a T cell receptor that recognizes the MHC protein she studied in graduate school. Bjorkman was recruited to California Institute of Technology, continuing her work in crystallography.
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.
James B. Bliska was born in Grand Junction, Colorado. Yearly summer trips to his family's lake house sparked his interest in biology. While working as a dishwasher in a lab at the University of Wisconsin, Bliska first tried his hand at research. Eventually he was performing lab procedures and publishing. Bliska attended the University of California, Berkeley's Molecular Biology PhD program, researching DNA topology during site-specific recombination reactions. He next took a postdoc in Stanley Falkow's lab at Stanford University, where he attempted to purify a biologically active form of a Yersinia surface membrane protein. Bliska then became a principal investigator at SUNY Stony Brook and received tenure. He studies bacterial-host cell interactions in hopes of explaining a method of toxin delivery that has widespread medical applications.
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 PhD 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.
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 PhD 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.
Salvatore A. Boccuti grew up in Ambler, Pennsylvania. He practiced accounting for a number of years but sold his practice to become an aerial photographer. As a child he played on the White Mountains of Ambler and played baseball on the field that preceded the post office building. He was a co-chair of the CAG and has served on several of the work groups, currently the rules group. He describes some of the CAG's organization and explains the communication procedures between the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the citizens of the several municipal entities involved. Boccuti discusses remediation at the BoRit site, regretting that the asbestos will not be removed entirely or its chemical structure altered. Boccuti points to the long latency period for asbestos-caused disease, and says that those who have not yet sickened are not likely to do so now. He does say that the EPA does not do air testing, which causes worry about capped asbestos becoming airborne in the future. When asked what lessons Ambler might provide for other communities, he stresses the importance of good and strong leadership; continual oversight by citizens; and in-depth knowledge.
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.
James Anthony Borowiec was born in Buffalo, New York, and was interested in science from an early age. He received his BS in Organic Chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1980, and his PhD in biochemistry from UCLA in 1986. Borowiec worked in Paul D. Boyer's laboratory at the Molecular Biology Institute, and then in Jay D. Gralla's laboratory. He researched DNA supercoiling; lac; and footprinting technique. He obtained a post-doc at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. In 1989 he was appointed assistant professor in the Department of Biochemistry at New York University Medical Center. His work continues there, encompassing replication of linear DNA, flaws in C. Richard Wobbe's discovery of SSB DNA, T-antigen, ARS, and bovine papillomavirus.
For more information on Robert Boswell, please visit the Pew Scholars in the Biomedical Sciences.
For more information on this oral history, please contact the Director of the Center for Oral History.
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.
James U. Bowie was born in Rochester, Minnesota. He discovered biology and proteins while working at the Mayo Clinic, where his father worked. . Bowie received his BA from Carleton College, then spent a year as a lab technician, which convinced him against attending medical school. He attended Michigan Institute of Technology for his PhD instead. Next, he accepted a postdoc in chemistry and biochemistry at University of California, Los Angeles, where he focused on analyzing the sequence and structure of proteins through computational biology and on the use of computer programming to predict protein structure. He also developed an interest in characterizing the structure, function, and regulation of human cell membrane proteins. Bowie is now a faculty member at UCLA.
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.
Marilyn C. Bracken worked for and with several government agencies before joining EPA’s Office of Toxic Substances as the deputy assistant administrator for program information and toxic integration. Her responsibilities in program information included creating the TSCA Inventory, where the office decided to use the Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) to assign unique identities to chemicals. She was also involved in developing Section 8 rules, and supporting industry efforts to develop internal reporting mechanisms. Internationally, she participated in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) discussions to facilitate data sharing and develop a “base set” of data for new chemicals. Bracken believes that TSCA was unique in its authority to be a regulatory catchall with the ability to prevent pollution before it happened.
Christopher Bradfield grew up near San Francisco, California. Calling himself a late bloomer, he began to see the value in learning only after high school. He received a two-year degree from Skyline College and his BA from University of California, Davis. Bradfield next attended the University of California, Berkeley, entering Leonard F. Bjeldanes' lab. He became so involved in his project that he finished a PhD instead of a master's degree. He then took a postdoc in Alan P. Poland's lab at the University of Wisconsin, where he flourished. He briefly accepted a position at Northwestern University before moving to McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research at University of Wisconsin. Throughout the interview, Bradfield discusses creativity in science, laboratory work, planning research, and more.
William Braell grew up in Palmyra, New York. He was always interested in science and always had chemistry sets. Braell settled on biochemistry halfway through college at Massachusetts Institute of Technoloogy, where he worked in Philip Robbins' biochemistry lab his senior year. For his PhD, Braell chose to stay at MIT and work on band 3 membrane proteins of red in Harvey Lodish's lab. Braell did his postdoctoral work at Stanford University, in the lab of James Rothman. Braell goes on to detail some of the advances in sciences, particularly in membrane studies. He focuses on the biochemistry involved in the enzymology of membrane fusion. He points out that his work has potential clinical implications: for the AIDS virus, for example, and for drug-protein interactions. Braell hopes to emulate his ideal scientist, Eugene Kennedy, and be still at the bench many years from now.
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.
David A. Brenner grew up in Queens, New York, and evinced an early interest in the sciences. As an undergraduate at Yale University he worked in Joseph Bloomer's lab, where he continued his research after earning his bachelor's degree in biology and entering Yale Medical School. His subsequent work has focused on ferrochelatase and fibrosis in cirrhosis. In his 1990 interview, Brenner discusses tenure; his lab management style; competition and collaboration; and his winning of the Pew Scholars Program in the Biomedical Sciences award. Brenner starts the 2009 interview by reviewing his early years in college and affirming his career decisions. He appreciates the insights his clinical experience gives him in his research, and he talks about the Pew award and the Pew annual meetings.
Patrick Brennwald grew up in the suburbs of Chicago. He remembers taking many good science classes in high school, and doing a special project on the sex determination mechanism of swordtail fish. Brennwald attended Carleton College, where he began in biology, but switched to chemistry. He loved the bench and realized he wanted to be a scientist. Brennwald entered the University of Illinois, working in Jo Ann Wise's lab. Researching Schizosaccharomyces pombe he cloned four small RNA's and had two first-author papers. After a four year postdoc with Peter Novick at Yale University, he accepted an assistant professorship at Weill Medical College of Cornell University, where he works on the gene family Rho.
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 AB 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 PhD 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.