Francis O. Rice
The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Francis O. Rice discusses his life and career in this interview, which begins with mention of his early days in England, his studies at Princeton, and his teaching at New York University. Rice describes his teaching, research, and administrative activities at the Johns Hopkins University and the Catholic University of America. Of central concern is his theory of free radicals. Mrs. Katherine Rice adds to the interview by discussing her husband's professional activities and remembering several of his closest colleagues. The interview concludes with an appraisal of the place of science in Catholic universities and an explanation of the Laidler-ADX controversy of the mid -1950's.
|1911||University of Liverpool||BSc||Chemistry|
|1912||University of Liverpool||MSc||Chemistry|
|1916||University of Liverpool||DSc||Chemistry|
New York University
Johns Hopkins University
Catholic University of America
University of Notre Dame
Table of Contents
Parents. Siblings. First schooling in chemistry. Attainments at the University of Liverpool. War-time service. Work with explosives. "The 1851 Fellowship. "
Hugh Taylor. The juncture of physical chemistry with organic chemistry.
Assistant professor. The qualities of Arthur E. Hill. Measurements of reaction rates.
Colleagues. Teaching interests. The Mechanism of Homogeneous Organic Reactions. Free radicals. F. A. Paneth and W. Hofeditz. Mrs. Rice. Outside consulting. Karl Herzfeld, Harold C. Urey, and Francis Bichowsky.
Reasons for accepting assignment there. Role of the archbishop. Drastic changes in the chemistry department.
Bivalent carbene. Free radicals. Current research endeavors.
Mrs. Rice's education. How she met Frank Rice. Edward Teller. Opposition to the theory of free radicals. Cyril Hinshelwood. Emphasis upon the quality of teaching.
Bichowsky. Urey. Herzfeld.
Why science lagged in these institutions. Rice's role in upgrading the teaching of science in Catholic colleges and universities.
The battery additive, ADX. Controversy over its effectiveness. The role of Laidler in this affair. The chemistry department of the Catholic University dissociates itself from Laidler. The resolution of the affair.
About the Interviewer
John A. Heitmann holds a BS degree in chemistry from Davidson College and an MA degree in history from Clemson University. From 1971 to 1977, he worked as a chemist in the metallurgical industry. He then studied at the Johns Hopkins University under Owen Hannaway and received his doctorate in the history of science in 1983.