Carlyle B. Storm

Born: March 2, 1935 | Baltimore, MD, US

Carlyle B. Storm begins the interview describing his family background. After earning a PhD, Storm became a professor of chemistry at Howard University. In the early 1980s, he accepted a position at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he researched conventional high explosives as chief scientist. Much of the interview focuses on Storm's involvement with the Gordon Research Conferences which included his becoming director in 1993. 

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Interview Details

Interview no.: Oral History 0261
No. of pages: 49
Minutes: 235

Interview Sessions

Arthur Daemmrich
22 August 2002
Gordon Research Conferences Headquarters, West Kingston, Rhode Island

Abstract of Interview

Carlyle B. Storm begins the interview describing his family background and chosen academic path. After obtaining his PhD , 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 Gordon 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. 


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1961 Johns Hopkins University BS Chemistry
1963 Johns Hopkins University MS Chemistry
1965 Johns Hopkins University PhD Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry

Professional Experience

Howard University

1968 to 1970
Assistant Professor of Chemistry
1970 to 1973
Associate Professor of Chemistry
1972 to 1985
Consultant, Center for Sickle Cell Disease, College of Medicine
1973 to 1986
Professor of Chemistry
1976 to 1986
Graduate Professor of Chemistry
1982 to 1985
Adjunct Professor of Biochemistry

National Institute of General Medical Sciences

1972 to 1985
Consultant, General Research Support Program Advisory Committee

University of Oxford

1974 to 1975
Senior Visitor, Inorganic Chemistry Laboratory

National Institutes of Health

1975 to 1985
Consultant, Minority Biomedical Research Support Program

University of Trondheim

Visiting Professor, Department of Chemistry

Los Alamos National Laboratory

1981 to 1982
Visiting Staff Member, Stable Isotope Research Resource
1985 to 1989
Staff Member, Explosives Technology Group, Dynamic Testing Division
1989 to 1992
Program Manager for Materials Research, Dynamic Testing Division
1992 to 1993
Chief Scientist and Program Manager for Technology Development, Explosives Technology and Applications Division


1991 to 1993

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology

1989 to 1993
Member, Research Center for Energetic Materials, Industry Advisory Board
1991 to 1992
Vice Chair, Research Center for Energetic Materials, Industry Advisory Board
1992 to 1993
Chair, Research Center for Energetic Materials, Industry Advisory Board

Gordon Research Conferences

1993 to 2004

National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine

Chair, Panel on Research Opportunities in Energy Conversion, Naval Studies Board


Year(s) Award

Phi Lambda Upsilon

1961 to 1962

Gilman Fellow, Johns Hopkins University


Sigma Xi

1962 to 1965

NIH Predoctoral Fellowship, Johns Hopkins University

1965 to 1966

NIH Postdoctoral Fellowship, Stanford University

1966 to 1968

Staff Fellow, National Institute of Mental Health

1973 to 1978

Research Career Development Award, National Institute of General Medical Sciences


Presidents Award, Maryland Association for Retarded Citizens


Senior Fulbright-Hays Fellow, University of Trondheim, Norway


Washington Chemical Society Community Service Award


Chair (Founding), Gordon Research Conference on Chemistry of Energetic Materials


Sigma Xi Lecturer, Army Research and Development Command, Dover, NJ


Invited Speaker, Gordon Research Conference on the Chemistry of Energetic Materials


Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Table of Contents

Personal Background and Career Path

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)

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

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

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

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.


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 PhD 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.