The information listed below is current as of the date the transcript was finalized.
Abstract of Interview
Cheves Walling begins this interview by describing his family, early education, and undergraduate days at Harvard. He then discusses his graduate education at the University of Chicago, stressing the major review article on the peroxide effect that he and Frank Mayo wrote in 1940. Walling next examines the research that he undertook at DuPont, US Rubber, and Lever Brothers, emphasizing the work that he did before 1950 at US Rubber. Finally, Walling examines his academic career at Columbia and the University of Utah. Throughout the interview he reflects upon the emergence and maturation of physical organic chemistry.
|1939||University of Chicago||PhD||Organic Chemistry|
E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co.
United States Rubber Company
Levers Brothers Company
University of Utah
Elected to National Academy of Sciences
Elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences
James Flack Norris Award, American Chemical Society
Editor, Journal of the American Chemical Society
Table of Contents
Parents. A famous uncle. Familial influences. Youth in Winnetka. Early schooling and interest in science.
Influences of professors. Chemistry courses and textbooks. Research with C. H. Fisher and Max Tishler. Perceptions of chemistry. Classmates who became chemists.
Morris Kharasch and other organic chemists at Chicago. Wheland's and Westheimer's courses. Completion of the PhD degree. The Kharasch group. Major review article with Mayo. Books and scientific papers read. Approach to organic chemistry.
Research position at DuPont. Marriage. State of organic chemistry around 1940. Research and colleagues at US Rubber Co. Work at the Office of Scientific Research and Development. Organic chemistry in the postwar period. The Organic Reactions Mechanisms Conference of 1946. Papers published. Research at Lever Brothers.
Position at Columbia University. Colleagues. Creating a research group. Comments about graduate students. Chairmanship of chemistry department. Consulting for industry. The move to the University of Utah. Editorship of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. Contributions to the field of chemistry.
Possible gap in development early in this century. Dichotomy between physical chemists and organic chemists. Transition from classical to modern organic chemistry. State of physical organic chemistry today.
About the Interviewer
Leon Gortler is a professor of chemistry at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He holds AB and MS degrees from the University of Chicago and a PhD from Harvard University where he worked with Paul Bartlett. He has long been interested in the history of chemistry, in particular the development of physical organic chemistry, and has conducted over fifty oral and videotaped interviews with major American chemists.