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Fifty years and counting.

This year the CIC honours 21 members who have been part of the Institute for five decades. These members joined the CIC in 1960, the year that Willard F. Libby won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing carbon-14 dating and when the profession of chemical engineering was coming into its own. Here, six of our 50-year members reflect on the most memorable milestones in their careers.


William Cullen, FCIC, CSC, Vancouver

I landed in Vancouver from England September 6, 1958. I was assigned an office in the Chemistry Department at The University of British Columbia, right next door to the one I currently occupy, where I keep tanks of snails. I had just finished a PhD degree in Cambridge on the synthesis of trifluoromethyl derivatives of arsenic. I have had a lifelong fascination with the chemistry and sociochemistry of the element. I define sociochemistry as the interface between society and chemistry and suggest that arsenic and its compounds are unequalled in this regard.

I am a fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. Most of my 400-plus papers and reports have been concerned with arsenic in one way or another and cover, for example: the synthesis of simple arsenicals, the speciation of arsenic compounds in plants and animals, the toxicity and carcinogenicity of methylarsenic(III) compounds, the use of quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction to estimate the mobility of arsenic species in environmental compartments, and, most recently, the toxicity of certain Ayurvedic and Chinese medicines. This variety of topics and the associated sociochemistry keeps my interest in chemistry very much alive.

The seemingly short journey from one office at UBC to the one next door is proving to be both long and productive. I thank the many co-workers and colleagues who are making the trip so stimulating and interesting.


George Kotovych, MCIC, CSC, Edmonton

It has been a pleasure to be a member of the CIC for the last 50 years. To achieve this milestone, we were encouraged to join while still undergraduates at the University of Manitoba. I maintained the membership while working as a PhD student with Ted Schaefer, and then as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of California in Berkeley, California with Melvin Calvin and Mel Klein. I was extremely fortunate to be hired as a biophysical chemist and NMR spectroscopist by the Chemistry department at the University of Alberta, beginning January, 1970. This department is a wonderful place to work, to carry out research and to teach. My greatest joy is interacting with the students. Even after retiring in June, 2006, I still am able to teach a section of Introductory General Chemistry with a current enrollment of 405 students. A great scientific experience for me was listening to Melvin Calvin talk about the moon rocks and dust that he placed on the seminar table in Berkeley after bringing them from Houston. This seminar took place immediately after the first lunar landing. Two other exciting events for me were the first installation in Canada of a Bruker 400 MHz NMR spectrometer in out department, and my receiving the Certificate of Excellence for teaching in the 2007-2008 terms from the Chemistry Students' Association. Biggest disappointment? Not bringing my camera to the Berkeley seminar.


Norman Epstein, HFCIC, CSChE, Vancouver I joined The University of British Columbia's chemical engineering department in 1951 after I completed my research at New York University. Though I participated in CIC conferences and even wrote a book review for this magazine (then called Chemistry in Canada) during the 1950s, I did not join the Institute until 1960. I was offended by the fact that chemical engineering at that time was classified by the CIC as a Subject Division of chemistry, on par with things like analytical chemistry, physical chemistry and organic chemistry, rather than as a separate discipline entirely. It was only when Glynn Michael, MCIC, in a visit to UBC late in 1959, announced that henceforth chemical engineering would be classified as a full-fledged Division of the CIC, with some degree of autonomy, that I finally became a member. "Society" status was not achieved until 1966, but "Division" sufficed for me in the interim.


Deryck Ross, MCIC, CSC, Ottawa

Born in July 1942, I graduated from Bishops University with an honours chemistry and physics degree in May 1963. Three years later, I graduated from The University of Western Ontario with a Master's in physical organic chemistry. Much of my career was spent at the Directorate of Scientific Information Service (DSIS) as an information scientist with secret security clearance.

One of my duties in DSIS, was to arrange distribution lists for classified documents in subjects that I was responsible for. One of these subject areas, for a number of years, was aerospace engineering. One day, I received a confidential NATO document on turbofan engines. I looked at the suggested distribution list, and added a few more before sending it to our distribution department. One of the companies on the list was Rolls-Royce, in Montreal.

After about a month, I received a call from the Military Police. Apparently, there had been a security breach at Rolls-Royce. The scientist had left, and the person who opened the classified document didn't have a security clearance. The Military Police were asking me, since I had authorized the release of the document, what the damage was to Canada's security. I thought for a while, scratched my head, then I decided what to do.

We had a small library of excellent reference books in DSIS, among which were the Janes series. I consulted the latest edition of All the World's Aircraft, and guess what I round?

The Soviets had had this particular technology on turbofan engines for 10 years. I so informed the Military Police, and that was the end of it.


Cyril J. Harke, MCIC, CSC, Vancouver I grew up in a small rural community in Alberta. Completion of high-school was difficult as educators put restrictions or limitations on subjects taught in a one-room school. The obvious solution was to attend high school in a nearby town. Funds were needed so I got work in a local railroad section gang. However, this came to an abrupt end when I was notified to report for training in the Canadian Army to serve in the Second World War.

After four years of overseas service, I was informed that there would be a delay in getting home due to a shortage of passenger ships. I attended Khaki University in London for two semesters. This was a temporary university set up to offer Canadian servicemen an opportunity to continue their education while waiting to go home.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alberta, followed by a Master's from the University of Saskatchewan, I joined Hooker Chemicals for a lengthy career in production, research and development.

Brian Lynch, FCIC, CSC, Antigonish, N.S. I was born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1930 and took Bachelor's, Master's and Doctorate degrees from the University of Melbourne. I came to Canada and St. Francis Xavier University in 1957 after a postdoctoral fellowship in the U.S.A., then returned to Australia to work with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. I then took a position in the Chemistry Department of Memorial University of Newfoundland for the years 1959-1962.

I was invited to rejoin St. Francis Xavier University in August 1962, and taught and researched in chemistry until 1995. I served several terms as chair of the department of Chemistry, and was appointed senior research professor of chemistry, finally retiring in June 2009.

I supervised the research of many undergraduates, master's candidates and postdoctoral associates in the general fields of heterocyclic chemistry, and organic infrared and NMR spectroscopy, publishing approximately 70 papers in 22 different journals. I presented many papers from 1960 through 2007 at CIC/CSC national meetings.

I served CIC/CSC as a member of the Board of Directors from 1977-1980, and in the period 2003-2005, urged the process of digital archiving of the Canadian Journal of Chemistry by proposing partial funding by the Council of Canadian University Chemistry Chairs and CSC.

If there is a lesson here, it is that any of my successes in research depended on my student and postgraduate/postdoctorate assistants, who continued to collaborate with me over the years in their own careers.


Donald F. Weaver, FCIC, was awarded the Prix Galien, Canada in November. The prize, given in recognition of Weaver's work in designing novel drug therapies to treat chronic neurological disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer's disease, is the most prestigious pharmaceutical award in Canada. Weaver is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Medicine at Dalhousie University in Halifax. ACCN

Also celebrating their 50-year membership in 2010 are:

R. F. W. Bader, FCIC, CSC, Hamilton, Ont. James Clelland, MCIC, CSC, North Pender Island, B.C. Ray Cullen, FCIC, CSChE, Vancouver E.S. Hall, MCIC, CSC, Burlington, Ont. Raymond Lanthier, MCIC, CSC, Burlington, Ont. William MacMillan, MCIC, CSChE, Ottawa Alan E. Mather, FCIC, CSChE, Edmonton John McWha, MCIC, CSCT, West Hill, Ont. D. Mitchell, MCIC, CSC, Calgary Murray Morello, MCIC, CSCT, Toronto John Nichol, MCIC, CSChE, Willowdale, Ont. J. B. Stothers, FCIC, CSC, London, Ont. Alan Thomson, MCIC, CSC, Ottawa Robert White, MCIC, CSC, Deerfield Beach, Florida
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Title Annotation:Canada. Citizenship and Immigration Canada; Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Publication:Canadian Chemical News
Article Type:Awards list
Geographic Code:1CANA
Date:Mar 1, 2010
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