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l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news ACCN

JANUARY/JANVIER • 2005 • Vol. 57, No./no 1




JANUARY/JANVIER • 2005 • Vol. 57, No./no 1

A publication of the CIC/Une publication de l’ICC

Ta ble of Contents/Ta ble des matièr es

Guest Column/ Chroniqueur invité . . . . . . . . . 2 Happy 60th Birthday CIC P. Sundararajan, FCIC Letters/Lettres . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Feature Ar ticles/Ar ticles de fond

14 Antecedents and Early Development

The creation of The Chemical Institute of Canada as we know it.

Personals/Personnalités . . . . . . 3

T. H. Glynn Michael, FCIC

News Briefs/ Nouvelles en bref . . . . . . . . . . 5 Chemputing . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Can You Print Just One? Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC Chemfusion . . . . . . . . . . . .10 The Man Behind the Burner Joe Schwarcz, MCIC Book Review/Critique littéraire . . .11 From Alchemy to Atomic Bombs George B. Kauffman Interfaces . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Winner and Losers Janet McVittie and Richard Cassidy, FCIC


Back to the Future—of Chemistry How did the author’s predictions from the 1960s about chemistry in the year 2000 measure up? Donald R. Wiles, FCIC


Looking Back Will lessons learned from CCPA’s past fortify the future of Canadian chemical industries? Harvey F. Chartrand


Fallen Hero From water buoys to war, windshields to waterproofing, Shawinigan was an important player in the history of Canadian chemicals.

CIC Bulletin ICC . . . . . . . . . 27

Martha Whitney Langford

CSC Bulletin SCC . . . . . . . . . 28 CSChE Bulletin SCGh . . . . . . . 29 CSCT Bulletin SCTC . . . . . . . .31



Local Section News/ Nouvelles des sections locales . . . 32 Student News/ Nouvelles des étudiants . . . . . . 34 Carrers/Carrières . . . . . . . . . 38 Events/Événements. . . . . . . . .41 Professional Directory/ Répertoire professionnel . . . . . . . . 41

Cover/Couver ture Join us in celebrating the CIC’s 60th birthday!

Cover art by Krista Leroux


Editor-in-Chief/Rédactrice en chef Michelle Piquette Managing Editor/Directrice de la rédaction Heather Dana Munroe Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux Editorial Board/Conseil de la rédaction Terrance Rummery, FCIC, chair/président Catherine A. Cardy, MCIC Cathleen Crudden, MCIC John Margeson, MCIC Milena Sejnoha, MCIC Bernard West, MCIC Editorial Office/Bureau de la rédaction 130, rue Slater Street, Suite/bureau 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 613-232-6252 • Fax/Téléc. 613-232-5862 • Advertising/Publicité



n many cultures around the world, the 60th birthday is a significant milestone. As we celebrate the occasion, it is important to recount the lessons learned from the past and to plan for the future. The question that arises when we develop such strategic plans is, “What would be the structure and purpose of the Institute if it were to be formed today?” This is similar to the question that was asked in 1942. “What can chemists, as individuals and as a group, do now to prepare themselves and society for post-war problems?” The definition of chemistry itself is becoming unclear, with the borders between the sciences blurring. In some minds, while carbon, oxygen, chlorine, and hydrogen are “chemicals”—silicon, germanium, etc., are “materials.” As more and more chemists call themselves material scientists or nanotechnologists, how can the CIC retain its members? With a desire to attract new members, the strategic plan of the American Chemical Society (ACS) calls for even redefining “chemistry” to include the multidisciplinary fields in which chemistry and chemical engineering play enabling roles. However, in a recent article in the Chemical and Engineering News (November 8, 2004), Rudy Baum wonders if this is going to be possible. He even suggests changing the name of the ACS to the “Society for Molecular Sciences and Engineering.”


Note that the word “American” is missing—to imply that science and engineering are now “global.” The path charted by the CIC for the future should hence be flexible enough to address the changing needs of its members. The core functions such as influencing the government policies on science and technology would, however, remain. The Institute and its constituent Societies depend on volunteers, both at the local and national levels. This year is an occasion to acknowledge the significant contributions of many eminent chemists over the years. There will be a number of events organized throughout the year, and I welcome the members to celebrate the accomplishments of the past 60 years. The specially designed CIC 60th Anniversary logo will commemorate these celebrations. Happy birthday CIC! An interesting account of the history of the CIC is given by former CIC executive director, T. H. Glynn Michael, FCIC, in Chemical Canada 1970–1995, a CIC publication. He shares his reflections with us in an updated article on p.14 of this issue.

Subscription Rates/Tarifs d’abonnement Non CIC members/Non-membres de l’ICC : in/au Canada CAN$55; outside/à l’extérieur du Canada US$50. Single copy/Un exemplaire CAN$8 or US$7. L’Actualité chimique canadienne/Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) is published 10 times a year by The Chemical Institute of Canada / est publié 10 fois par année par l’Institut de chimie du Canada. Recommended by The Chemical Institute of Canada, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of the Institute, or of the societies that recommend the magazine. Recommandé par l’Institut de chimie du Canada, la Société canadienne de chimie, la Société canadienne de génie chimique et la Société canadienne de technologie chimique. Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement la position officielle de l’Institut ou des sociétés constituantes qui soutiennent la revue. Change of Address/Changement d’adresse Printed in Canada by Gilmore Printing Services Inc. and postage paid in Ottawa, ON./ Imprimé au Canada par Gilmore Printing Services Inc. et port payé à Ottawa, ON. Publications Mail Agreement Number/ No de convention de la Poste-publications : 40021620. (USPS# 0007-718) Indexed in the Canadian Business Index and available on-line in the Canadian Business and Current Affairs database. / Répertorié dans la Canadian Business Index et à votre disposition sur ligne dans la banque de données Canadian Business and Current Affairs. ISSN 0823-5228

P. Sundararajan, FCIC, is the current CIC chair and a professor of chemistry at Carleton University, in Ottawa, ON.



Not Enough Nukes Dear Editor, I was surprised to see a minimal mention of nuclear energy in the article, “Canada’s Energy Outlook,” in the September 2004 edition of ACCN. Though the article acknowledges that 13 percent of the electricity is generated from nuclear processes, it stops just there. It is time Canadians take a long, hard look at all the resources we possess in this area. For example, a single all-Canadian company, Cameco, headquartered Saskatoon, SK, supplies 20 percent of the world’s uranium supply. Cameco also controls both producing uranium mines in the U.S. The world’s largest uranium reserves are in northern Saskatchewan. While there is so much about Alberta’s oil and oil sands, Saskatchewan’s clean-energy producing uranium is hardly mentioned. Apart from uranium in the ground, Canada possesses an enviable body of technological knowledge and know-how in the nuclear industry. This is one area we have been successful in supplying innovative technology to the world. I would like to invite your readers to visit the following Web sites if they are interested in finding out more about the latest developments in the Canadian nuclear energy sector: • Cameco Corporation • Canadian Nuclear Association • Cogema Resources • Natural Resources Canada, Nuclear Energy Division english/View.asp?x=67 Angelo R. Fernando, MCIC Laboratory supervisor, Rabbit Lake Operation Cameco Corporation Saskatchewan, SK

Thanks for your comments. Your letter makes some excellent points. Please note that the September 2004 issue of ACCN focused specifically on the oil and gas industry. We will turn our attentions to nuclear energy in September 2005. Please stay tuned. HDM


Marek Majewski, MCIC Chemistry professor Marek Majewski, MCIC, was appointed director of the new Saskachewan Structural Sciences Centre (SSSC) at the University of Saskatchewan. Majewski joined the university in 1985 and is known for his research in molecular synthesis. More than 40 faculty and 200 graduate students will use the SSSC for their research. The Centre complements the Canadian Light Source synchrotron and other campus research facilities. Dalhousie University gained the expertise of research scientist Maria Stancescu, MCIC. She has joined the group of Mary Anne White, FCIC. Stancescu is in charge of the Physical Properties Measurement System (PPMS) and the Scanning Thermal Microscope (STM), both parts of the Institute for Research in Materials Facilities for Materials Characterization at Dalhousie University. Stancescu received her BScEng in Bucharest, Romania, and her MSc at Carleton University in Ottawa, ON.

Distinction Khosrow Adeli, professor of laboratory medicine and pathobiology at the University of Toronto, has been awarded the 2004 Canadian Academy of Clinical Biochemistry Award. He was honoured for his outstanding contributions to the profession of clinical biochemistry in Canada. The academy is

a professional clinical laboratory science organization devoted to setting and ensuring standards for individual competence, practice, education, and research. L’Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) est heureuse d’annoncer que Jérôme Mulhbacher et Carmen Calinescu, respectivement finissants au doctorat en biochimie et à la maîtrise en chimie, ont récemment reçu le 2e prix Défi innovation du Conseil de recherches en sciences naturelles et en génie du Canada (CRSNG) pour leur projet de recherche Le Carboxyméthylamidon dans l’administration des agents bioactifs. Le 1er prix Défi innovation du CRSNG a été mérité par Matthew Heuft de l’Université d’Ottawa. Dans leur présentation, les deux chercheurs de l’UQAM ont réussi à démontrer qu’il est possible d’utiliser une forme modifiée d’amidon dans des médicaments oraux (comprimés) qui permet à ces derniers de résister à l’acide gastrique et de transporter ainsi le principe actif directement et efficacement jusqu’au petit intestin. Jusqu’à présent, les tests sur des animaux ont montré que l’amidon modifié est efficace dans le traitement de la diarrhée post-sevrage d’origine infectieuse. Jérôme Mulhbacher et Carmen Calinescu travaillent tous deux au laboratoire du professeur Mircea Alexandru Mateescu du département de chimie de l’UQAM, auquel un nombre croissant d’entreprises pharmaceutiques confient leurs projets de recherche et de développement. Mentionnons également qu’un autre chercheur du laboratoire de Mircea Alexandru Mateescu, Canh Le Tien, diplômé du doctorat en biochimie de l’UQAM, a reçu une mention honorable pour sa recherche sur le biopolymère à base de chitosane pour les systèmes à libération contrôlée des médicaments. Décerné pour la première fois cette année, le prix Défi innovation du CRSNG parrainé conjointement par le CRSNG et le Fonds de croissance canadien de la science et de la technologie, a pour objet de souligner et de récompenser le pouvoir de l’imagination et de l’innovation des plus brillants esprits canadiens.



In Memoriam The CIC extends its condolences to the famillies of: Martin R. Galley, MCIC K. K. Georgieff, FCIC John H. Howard, MCIC

Molly Shoichet, MCIC

C h e m i c a l e n g i n e e r a n d s p i n a l c o rd researcher, Molly Shoichet, MCIC, is the recipient of this year’s McLean Award. The award, administered by the Connaught Committee and based on peer review at the University of Toronto, recognizes outstanding researchers early in their careers with a significant endowment. Shoichet, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering, said the McLean Award will have a tremendous impact on her research, allowing her to further her studies in regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, biomaterials, and drug delivery. “It is wonderful to be recognized by my peers at the University of Toronto and to be chosen for the McLean Award,” she said.




William Arthur Evelyn (Pete) McBryde, FCIC, contributed in many areas of analytical chemistry. His MA work with F. E. Beamish in Toronto, ON, led to a continuing interest in the separation and determination of the platinum metals, and subsequently to membership on prestigious committees of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. National Research Council. His PhD work with J. H. Yoe in Virginia developed the bromaurate method for gold determination, which is still in use, and turned his attention to the study of coordination complexes by spectrophotometric, and later by solvent extraction methods. This interest formed another continuing thread through his career, and he was a member of the IUPAC Commission on Equilibrium Data, working on compiling stability constants of such complexes. He was also interested in the significance of pH meter readings, a crucial measurement in many complexation studies, especially in partially

aqueous systems, and in the rationalization of stability data through linear free energy relationships. He was an early user of computers in analytical data treatment. In the course of this varied career, McBryde has not only published about 80 papers, but found time to participate in the administration of a large and growing university, the University of Waterloo, where he held posts as both the dean of science and chair of the chemistry department. He worked actively in chemical education including writing very successful school textbooks with R. P. Graham. He has also served the CIC as the analytical chemistry Division representative on Council, and as director of professional affairs. He was the 1967 winner of the CIC Chemical Education Award, the 1973 winner of the Fisher Scientific Lecture Award for distinguished contributions to analytical chemistry, and the Montréal Medalist for 1990. The W. A. E. McBryde Medal has been presented by the CSC since 1987 as a mark of distinction and recognition for a significant achievement in pure or applied analytical chemistry by a young scientist working in Canada. Robert Matthews, MCIC



Quebec Paint Plants Upgrade Strong demand is driving the growth of Quebec’s paint industry. Both Chemcraft International and Lorchem Industry have moved into larger facilities. Chemcraft has invested about $3.3 million in its new 100,000 square foot paint plant in Warwick, QC. The company moved into the new location after shutting down existing operations in Princeville, QC. Chemcraft says it wanted to consolidate its three buildings in Princeville into one larger facility. The new complex houses office space, labs, batch manufacturing, and finished goods warehousing. The new facility produces industrial wood coatings for flooring, furniture, and cabinets. The company says it has experienced growth of 15–20 percent per year over the past few years. Chemcraft attributes the growth to increased exports to the U.S. by its customers. Lorchem has moved into a new 27,000 square foot facility in Vaudreuil, QC. The company makes wood, metal, and plastic coatings, and distributes paint additives. The new facility houses a quality control department, labs, and a research and development department. The company says the old facility did not have enough capacity. Camford Chemical Report

Cutting Edge Snowboard Designs Although most snowboarders don’t always like to admit it, design is an important consideration when it comes to choosing a new board. The fashionable designs are normally printed in mirror image on the inside of films that are then applied to the snowboards. Exel, a manufacturer of sports equipment based in the Upper Bavarian town of Rohrdorf, now manufactures these films for several Völkl™ snowboards using an aliphatic variant of Desmopan® TPU. This grade of the thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) from

Bayer MaterialScience AG does not yellow, even after long exposure to the sun, which is why the UV protective coating normally applied to the film surface is not required. This, in turn, means a relatively expensive production step is eliminated. “The good mechanical properties that TPUs are well known for and the material’s UV-resistance totally convinced us,” says Adalbert Loidl, technical plant manager at Exel. TPU is an ideal material for icy moguls and deep snow because it is both flexible and extremely impact resistant at low temperatures. It is also highly abrasion resistant. “Aliphatic Desmopan TPU films will catch

on in other sports and industrial applications thanks to their combination of properties,” says Jens Ufermann, head of the coating and films segment in the TPU Business Unit at Bayer MaterialScience AG. The exceptional print? quality of TPU films means that practically any design idea is possible. The design positioned on the inside of the film is striking because the material is extremely transparent. Aliphatic Desmopan TPU films can also be enhanced using fine grain patterns. And as no UV-stable coating is subsequently required, these fine structures retain their detail Bayer MaterialScience AG


Hydrogen-Fuelled Forklifts BOC and Cellex Power Products are working together to develop complete hydrogen supply solutions to power forklift trucks to be used in large distribution warehouses in North America. Cellex will supply the hydrogen power units that go into the trucks, while BOC will provide the indoor hydrogen refuelling facilities. The next round of customer trials of the hydrogen-powered forklift trucks is expected to last three


months and will take place at customer sites in Canada and the U.S. “These trials will show customers how hydrogen fuel cells can improve truck productivity significantly by removing the downtime and performance loss seen in battery-powered trucks, and reducing the health and safety risks associated with handling lead acid batteries. Also, hydrogen refuelling systems are considerably smaller than a typical battery recharging facility, which frees up additional floor space within the distribution centre,” said John Carolin, global director of hydrogen energy, BOC.

BOC is involved in a number of hydrogen production and supply solutions. The company is participating in the Compressed Hydrogen Infrastructure Program (CH2IP), a hydrogen fuelling demonstration in Surrey, BC, aimed at developing the infrastructure necessary to support the use of hydrogen fuel in vehicles. The company displayed a full range of fuel cell technology support services at the Hydrogen and Fuel Cell 2004 Conference and Trade Show in Toronto, ON, including the Gh2ost, BOC’s hydrogen fuel cell-powered endurance vehicle. Camford Chemical Report

Photo by Phillip Jackson


Canada and U.S. Bond Over Bioengineering Hicham Fenniri and collaborators from the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) and the La Jolla Bioengineering Institute (LJBI) have received an $8.3 million, fiveyear grant to develop new molecular analysis tools using Raman flow cytometry. These new tools, which will measure the quantity, modification, and function of proteins while flowing in a liquid stream, have great potential for pharmaceutical and biomedical research, including the detection and treatment of microbial pathogens. Fenniri, a group leader at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) of the National Research Council of Canada (NRC) and professor in the department of chemistry at the University of Alberta, believes this partnership could revolutionize drug discovery and systems biology. This project will build on his previous work that developed a way to “bar code” individual chemical compounds, making it quick, easy, and economical to identify the most biologically active ones among thousands of candidates in the drug-screening process. To dramatically speed up the readout of these bar codes, a novel analytical platform had to be designed. So in collaboration with John Nolan and his colleagues at the La Jolla Bioengineering Institute, the partners will build and test a new instrument—a Raman flow cytometer. A specific target area of this partnership is the detection and treatment of human microbial pathogens. By increasing the knowledge of virulence factors and their mode of action, researchers will be better able to identify targets for development for countermeasures. This partnership will initially focus on applying Raman flow cytometry and bar-coded bead technology to the development of new reagents for the detection and treatment of microbial pathogens and their toxins, including the influenza virus. Functional analysis of toxin binding and catalysis will be used to identify new peptide compounds that can be used for diagnostic or therapeutic applications. Fenniri predicts that the

technological platforms to be developed by this partnership will enable large-scale biomolecular analysis and separations essential in systems biology, combinatorial chemistry, and materials sciences. The grant from the National Institute of Bioimaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) of the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) will fund a multidisciplinary bioengineering research partnership involving engineers, biologists, and chemists from academia, government, and industry both in the U.S. and Canada for the development of new technology platforms and their applications in drug discovery and biomedical diagnostics. A complete description of the project is available at http://nint-innt.nrccnrc. research/supra_projects_e.html. National Institute for Nanotechnology, National Research Council of Canada

Administering Meds at the Nanoscale University of Toronto (U of T) researchers have developed a new class of hybrid materials that could one day move drug delivery systems to the molecular level. A paper published in the November 26, 2004 issue of Science outlines how a U of T research team combined two classes of nanomaterials to create an entirely new composite structure. This new porous architecture may one day act as a nanoscale sieve, enabling researchers to release drug molecules in a slow and controlled way. “We hope one day to create a film of this material and spread it on the skin,” says the paper’s senior author, university professor Geoffrey Ozin, FCIC, of the department of chemistry. “By doing so, drugs can be diffused through the skin, rather than injection, which would guarantee a continuous flow of a drug molecule at a tunable rate and concentration.” To create this new material, Ozin and postdoctoral fellow Kai Landskron combine dendrimers—a special class of highly organized, nanosized molecules—with a porous silica material. The functionalized dendrimers

are dissolved together with a template in an aqueous solution. The solution causes the dendrimers to react with water and then assemble around the template into a new class of materials called periodic mesoporous dendrisilicas (PMD). The PMD is a honeycomb-like structure with pores measuring about 10 billionth of a metre—and pore walls with internal pores of about one billionth of a metre. This hierarchical construction can enable drug molecules to slowly slip through the various pores to target a particular disease. “The problem with current drug delivery systems like simple syringes is that when you inject the drug, you often inject initially too high a concentration to ensure it stays in the system, which can be toxic,” says Landskron, the study’s first author. “With this new type of material, you could release the drug at an appropriate rate and avoid these negative effects. You can fine tune absorption and desorption and allow it to be far more defined than ever before.” Landskron says the new hybrid material may also have potential use in microelectronic applications. As chip components are gradually shrinking to tiny dimensions, new materials are needed to provide packaging on the nanoscale level. “Currently, the silica that insulates chips becomes less effective as they become smaller,” says Landskron. “The new porous material could show greater insulating abilities and is interesting as packaging material in microelectronics.” According to Ozin, the next step is to expand on the various ways to alter the structure of PMDs, tailor their properties, and develop the basic science that will underpin the exploitation of the PMDs in both drug delivery and microelectronic applications. Ozin is a Canada Research Chair in Materials Chemistry. The research received funding from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada. University of Toronto




Industry-Led Recycling Program Goes National

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Five provincial used oil materials recycling associations have extended their cooperation to form the National Used Oil Material Advisory Council (NUOMAC). The new organization will coordinate the Canada-wide used oil recycling effort and encourage consistent national standards for this unique and successful industry-led stewardship recycling program. The non-profit associations are from Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia. The materials collected are used oil, used oil filters, and used plastic oil containers. “Used oil is the largest single source of hazardous recyclable waste material in Canada and must be disposed of properly,” stated David Dingle, Imperial Oil Products and Chemicals Division, and recently appointed chair of NUOMAC. “Since the first program was launched in 1997, this recycling model has gained acceptance throughout western Canada and now Quebec. Our goal is to have fully integrated programs in all the provinces and territories of Canada.” In 1988, the Canadian Petroleum Products Institute (CPPI) commissioned a task force on used oil materials recycling at the request of the Canadian Council of Ministers of the Environment. What developed is a government approved, industry-led, used oil materials recycling program model that has been acknowledged worldwide as working environmentally, economically, and socioeconomically. “When you consider that one litre of used oil can contaminate one million litres of fresh water, then everyone understands the importance of the proper collection and recycling of used oil materials,” said Ted Stoner, vice-president, Western Division, CPPI. “Over the past seven years, millions of litres of used oil and kilograms of plastic containers, and millions of filters have been collected, recycled, and reused through this program. None of the material collected goes to landfills or to road oiling.” Under the program, a network of return collection points is established. The program is funded, not by a government tax, but by

an Environmental Handling Charge (EHC) remitted by all wholesale suppliers (first sellers) on lubricating products including filters and plastic containers. The EHC is remitted to the associations in the provinces in which the wholesaler does business. A Return Incentive (RI) is then paid to private sector collectors and processors to pick up and deliver to government-approved recycling facilities where the materials are processed into new products. “With the growth of the recycling program nationally, the boards of directors of the five associations supported the concept of a national advisory council to encourage continuity throughout Canada on this important environmental initiative,” noted Dingle. The establishment of NUOMAC was formally approved at a joint meeting of all five provincial associations on September 28, 2004, in Kelowna, BC. For information on used oil materials recycling, visit National Used Oil Material Advisory Council


Can You Print Just One?


hate printing labels. I keep seeing a bizarre parallel with a billboard I saw many years ago advertising potato chips. It challenged you to eat just one. I want one label. They come in sheets of a dozen. The entire sheet must go through the laser printer to print just one. I repeat the same exercise the next time I need a label. Lasers run hot and there is a concern that repeatedly sending the same sheet through the printer might damage the rest of the sheet or, even worse, the printer. It’s better to err on the side of safety and toss out that sheet with the unprinted labels rather than risk damaging the printer. There are mini-sheets with two or three labels on each, but I never seem to put them in straight. With DOS, I used to send a roll of labels through an old dot-matrix printer. But I got frustrated when I switched to Windows, which kept insisting they were 217 x 297 pages and would whiz through half a dozen to print one. When I eventually moved to an inkjet printer, I could print labels one at a time from the big sheet, but I always worried that rain would get on the mail and wash the address away. I solved my label printing problems last week when the Dymo LabelWriter went on sale. There are currently three models; the 310, the 320 (which I bought), and the faster 330 Turbo. As I don’t print many labels, I wasn’t worried about the faster speed of the 330. All three can take labels up to 59 mm wide, but the 310 can’t print the full width. All three are compatible with both Windows and Mac systems, and they don’t take up much table space. I installed my 320 on the USB port of my desktop computer and networked it to my notebooks. The installation was

straightforward. But remember that when you install it on a USB port, you install the software first and wait for instructions before connecting the printer. The labels come in rolls and use a thermal process that prints at 300 dpi, which is way better than the old dot matrix could do. You don’t have to worry about them getting wet, but might have to worry a bit about excessive heat. I ran a hot iron over them and they went black. You can print from the Dymo window or directly from programs such as MS Word, Act, or Outlook. For some unknown reason, Word won’t let me print POSTNET codes on U.S. addresses. The LabelWriter has no problem. A full 300 label roll of large white (59 x 102 mm) shipping labels comes in the box. I started with a generic label and customized it to mail large envelopes. The design mode let me add lines, boxes, a variety of bar codes, and my own text or graphics. The generic label has a line across it with the return address in the smaller section above the line. I inserted my logo and return address in its place. I then formatted the address with big, bold letters and a U.S. POSTNET code. Most typefaces on your computer can be used and their size, bold, and italics can be set with the text lined up from the left, right, or centre as well as another option, mirror output. I found that mirror output ideal for file folders. It prints twice on each label, one straightside up and the other inverted. I stick the bottom half on one side of the file-folder tab and then fold it over and have the inverted image on the back. If I then decide to switch a left tab to right or vice versa, it’s labelled on both sides. Technical text poses a challenge. For subscripting, I can reduce the size of an individual

Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC

character. It could not handle superscripting or the extended Unicode character sets, and it took some effort to find special characters and symbols. Your success will depend upon the fonts installed on your computer. A wide variety of sizes and shapes are available to label envelopes, bottles, file folders, CDs, videotapes and audio tapes, pricing for merchandise, or anything else that needs a label. I was particularly intrigued by the self-cancelling visitor badges. There is a red stop sign in the bottom right corner. When you hand the badge to the visitor, you cover that stop sign with a small blank label. Over the course of the day, the magic of chemistry makes the stop sign bleed through to signal that the badge has expired. Several labels, including inserts for hanging-file tabs, business cards, and name badges are on card stock without adhesive. If you want, you could print one business card at a time and customize each by giving home or fax numbers to some people and not others. Yes—you can print just one and not waste any labels doing so. I use several sizes and found a simple trick to achieve this goal. I always peel off the last label, rather than tear it off the roll. When I switch, the backing that’s left provides the leader to put in the new roll without loosing a label in the process. My only regret is that I should have bought my LabelWriter years ago.

You can reach our Chemputing editor, Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC, at Marvin Silbert and Associates, 23 Glenelia Avenue, Toronto, ON M2M 2K6; tel. 416-225-0226; fax: 416-225-2227; e-mail:; Web site:



The Man Behind the Burner Robert Bunsen’s discoveries changed the world of chemistry in more ways than one.


et’s play a little word association. Chemistry! What comes to mind? Beakers? Formulas? Molecules? Maybe. But chances are that “Bunsen burner” rolled off many a tongue. There is probably no other piece of equipment as closely associated with chemistry as that ubiquitous little burner. Turn on the gas, adjust the air intake, and we’re ready to simmer, stew, or boil. But what do we know of the man behind the burner? Robert Bunsen was a professor of chemistry at Heidelberg University in Germany during the second half of the 19th century. He became interested in the study of arsenic compounds— an interest that would cost him dearly. Since arsenic derivatives are smelly and poisonous, Bunsen devised a face mask to protect himself from inhaling the nasty vapours. The mask had a glass shield and a long breathing tube which snaked out the window for access to fresh air. Unfortunately, not only are arsenicals poisonous, but many arsenic compounds ignite and explode spontaneously in dry air. Bunsen discovered this the hard way. One of his samples exploded, shattering his mask and blinding him in one eye. Undaunted, he pursued his chemical investigations. Bunsen was a stickler for detail and for quality work. One day he was analyzing a sample of an ore for its beryllium content and was filtering the final precipitate that he had produced after putting the ore through a series of chemical reactions. The weight of this precipitate would be the key to the analysis. Much to his horror, Bunsen saw a fly land on his filter paper and take off with some of his precious powder clinging to its landing gear. A traumatic scream brought his students running. They quickly captured the fly and presented its corpse to the master who cremated it in a platinum crucible. From the remains, Bunsen isolated the beryllium oxide with which the fly


had absconded. After weighing the recaptured booty, he was able to arrive at a correct analysis for the beryllium content of the original sample. But beryllium, like arsenic, was highly poisonous, so Bunsen decided to switch the focus of his work. He began to play with fire. Why was Bunsen so interested in fire? Because laboratory workers had long been plagued by sooty, hard-to-control flames. Bunsen of course knew that oxygen was necessary for combustion and that soot was the product of incomplete combustion. He therefore concluded that the secret to a clean flame lay in mixing the combustible gas with air in just the right proportion. The prototype Bunsen burner consisted of a metal tube with strategically drilled holes through which air could enter and mix with the combustible gas flowing through the tube. A sliding metal cover allowed the operator to vary the number of open holes and thus control the character of the flame. Bunsen, however, never patented his invention. He did not believe that scientists should profit financially from their work; research was to be done for its own sake. But why was Bunsen so interested in developing a clean flame? Because he had a passion for studying the diverse brilliant colours produced by sprinkling various substances into a fire. He had noted that throwing sodium chloride (ordinary salt) into a flame always resulted in a bright orange-yellow glow. The same colour appeared if sodium bromide, or indeed any compound of sodium, was cast into the flame. Other elements also produced characteristic colours. In fact, Bunsen discovered the existence of the elements rubidium and cesium through the colours they produced. Over a hundred years earlier, Newton had shown how a prism can be used to separate white light into the colours of the rainbow.

Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

Bunsen now applied this principle to separate the colours of a flame into their individual components. The spectroscope, an instrument he developed together with the physicist Kirchoff, allowed unknown substances to be identified purely by the colours they produced when heated in the flame of a Bunsen burner. So, who cares what colours are produced in a flame? Well, just think of the glorious colours of fireworks. Or the bright red strontium flame of an emergency roadside flare. Or the yellow glow of a sodium vapour highway light. The original studies that led to these applications were painstakingly carried out by Robert Bunsen. After having long toiled with flames and spectroscopes in the laboratory, the great man spent years writing up his work for publication. The day the manuscript was finished, he left it on his desk and went out to celebrate. When he returned, Bunsen was horrified to see a smoldering pile of ashes where his treasured treatise had been. A flask filled with water had been next to the papers and had acted as a magnifying glass, focusing the sun’s rays and igniting the manuscript. A lesser man would have surrendered to fate at this point. But Bunsen, even at an advanced age, doggedly repeated the work and eventually published the results of his spectroscopic research so that all the world finally became aware of his burner and how it led to the right chemistry.

Popular science writer, Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, is the director of McGill University’s Office for Science and Society. He hosts the Dr. Joe Show every Sunday from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Montréal’s radio station CJAD and on CFRB in Toronto. The broadcast is available on the Web at


From Alchemy to Atomic Bombs History of Chemistry, Metallurgy, and Civilization Fathi Habashi. Métallurgie Extractive Québec, ISBN 2-922-686-00-0.


hat a grand panorama of historical events in chemistry, physics, and metallurgy from the beginnings of the venerable pseudoscience of alchemy to the latest developments in cutting-edge science! I’m referring to a most attractive volume by prolific author and editor Fathi Habashi, professor of extractive metallurgy at the Université Laval in Québec, QC. This popular history, presented in the full context of social, political, religious, and cultural events, should interest anyone concerned with the mutual interactions, both positive and negative, between chemistry, physics, and metallurgy and civilization from earliest times to the present. Its numerous illustrations should make it particularly appealing to younger readers. It contains much information familiar to me, but I also found numerous historical and biographical nuggets of which I was unaware. I am pleased to recommend this book heartily to chemists, physicists, and metallurgists, persons interested in the history of these disciplines, historians of science, and specialists in the social and governmental aspects of science. Although intended for a general audience, formulas and equations are provided whenever necessary. There is some inevitable overlap between chapters, but each can be read as an independent tale. Most include epilogues or summaries and suggested readings from books and articles, some as recent as 1996. In Chapter 1, “Mythology,” Habashi explores the relationship between mining and metallurgy and mythology, which ancient peoples

used to explain all manner of natural phenomena. In Chapter 2, “The Four Elements,” he discusses the four elements concept (earth, air, water, and fire) attributed to the Greek philosophers, but whose origin he ascribes to the Persian philosopher Zarathustra (630–553 B.C.), whose name was corrupted by Greek writers to Zoroaster. In Chapter 3, “Alchemy,” Habashi traces this predecessor of chemistry from its ancient origins to 1777, when the true nature of combustion was elucidated. In Chapter 4, “The Alchemists,” he deals with the lives and contributions of both well-known and obscure figures, ending with Joseph Priestley, whom he considers the last alchemist. Chapter 5, “Reform in Chemistry, Mineralogy, and Metallurgy,” traces attempts at reform from Bergman through Lavoisier, Dalton, and other luminaries, the Karlsruhe Conference, and modern chemistry and metallurgy. Chapter 6, “Discovery of Electricity,” explores developments from the ancient Greeks to electrochemistry, electrometallurgy, and the electric furnace. In Chapter 7, “Classification of the Elements,” Habashi details the evolution of the periodic system from its precursors, through Mendeleev’s periodic law and later modifications, to discoveries of elements through element 106. In Chapter 8, “The Modern Physics: Discovery of X-Rays,” Habashi discusses Crookes and his vacuum tube, Thomson’s discovery of the electron and early development of X-ray tubes. He also considers Röntgen’s discovery of X-rays and its consequences, including radioactivity, the determination of crystal structure, Moseley’s atomic numbers, and analytical applications. Chapter 9, “Radioactivity: Chemistry and Physics United,” treats Becquerel’s discovery of radioactivity in a similar manner.

In Chapter 10, “Uranium Fission,” Habashi describes the contributions of Fermi, the Noddacks, Hahn, Strassmann, Meitner, Frisch, and others. As he has written elsewhere, Habashi notes that Ida Noddack (née Tacke), who discovered rhenium in 1925 with her future husband Walter, criticized Fermi’s article on the supposed and incorrect first discovery of a transuranium element (No. 93). Her interpretation of Fermi’s work made her the first scientist to conceive of the idea of nuclear fission. Chapter 11, “Atomic Bombs,” discusses numerous aspects of the history of nuclear weapons from their earliest years to the present. Habashi’s book is lavishly illustrated. Thirtytwo of the 223 figures, which include portraits, woodcuts, title pages, tomb paintings, reliefs, classic paintings, chemical plants, monuments, memorial plaques, maps, etc., are in colour. An enthusiastic philatelist and co-author of a book on postage stamps, Habashi has included photographs of eight stamps among the figures as well as a 10,000 lire Italian banknote depicting Alessandro Volta and his Voltaic pile. Name and subject indexes make the book extremely user-friendly.

George B. Kauffman is a contributing editor of seven journals or magazines and a frequent contributor to the scientific literature. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and recipient of the Dexter Award in the history of chemistry, the American Chemical Society Pimentel Award in Chemical Education, the Award for Research at an Undergraduate Institution, the Free Award for Public Outreach, and numerous other honours. His 54-part series, “Molecule of the Month,” appeared in CHEM 13 NEWS (University of Waterloo).



Winners and Losers

Does competition really succeed in promoting science to students?

Introduction Public perception of science is of increasing concern to scientists. Public support of science is viewed to be inadequate, and an insufficient number of students choose science as a career. International scientific bodies, such as the U.K. House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology1 and the U.S. National Science Foundation2 have invested considerable effort in these areas. In Canada the 2003 CSC/IUPAC congress held sessions on the public understanding of chemistry. The concerns of scientists are well founded. Studies1 show that in spite of our efforts to promote science, we are still losing the battle. While much of this could be due to general trends within society, it is also possible that the promotional programs introduced by scientific societies are part of the problem. It would be wise to examine our methodologies.

Promotion of science— past and present Ideally, we expect the scientific community to tackle problems via application of a scientific approach—characterization of the problem; identification of potential methodologies for dealing with the problem(s); examination of the evidence for advantages/disadvantages of these methodologies; and application of selected methodologies in a manner that facilitates comparison and evaluation of the results. However, the suitablity of our culture’s ideology of competition and rewards for the promotion of excellence and interest in science has been accepted almost without question. For high school students we use exam and essay contests, competitions involving scientific experiments, annual awards for academic achievement, and most prominently, science fairs at the local, provincial, and national


Janet McVittie and Richard Cassidy, FCIC

levels. All of these activities are public competitions, and numerous rewards/awards are offered. Similar ideologies are applied within science (for university students and professional scientists) with awards offered for best papers, best posters, best academic standing, best research, best thesis, best scientist within a specific field, etc.—until we finally arrive at the pinnacle, the Nobel Prize.

Do rewards and competitions work? The ideology of competitions and rewards is used as a means to motivate and control children, students, athletes, adults, business, and societies. Competition has taken on new intensity within the entertainment industry recently with the programming of “reality” shows. What evidence is there to show that competition and rewards achieve the commonly stated goals of creating interest in a subject, motivating people, and promoting performance/excellence? Many people respond that competition is natural and has always worked, as demonstrated by Darwin via “survival of the fittest.” But Darwin used the term “struggle for existence.” The first term was invented and misused by others. Darwin placed an importance on cooperation. Another important factor influencing our society’s emphasis on competition and rewards comes from Behaviourism (the use of rewards to modify behaviour), introduced by John Watson around 1912, and championed throughout the 1900s by B. F. Skinner. It was not until the 1960s that anyone tried to measure the improvements offered by behaviourism, and to the amazement of the researcher, the results showed that rewards had a negative effect on performance.3 Since then numerous studies have been conducted, and nearly without

exception, rewards and competition have produced negative effects on performance, motivation, and interest in an activity/subject. Well-documented summaries of these counter-intuitive results can be found in books by educator and psychologist, Alfie Kohn.3 Surprisingly, similar concerns are endorsed within the bastions of business and management, such as the Stanford Graduate School of Business.4 Given the accumulated evidence that competition and rewards can have negative effects, it would seem prudent for science to re-evaluate its use of this ideology.

Science vs. science fairs As one example of how competition/ reward ideologies may hurt science, we would like to examine one of the most important of science’s public activities—high school science fairs. Science fairs are set up to introduce students to the process of scientific research and to promote an interest in science. They make extensive use of competition and rewards. While competition and rewards have always been a part of science and some may argue that they have beneficial effects at some level, there is another, perhaps even more troubling, aspect—the structure of science fairs does not represent the processes within science. Indeed it may be more representative of a reality television program. Some of the fundamental differences include the following: • Students are expected to develop projects on their own, and not to work cooperatively with their peers in the search for new knowledge; • The main goal is to win, especially at the local and provincial levels, so one can advance to the main awards at the

national fair. The focus is on the winning and the awards, not the process of learning and advancing knowledge; • During judging, judges are directed not to give any advice to students. Thus students receive little feedback, which also tends to emphasize winning, not the science. In science many scientists freely offer advice and assistance to their peers, and feedback is an integral part of publication and grant applications; • Competitions in science, such as for research funds, are not public displays where attention is focused on the winners and the losers. Science fairs imply a clear message to students that the important aspect is winning in spite of any rhetoric to the contrary; • Scientific awards are also not open competitions on public display. Imagine what it would be like if NSERC grant applications or the Nobel prizes operated with the same public display as science fairs.

What do science fairs promote/produce? Many talented students attend national science fairs, and some of their accomplishments are outstanding. However, it is difficult to know whether they were successful because of the science fairs or because they already were the linear thinkers favoured by the scientific process. Did they succeed because they came from privileged families that support them (economically, intellectually, emotionally), or because they just happen to be extremely gifted people? What would be interesting to know is what happens to all the students who take part in science fairs but do not win an award? It would also be interesting to know if there is any shift in the attitudes of students who attend science fairs as observers. Related data in other studies, as described by Kohn, would suggest that we should not be surprised if we were to find negative effects. It would indeed be unfortunate if science fairs were responsible for some of the decreasing interest in science among our young people.

What can be done? It is clear that no matter how strong the evidence is for the negative effects of competitions and rewards, we cannot wave a magic

wand and change people’s attitudes toward the tradition. The shift is even more difficult for students who have been fed a steady diet of competition and rewards via sports, entertainment, and the educational system. But young minds are remarkably flexible, and given the information and the opportunity to digest and discuss such matters, remarkable changes in attitudes are possible. Initially, the science fair should be introduced to the students as an opportunity to experience scientific research and to meet and discuss their projects with real scientists. Projects could be cooperative, perhaps multidisciplinary, with a focus on learning, understanding, and expanding knowledge. Sponsors could eliminate their spending on awards and focus on involving research scientists from across Canada. On the first day, students could have real two-way conversations about their projects and where they might go in the future. Judges could later meet to discuss the projects and identify which scientists in the country the students would most profit from meeting virtually— on-line or by interactive television. On the second day of the fair, students who have done projects of similar types, students who will be meeting with the same scientists or funding agencies, would meet one another to discuss their work. In the 2002 CanadaWide Science Fair, there were about five projects all dealing with black ice. These students should have had the opportunity to discuss collegially the work they did, and perhaps contribute to making one worthy prototype. Later students could have additional discussions with scientists who could answer questions about what could be done next, what they could do to become scientists, how science is funded, exciting areas developing within science, problems they should be prepared to face, etc. Science fairs should also collect data to examine the futures of past science fair winners to find out if the gold medals they won make a difference to their career choices. Sometimes, past winners are featured in magazines, but this glory fades fast. What do the numbers tell us about the relevance of the gold medals? These data could provide a baseline for finding out if co-operative national science fairs were an improvement. Unfortunately, in the current political climate in western democracies— where people accept the assumption that

competition is good—this is unlikely to happen. Nonetheless, we believe the future of science fairs should reflect real science, and be much more co-operative, and less competitive. This model would be no more expensive, and would be far more beneficial to the future of science.

References 1. U.K. House of Lords Select Committee on Science and Technology, committees/lords_s_t_select.cfm. 2. U.S. National Science Foundation, 3. Alfie Kohn, No Contest: The Case Against Competition (New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1992), and Punished by Rewards: The Trouble With Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A’s, Praise, and Other Bribes (New York: Houghton Miffin Co., 1993), 4. Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert I. Sutton, TheKnowing-Doing Gap: How Smart Companies Turn Knowledge Into Action, (Harvard Business School Press 2000), ob_knowing.shtml, and Stanford Graduate School of Business 1999. Janet McVittie served as the chief judge of the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Saskatoon, SK, in May 2002. She currently teaches curriculum studies at the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan.

Interfaces editor, Richard Cassidy, FCIC, was also a judge at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in May 2002. The purpose of Interfaces is to explore the meaning of science, its evolution, and its role in our society. Your comments and critiques on the ideas published in Interfaces are welcome. Please send your letters to Previously published Interfaces columns are available at www.//

Do science fairs do more harm than good?

what do you think? Send your comments to


ANTECEDENTS AND EARLY DEVELOPMENT The creation of The Chemical Institute of Canada as we know it


he Chemical Institute of Canada legally came into being and commenced activity on February 15, 1945. It has thus been operating for 60 years. But these 60 years are only the latter part of the story, for the 1945 action brought together three other organizations. They had various histories and backgrounds themselves, and they all brought something to the union. The Canadian Chemical Association, the Canadian Institute of Chemistry, and several sections of the Society of Chemical Industry had all been active for various periods of time, going as far back as 1902. The Society of Chemical Industry (SCI) was a British organization founded in London in 1881. As U.K. chemists came to North America, they brought with them familiarity with the SCI, and it was naturally not long before branches of that parent society were formed. The first was established in Montréal, QC, in 1902. As the initial organization in the field, with international connections and backing, the Society of Chemical Industry played the early leading role. A branch of the Canadian Section was formed in Ottawa, ON, in 1919. Its first chair was Frank T. Shutt, and his inaugural address was entitled, “The Organization of Canadian Chemists—A Plea for a Dominion-Wide National Society.”


The CIC’s first Board of Directors. Front row: R. H. Clark, R. K. Stratford, L. E. Westman, R. R. McLaughlin, and C. C. Coffin. Back row: Lyle R. L. Streight, T. Thorvaldson, L. Lortie, R. W. Nicholls, FCIC, and W. E. Pomeroy.

T. H. Glynn Michael, FCIC

The Canadian Institute of Chemistry commenced activity in 1919, and received a Dominion Charter on August 15, 1921. It was modelled after what is now the Royal Institute of Chemistry and was primarily concerned with the professionalism of chemists. The desirability of an exhibition devoted to the chemical field was soon recognized, and the first one was held in 1917. Thus the 2005 conference and exhibition is actually the 88th Canadian Chemical Conference. Around this nucleus grew what became the Canadian Chemical Association in 1928. It was a somewhat loose federation of a number of local chemical associations, particularly in southern and southwestern Ontario. In the early 1940s, questions were being asked as to why three organizations were necessary. One of the events that initiated action was the presentation of a paper and questionnaire by G. A. Purdy at the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Institute of Chemistry in Hamilton, ON, in 1942. It was presented on behalf of the Western Ontario Chemical Association with active interest in its presentation by R. K. Stratford of the Imperial Oil Research Laboratories. The paper discussed the need for a united organization, and the questionnaire was framed in such a way as to point out its desirability. The questionnaire was

mailed to CIC members and to members of groups associated with the CCA. The majority of the somewhat sparse replies favoured a new joint organization. On the basis of the 1942 opinion poll, leaders of the three organizations in several parts of Canada started or continued to “talk-up” the prospect of unity. The available records show that Leon Lortie, Robert Nicholls, FCIC, Adolph Monsaroff, FCIC, “T. W.” Smith, H. G. Littler, Tom Faust, Roly McLaughlin, R. D. Whitmore, and Ritchie Donald were leaders in the move for the unity of organization. The catalytic action that led to the formation of the new Institute was a motion presented on May 31, 1943 by John S. Bates, FCIC. It came at the end of his remarkable address on “The Future of Canadian Chemistry,” as follows: “Resolved that this meeting urge the formation of a single National Chemical Organization to perform the functions of all existent Chemical Organizations in Canada, and that the necessary steps be taken by the Councils of the CIC, CCA, and SCI without delay to bring about the formation of such a National Organization.” After much consideration by the three bodies concerned, and a plebiscite among their memberships, the concept was over– whelmingly approved. The new Chemical Institute of Canada came into being on February 15, 1945. It is interesting to note that the first presidents of the Canadian Institute of Chemistry in 1921 and The Chemical Institute of Canada in 1945 were both chemical engineers from the

University of Toronto. The first was J. Watson Bain and the second R. R. McLaughlin. The bold statement that the Institute was formed by the union of three pre-existing organizations hides or ignores a tremendous drama. We must remember that the CCA, the SCI, and the then CIC were active living organizations and that their leaders and officers were devoted to these organizations. The membership of the Canadian Institute of Chemistry was composed solely of people with professional qualifications. In entering the new CIC, it not only contributed to its charter obtained in 1921, but relinquished the concept of an organization concerned only with professionalism. The SCI gave up the dream of being the dominant chemical organization at an early stage. The first branch of the SCI in Canada was established in Montréal in 1902, at a time when there must have been very few chemists in the country. This is particularly notable in that the SCI had only been formed in Britain in 1881, and the American Chemical Society in 1876.

Constituent Societies Living organizations evolve, and the CIC is no exception. Growth and specialization have resulted in the formation of constituent societies. The first of these was the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering (CSChE). The increasing need for specialized programming in this field led to the transformation of the former Chemical Engineering Division in 1966 to become the Society.

CIC general manager in 1968, Glynn Michael, FCIC, presents Stephen Lee with an award at the Canada-Wide Science Fair in Vancouver, BC.

The specialized needs of chemical technology became evident in the 1960s and resulted in the formation of the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology (CSCT), its present name, in 1973. The establishment of the Canadian Society for Chemistry (CSC) in 1985 is the most recent example of this evolution. The Society assumed responsibility for all activities relating to chemistry, including the annual Canadian Chemical Conference. This transformation to a structure in which the programming is carried out by the specialty societies has been accompanied by evolution in the structure and governance of the CIC. Major changes were recognized by the by-law amendments of 1994. The CIC governance is now in the hands of a small board comprised of the chair, vice-chair, and presidents of the constituent societies.

National Office The three organizations that joined to form the present Institute all operated without a permanent staff on a completely volunteer basis. However, a great deal of assistance was provided at and before the union by L. E. “Rusty” Westman, the former Institute’s honorary secretary who was the publisher of Canadian Chemistry and Metallurgy. He maintained the records and membership list of the Institute, and arranged for a newsletter to be included in “Chem & Met.” On the formation of the Institute in 1945, the Board of Directors very soon realized that some continuity was necessary, and

1984 International Chemical Congress of Pacific Basin Societies in Honolulu, HI. Seated left to right: Glynn Michaels, FCIC, professor Teijiro Yonezawa of the Chemical Society of Japan, and Barbara Hodsdon, organizer of international meetings for the American Chemical Society.


The CIC appointed its first full-time general manager, Garnet T. Page, in 1946. A chemistry graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, Page served in the Canadian Army, which he left with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 1957, he resigned from the Institute to accept a similar position with the Engineering Institute of Canada. He then later joined the Public Service of Canada as a director in the department of labour. However, the lure of association staff work proved too strong, and he returned to


National chemistry magazine A major and far-reaching step taken by the Institute was the establishment of the publication Chemistry in Canada in 1949. It was a joint venture with Consolidated Press Limited, and was undertaken when it became evident that better communications than could be provided by a newsletter were necessary. The appointment of Donald Emmerson, FCIC, as editor was the beginning of a long and fruitful connection. Except for a threeyear period, 1955–1958, Emmerson continued as editor until his retirement in 1981. His return to the CIC in 1958 after a stint in public relations with Union Carbide Canada is another good example of the fascination and pull of association work. The growing use of both official languages resulted in a change in the name of the magazine to “L’Actualité chimique canadienne/ Canadian Chemical News.” It is known colloquially in both languages as “ACCN.”

Code of ethics Since the inception of the original Institute in 1921, ethics have been a field of prime concern. The first code of professional ethics was adopted in 1924 and I cannot resist quoting the introductory paragraph, entitled, “General Principles”: “A member of the Canadian Institute of Chemistry, whether Fellow, Associate or Student, should exhibit the devotion to truth that characterizes the scientist, and that loyalty to his King and Country, the courage, fairness, and courtesy, that are the hallmarks of a gentleman.” This was obviously written when the participation of women in the chemical field was rare. But apart from that, does the current Code of Ethics show that English has improved?

Your history History is what people said and did. The chronicle of actions with no idea of the people who were behind them is indeed dull. We are fortunate that many of the people who were instrumental in the formation of the Institute, and in its early activities, are with us. However, many of them have not recorded their interests and impressions of the time. I should like to appeal to all such people to record their activity in some form, so that their memories may become part of the record of history. For example, my own first introduction to what was then the Canadian Institute of Chemistry was in the autumn of 1939. I went into the initial class in fourth-year organic chemistry at the University of Toronto to be greeted by my professor Fred Lorriman. His first action was to hand around CIC student membership applications, and to say that it was an organization that we must join. I am happy to say that I have maintained my membership from that year to now—66 years.

T. H. Glynn Michael, FCIC, was executive director of the CIC from 1978 to 1985.

S H A R E YO U R M E M O R I E S !

Executive directors

the field as president of the Canadian Coal Association, a post from which he retired in 1982. I succeeded Page as general manager in 1958. I became executive director in 1978, and retired in 1985. Since then the executive directors have been: 1985–1986 Hubert E. Drouin 1986–1997 Anne E. Alper, FCIC 1998–present Roland Andersson, MCIC


established a headquarters in Toronto, ON. The first part-time general manager was W. H. Lea, who remained in the position only about a year and a half. It was soon decided to move the Head Office, as it was then called, to Ottawa. Two reasons were advanced for this. It was expected that the new Institute would be active in making representations to the federal government and that it would have continuing contacts with the many arms of government using or controlling chemistry. The second reason was internal. The Institute was rapidly developing two large, active, and competing local sections in Toronto and Montréal. The early Board of Directors felt that Ottawa, which had then a comparatively small section, would be an excellent neutral site for the Head Office; and that neither Montréal nor Toronto could claim that the Institute was favouring the other. The chosen location for the office in 1945 was in the old National Building at 18 Rideau Street, immediately adjacent to the railway station. In 1959 the planned demolition of that building made a move necessary, and it transferred to 48 Rideau Street. That building was then expropriated by the federal government, forcing another move. Along with a number of other scientific societies the CIC moved to the Burnside Building at 151 Slater Street in 1966 as a sub-tenant of the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. In 1986, because of pending renovations, the office moved to a more suburban location at 1185 Alta Vista Drive. In 1989, it returned to downtown, occupying space at 130 Slater Street in the building known as the National Building—full circle from its original Ottawa location.

Share your CIC memories and memorabilia with ACCN. Send your materials to or mail them to the National Office. Please label each piece with your name, a caption, and your complete address to ensure its safe return to you.

BACK TO THE FUTURE— OF CHEMISTRY How did the author’s predictions from the 1960s about chemistry in the year 2000 measure up? Donald R. Wiles, FCIC


hree predictions were made pertaining to the teaching of chemistry at universities in the year 2000. They were first published in “Chemistry in the Year 2000,” in ACCN’s predecessor, Chemistry in Canada, in March 1969. At that time, chemistry had begun to change markedly. The future of our science came under consideration. The article read:

The predictions read as follows: 1. Chemistry will not exist as such, but various subdivisions will emerge; 2. Chemistry will not exist as such, but will merge with other sciences; 3. Chemistry will exist as such, although minor internal rearrangements will be expected. The first scenario anticipated the formation of departments of geochemistry, material science, polymer chemistry, and others. While to some extent this has happened, it is more common for these areas to be covered within traditional chemistry departments—perhaps at the graduate level, but occasionally as special streams. The second recognized that since the boundaries are more and more difficult to define, departments of physical science, life science, and others would replace the departments of physics, chemistry, biology, and geology. In fact, the only serious move in this direction has been the renaming of departments of earth science, although this was primarily a cosmetic change. The merging of the boundaries does occur, but mostly at the graduate or research level. The third scenario actually describes chemistry in 2000. The “minor rearrangements” have been minimal until fourth year, and there the changes often seem to represent a focus on specialties that scarcely existed in 1969. Environmental chemistry courses have been added at many universities. There are many specialties in biochemistry, both within chemistry and biology departments, and separately in medical schools. We also think of nanochemistry and computational chemistry,

which are still found in only a few universities. Analytical chemistry has changed markedly, with many new instrumental techniques having been discovered since 1969, but it remains a major sub-discipline in all universities—mostly in second year but also in more senior years. The suggested loss of distinction between organic and inorganic chemistry hasn’t happened, although some indications point in that direction. The molecular aspects of inorganic chemistry have emerged occasionally as advanced courses in organometal chemistry, while inorganic biochemistry has shown up in a few universities. Thermodynamics has not been taken over by physics, and atomic spectroscopy is not in the physics departments. A personal regret is the disappearance of qualitative analysis courses. Indeed, these methods are no longer used much, but it was a great way to learn chemistry! A further step backward, in my opinion, is the virtual elimination of toxic substances in the undergraduate laboratories. The laboratory is the place where students should learn to handle such materials. The suggestion that research organizations may cluster around large machines is perhaps taking shape through the new Canadian Light Source, recently opened at the University of Saskatchewan. A parallel example is the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (Laurentian University), in Sudbury, ON, where work is being done with particle physics. The 1969 forecast could be reissued in 2005 with only minor changes. The study of chemistry, especially at the undergraduate level, does require (and inculcates) a kind of intellectual approach that is quite different from that in physics, on the one hand, and those in biology and geology on the other. In fact, it seems that the major areas in both geology and biology are increasingly dependent on chemical methods and chemical interpretations. Despite the troubles with experimental methods and results that merge and are difficult to classify— chemistry’s approach to solving problems remains unique. Chemistry is here to stay!

Donald R. Wiles, FCIC, long-time member of the chemistry department at Carleton University, has been a CIC member for more than 50 years—as local section chair, councillor, director, subject Division chair, member of many committees, and now retired member.


LOOKING BACK Will lessons learned from CCPA’s past fortify the future of Canadian chemical industries?


ooking back, the Canadian chemical industry was a complex sector composed of many different components. To this day, the industry’s products—petrochemicals, inorganics, and specialties—represent a widely divergent collection of manufacturing processes and end-uses. Chemical companies in Canada are: • both Canadian- and foreign-owned; • large, medium-sized, and small; • functioning in the east and west and in French- and Englishspeaking provinces; • using Canadian natural gas and oil, imported oil and other raw materials like salt, ores, and phosphate rock. In 1962, an association was created to unite this sector. The Canadian Chemical Producers’ Association (CCPA) brought unity to all this diversity. The association’s mandate was to promote the development of chemical production in Canada—to provide a forum for exchanging ideas and foster good relationships with government. CCPA, in essence, helps chemical companies achieve more together than they could ever do separately. The chemical industry’s postwar expansionary phase in an insular environment of high tariff barriers drew to a close by the mid-1960s. More technology was being applied to large plants as the economies of scale began to be realized. At the same time, Canada was taking a leadership role in reducing international trade barriers. The protective barrier around its chemical industry began to drop, exposing domestic producers to low-cost imports.


Harvey F. Chartrand

A CCPA-sponsored study identified several difficulties facing the chemical industry: lack of scale; high taxes; and the high cost of raw materials, energy, construction, and transportation. The only longterm solution to the need for increased scale of manufacture was some form of negotiated access to the U.S. market. In the 1970s, escalating production costs, coupled with stable or falling prices, were eating into profits. As CCPA pointed out, a major reason for this ominous trend was a rise in imports. The Canadian chemical industry was also dangerously fragmented, unable to consolidate because of the federal government’s stringent anti-combines legislation. In the late 1980s, Canada went through a process of deregulating oil and gas markets and entered into the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S. Those three major policy initiatives placed CCPA member-companies into much more open and competitive market dynamics. They engaged in a transformation process that continues to the present day. In order to thrive and justify global-scale investments in Canada, Canada’s chemical industry needed access to the larger U.S. market. CCPA surveyed its members and they reached a consensus. Subject to phase-in and other moderating provisions, all members supported the FTA. Looking back, the agreement has been a success for the Canadian chemical industry. Canadian chemical exports have grown from just 18 percent of production in 1969 to almost 60 percent today. The three sectors—petrochemicals, inorganic chemicals, and specialty chemicals—have all been able to compete with the U.S. There has, however, been quite a transformation in CCPA’s member-companies, in terms

The three sectors— petrochemicals, inorganic chemicals, and specialty chemicals—have all been able to compete with the U.S. of their structure, product lines and senior management responsibilities in multinational companies. As companies have rationalized on a North American basis—in both chemicals and other multinational sectors—some have chosen to concentrate senior management responsibilities in head offices outside Canada. This is a trend that CCPA continues to monitor. The only approach that can bring in the type of investment needed to develop Canadian energy resources is CCPA-supported energy deregulation. The tremendous development in the oil sands today is only possible in that type of market environment. Generally, energy costs in today’s deregulated environment have been a positive competitiveness factor for CCPA member-companies. However, conventional natural gas supplies are peaking in Canada and there is uncertainty about a secure supply of natural gas and petrochemical feedstocks. Petrochemicals from oil sands might be a tremendous opportunity for Canadian industry. Capitalizing on natural gas from the Mackenzie Delta and Alaska will be important as well. Transportation deregulation supported the changes brought about by the free trade, market-oriented environment, making shipping costs more competitive. CCPA’s membercompanies were among the largest users of confidential contracts with the railways. As the Canadian chemical sector expanded further through the North American Free

Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Canada’s chemical industry wanted to improve access to other markets. In the Uruguay Round of the World Trade Organization, the international chemical industry (through the ICCA/International Council of Chemical Associations) agreed on a reduction of chemical tariffs globally to between 5.5 and 6.5 percent. CCPA was a leader in achieving this. The agreement brought tariffs down considerably and improved Canada’s sales into foreign markets. In the late 1970s, CCPA started to develop a major environmental improvement process for the chemical industry, based on an ethical approach to doing business. This became known as Responsible CareTM, which has become the code of practice for CCPA members since its introduction in 1985. Adherence to the process is mandatory for membership in CCPA. Responsible Care has led to very significant improvements in the way companies are managed and in how the industry interacts with the public and with regulatory authorities. CCPA’s leadership led to Responsible Care being adopted in more than 50 countries. Jean Bélanger, FCIC, who served as CCPA’s president through the period of Responsible Care’s development and implementation, received the Order of Canada and was elected to the United Nations’ “Global 500 Roll of Honour” for his efforts. Responsible Care allows the chemical industry to measure its progress and be transparent about emissions with the public and with government. In some ways, the Responsible Care brand has become synonymous with CCPA. In the environmental area, a major highlight was the development of the Reducing Emissions report and National Emissions Reduction Masterplan (NERM). It is a more aggressive program than the federal government’s National Pollutant Release Inventory, and was developed several years earlier. Tracking what companies do and reporting on these activities is a cornerstone of Responsible Care and a very important way of showing what the

chemical industry can deliver in terms of selfmonitoring its plant operations. Through the 1990s, Canadian domestic policy on chemical management was increasingly driven by international events. The ICCA was formed so the chemical industry worldwide could take a collective approach to global chemical management issues in response to decisions made at the 1992 Rio Earth Summit. CCPA took a strong leadership role at the Stockholm Convention on Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) and was very pleased with the science-based treaty that came out of that process. The treaty should help support Canadian domestic interests and deal effectively with pollutants from other countries that are causing problems in Canada’s Far North. CCPA’s biggest disappointment in the 1990s was the amendment of the Canadian Environmental Protection Act (CEPA). The Parliamentary Committee abandoned the practical approach that was the basis for treaties like the Stockholm Convention. With regard to POPs, the scientific and economic dimension of the Stockholm Convention was ignored in favour of virtual elimination. The debates around that subject became quite acrimonious. Eventually, the Government of Canada sided with the approach of being consistent with international treaties, but the fight was no less bitter for that. The second CEPA review is imminent and there seems to be a much more proactive and cooperative approach to update the legislation this time. So perhaps lessons have been learned through looking back. Visit for more information.

Harvey F. Chartrand is an Ottawa-based freelance writer whose stories have appeared in The Globe and Mail, the Ottawa Citizen, the National Post, and The Jerusalem Post, among other publications. Chartrand is the editor of Ottawa Life magazine.


From water buoys to war, windshields to waterproofing, Shawinigan was an important player in the history of Canadian chemicals.



or the 25th anniversary of the CSChE in 1991, I contributed an article to Chemical Engineering in Canada: A Historical Perspective, edited by Les Shemilt, FCIC. The article detailed a few of the important technological innovations made by a remarkable company, Shawinigan Chemicals Limited. Now, on the 60th anniversary of the CIC, I am happy to report that a book based on my graduate studies at Carleton University and the Université de Montréal is in the works at the University of Calgary Press. Tentatively titled, A 20th Century Innovator: Shawinigan Chemicals Limited, it is intended to appear in 2006. It carries the story beyond the theses, including the social context of the company and its “genealogy” from the 1890s with Thomas Leopold “Carbide” Willson’s discovery of the commercial process underlying the carbide-acetylene route to synthetic organic chemicals, through to the environmental cleanup of the original site that is now nearing completion.


Martha Whitney Langford

This book arises from the conviction that the history of Shawinigan Chemicals helps to illuminate the process and role of science-based technological change in the economic development of Canada, and the world, over the period since Confederation in 1867. It has the special interest of depicting the rather rare case of a company based on scientific and technological innovation that developed and endured under Canadian ownership and management. Thus, as a case study, it presents some evidence regarding reasons for success or failure in Canadian technological innovation. It also reflects how important social and political forces may inform the course of Canadian business history. The demands of both World Wars, the rise of multinational corporations, especially in the U.S., and changing business relationships between French and English Canada are central to the company’s story. The industrial complex bred by the Shawinigan Water and Power Company, of which Shawinigan Chemicals was a subsidiary,

is inextricably bound up with the history of the city of Shawinigan, the St. Maurice Valley (la Mauricie), Hydro-Québec, and Montréal. Beyond this, the joint ventures, licensing and marketing arrangements and other technology transfers, as well as subsidiaries as far flung as Bedford, QC (source of limestone for the carbide-acetylene process), Massachusetts, New York, Iowa, California, Wales, and South Africa, and industrial customers worldwide, make Shawinigan Chemicals as broad in scope, if not as large, as its chief competitors and collaborators of its times. These included such multinational corporations as Union Carbide (now defunct, or at least, like Shawinigan Chemicals, concealed under other names, including Dow), Monsanto, I.G. Farbenindustrie (the German conglomerate broken up and redistributed, especially in the U.S. (Bayer, etc.)), and ICI (Imperial Chemical Industries, U.K.). Other competitors/collaborators closer to home included CIL (Canadian Industries Limited), Beloeil, QC—a joint venture between ICI and DuPont (U.S.); Canadian Celanese, a subsidiary of the Celanese Corporation of America, Shawinigan Chemicals’ first major customer for acetic acid/anhydride used in making rayon (Drummondville, QC). Even closer to home were Shawinigan (Falls) subsidiaries’ plants: Dupont Canada and CIL. Lastly, the wheel came full circle in Nova Scotia, the source of the coal at the base of the carbide-acetylene process, when Gulf Canada

put Hugh (Baldy) Sutherland, a native of Amherst, NS, the last Shawinigan Chemicals president, in charge of their Atlantic oil terminal as his last task before retirement. By this time, 1971, the rise of petrochemicals, which rendered Shawinigan Chemicals’ products non-competitive with this industry’s almost costless by-products, had reached a powerful stage, and it is still predominant. But the debates about the uses and abuses of coal as a source of energy are vigorous, especially in places rich in both coal and petrochemical sources of oil and gas such as Alberta, in which province the final shape of this manuscript is being formed. Herbert T. Pratt—retired DuPont chemist who grew up in the town of Spray, NC (now Eden), where the carbide-acetylene commercial process was discovered—sparked the American Chemical Society’s National and International Historical Landmarks for this process (Eden 1998, Ottawa 1999). Pratt put it first in the American version of the brochure commemorating this discovery, “… if petroleum reserves were to dwindle enough to raise the price sufficiently above that of coal, industry might return to coal, and calcium carbide could again become a main path to organic chemicals.” In the Canadian International Landmark brochure, jointly sponsored by the CSC and the American Chemical Society, this sentence also appears as, “Si les réserves de pétrole devaient diminuer assez pour emporter le prix suffisamment au-dessus de celui du

charbon, l’industrie pourrait redevenir une des principales bases de produits chimiques organiques.” In the Kyoto debates that rage in Alberta, the U.S., and around the world, this speculation could have even more significance for the environmental industry than for the coal industry. P.S. Anyone who was connected with Shawinigan Chemicals, and whom I have not managed to track down, is invited to share their reminiscences with me as I edit the final manuscript. If anyone has memories of Robert S. (Steve) Jane, I would like to have further information about him. His abrupt premature death in 1956, only two years after he became president of the company, has made it difficult to appreciate his career as much as it seems to deserve. I can be reached at, or at the Faculty of Communication and Culture, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4.

Martha Whitney Langford wrote her doctoral thesis for the Institut d’histoire et sociopolitique des sciences at the Université de Montréal on Shawinigan Chemicals in the 1980s. She has worked on various projects in the socio-economic history of Canadian chemistry, engineering, and industrial heritage. Since 1992, she has been teaching in the Science, Technology, and Society program of the Faculty of Communication and Culture of the University of Calgary. Her Web site is at www

This Shawinigan logo appeared as an advertisement in Chemistry in Canada, April 1969.



To celebrate the CIC’s 60th anniversary this year, ACCN will feature photos, articles, stories, letters, and other memorabilia related to the chemical industries. This special retrospective will appear in each issue in this section called R E M E M B E R W H E N .

Submit YOUR memories to






REMEMBERWHEN Share your CIC memories

1 IUPAC Boston 1987 2 CSChE 25th Anniversary Conference 3 Pesticide Conference 1986 4 CIC Conference in 1966—Hugh Sutherland, D. R. Brooks, T. H. Glynn Michael, FCIC 5 Thermo Electron Corporation’s Spectronic™ in 1953 6 CIC Conference 1966 Saskatoon, SK 7 47th CIC Conference 8 Ray Lemieux, FCIC, and colleagues, 1984

See page 31 for answers


CIC/NRC—A Landmark Occasion The CIC designates NRC as a National Historic Chemical Landmark.

P. Sundararajan, FCIC, R. Stan Brown, FCIC, and NRC acting president, Michael Raymant, MCIC, unveil the landmark plaque.

Pam Wolf from Carleton University enlists students from the audience to participate in her chemistry show.

On October 20, 2004, CIC chair, P. Sundararajan, FCIC, and CSC president R. Stan Brown, FCIC, joined NRC acting-president Michael Raymont, MCIC, in unveiling the plaque designating NRC as one of Canada’s first National Historic Chemical Landmarks. This designation recognizes more than eight decades of scientific achievement and technological innovation in chemical science and engineering at NRC. Since its inception in 1916, NRC has welcomed and supported world-class researchers who have revolutionized science in Canada and paved the way for research today. From Gerhard Herzberg’s scientific legacy, to the development of canola oil and a life-saving meningitis vaccine, NRC’s research has without a doubt improved the lives of all Canadians. “NRC was a natural choice,” said Sundararajan. “Their dedication to the well-being of Canadians through pioneering world-class research in chemical sciences and engineering and their numerous breakthroughs and contributions are two of the many reasons why NRC is one of Canada’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks.”

Distinguished guests of the event included National Science Advisor, Arthur Carty, HFCIC, researchers and other employees of NRC, CIC staff and members, as well as a group of over 75 high school students from Collège Catholique, Samuel Le Genest, Colonel By Secondary School, Lester B. Pearson High School, and Elmwood School. The event started with the plaque unveiling ceremony and was followed by fun chemistry demonstrations performed by Rashmi Venkateswaran and Robert Nadon from the University of Ottawa, and Pam Wolf of Carleton University. A light reception took place, and students were invited to a tour of the NRC Steacie Institute for Molecular Sciences. “The National Research Council of Canada is honoured and proud to have been selected as one of Canada’s first Historical Chemical Landmarks,” said Raymont. “The creation of the Canadian Chemical Landmarks Program by The Chemical Institute of Canada will contribute to building interest and appreciation of the wonder and excitement of science and engineering.” The Canadian Chemical Landmarks Program recognizes Canada’s scientific and technical heritage by acknowledging historically important achievements in chemical sciences and engineering and encouraging the preservation of Canadian sites connected with these achievements. The program is administered by the CIC and its constituent Societies: the CSC, the CSChE, and the CSCT.

Rashmi Venkateswaran from the University of Ottawa dazzles the crowd with her contained chemical explosions.



The CSC, the NRC, and the Canadian Journal of Chemistry It is my great pleasure to announce that, on June 23, 2004, the CSC and the NRC Research Press formalized a Memorandum of Understanding recognizing cooperative interactions to enhance the profiles of both organizations through the Canadian Journal of Chemistry (CJC). At the signing ceremony, Bernard Dumouchel, director general of CISTI and I stressed the desire of the two organizations to cooperate with each other to: 1) encourage the publication of Canadian research in chemistry; 2) enhance the profile of the journal as a venue for publishing highquality research by Canadian chemists; 3) provide the CSC and its members with a high-quality publishing outlet for research; and 4) use the unique and respective strength of both parties to further the development of chemical sciences in Canada. To further publicize this agreement, both the Canadian Journal of Chemistry and the CSC have incorporated easy-access links on their respective Web sites. As a young assistant professor in the mid-1970s, I never understood the relationship between the Canadian Journal of Chemistry and the CIC. Since its inception in 1929, the Canadian Journal of Chemistry has been published by the NRC Research Press, now part of CISTI of the NRC. However, even though the journal’s editors, members of the editorial board, reviewers, and manuscripts submitters were members of the CIC, there was no formal relationship between the two organizations. Even in 1989 when the CIC evolved into the umbrella organization over the three independent societies, the Canadian Society for Chemistry had no formal relationship with the Canadian Journal of Chemistry. It always struck me as odd that, in contrast to the situation in a host of other technically developed countries, Canada’s national chemical society had no official arm of publication. But all that has changed now. It is with immense pride that I announce that the CSC has officially designated the Canadian Journal of Chemistry as its official publication arm for chemical research papers. It seems to me that this agreement comes at a time when

NRC and the CSC sign a memorandum of understanding to cooperate on the Canadian Journal of Chemistry.


the publication, peer-reviewing, and accessing of scientific articles are changing far more rapidly than ever before due to the advent of computer and Web-based technical advances. Because of Internet technology, a significant proportion of the world’s current and recent chemical publications are instantly available irrespective of their source of publication, and with time all published research will be accessed. It also comes at a time when the chemical sciences in Canada are undergoing positive changes due to a huge influx of new academic and industry researchers as well as significant funding increases from the national granting agencies NSERC, CFI, and the Canada Research Chairs Program. It seems fitting that the results of this renewal of chemistry in Canada should be published in a Canadian journal and it is my hope that chemists in Canada will turn to the CJC as one of the journals of choice for publication of their research. Incidentally, the Canadian Journal of Chemistry has introduced innovations in the past years that will appeal to this new group of researchers and make the paper submission process more efficient. Indeed, since May 27, 2002, authors can submit their articles and figures electronically through a Web application, and revisions, recommendations, and decisions can be made with the same system. NRC Research Press is also working on 2005. With the same vision of improving the quality of the journal and also making it more accessible, NRC and its partners are looking at the possibility of digitizing journal issues from as far back as 1952. With the financial assistance of the CSC and the Chairs of Canadian Chemistry Departments, NRC is now seeking funding for this project. I invite all our members and non-members to visit the CSC Web site at, which will lead you to more information regarding the Canadian Journal of Chemistry. It is a great opportunity for all chemistry professionals to showcase their work, even more in a respected Canadian journal. R. Stan Brown, FCIC CSC president

From left to right: Cameron Macdonald, director of NRC Research Press, Bernard Dumouchel, director general of CISTI, Roland Andersson, MCIC, executive director of the CIC, R. Stan Brown, FCIC, president of the CSC, and Yves Deslandes, FCIC, vice-president of the CSC.


EIC Fellowship— CSChE Recipients for 2004 The Engineering Institute of Canada Fellowship (FEIC) is awarded to engineers in recognition of their excellence in engineering and their services to the profession and to society. In 2004, the following three CSChE members received this award:

John Grace, FCIC

Kenneth C. Porteous, FCIC

John Grace obtained his BASc from the University of Western Ontario, and a PhD in chemical engineering from Cambridge University in the U.K. For the first decade of his career, he taught at McGill University and spent two years as a senior project engineer with SNC Inc. in Montréal. He then joined the University of British Columbia where he is now a professor in the faculty of applied science in chemical and biological engineering. Grace’s international reputation has been built on his landing research in fluidized beds. His contributions on fluidization regime, circulating fluidized beds, fluidized bed combustion and gasification, and reactor modelling are shown by his 200 plus publications, many awards, and numerous invited speeches at conferences. In recognition of extraordinary achievements, Grace has received many awards from universities and institutes across Canada and abroad including the highest award to a chemical engineer, the R. S. Jane Award. As well, the book he co-authored with Cliff and Weber on the hydrodynamics of bubbles, drops, and particles, remains a standard reference in fluid and particle dynamics. A scholarship has been created in his name to permanently recognize his contribution to the University of British Columbia.

sands of Alberta is of course, somewhat awe-inspiring in terms of their size, complexity, and overall importance for Canadians in general. Porteous then elected to return to academe, joining the University of Alberta as a professor of chemical engineering. Here in addition to teaching responsibilities he had overall responsibility for developing the Centre for Cooperative Education, which now places over 1,100 students in programs across Canada and around the world, in all major engineering disciplines. Porteous has also found time to contribute to engineering across Canada through the CSChE. First as director and then as president of the CSChE, he brought the same vision and leadership to this constituent Society of the CIC.

Kenneth C. Porteous graduated from McGill University with a BSc in chemical engineering, and then subsequently received a MSc and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Delaware in the U.S. His early career was with Cyanamid of Canada Limited as a process analyst, then Syncrude Canada in the research department where he took on a progression of responsibilities from “hands-on” process development for the selection, budgeting, and planning to the management of all research and development programs. He was appointed manager of planning and economics, then director of corporate planning, responsible for the economic justification of all major capital projects and for providing cost-effective systems and computer services for the entire company. The scope of such projects in the oil

Terrence William Hoffman, FCIC Terrence William Hoffman graduated in chemical engineering from the Royal Military College of Canada, obtained an honours degree and a MSc from Queen’s University, and then completed a PhD in chemical engineering at McGill University. Following graduation, he



joined McMaster University where he helped this academic institute to be the first to develop computer process simulation. Hoffman was a founding member of the department of chemical engineering, and its very young chair. This department has become one of the most highly respected in North America. He also made important contributions to the fields of heat transfer and fluid dynamics. He then took his talents and ideas to Polysor Ltd. in Sarnia, ON, which was at that time a major producer of synthetic rubber and polymer materials. Here he introduced these new technologies to personnel at all manufacturing and research sites. At the same time he remained a part-time professor of chemical engineering at McMaster. As part of the Corporate Research Group, Hoffman led the development of research activities and founded the Computer Applications Group comprised of Advanced Control Group, Simulation/Modelling Group, and Artificial Intelligence Group.

Hoffman then joined Dynamic Matrix Control Group (DMCC) in Houston, TX, where his ideas helped to install process control systems for petroleum refineries and chemical processes—a perfect match for his interests. He then returned to Sarnia under contract to DMCC, to the Suncor refinery to construct process models for the reformer and BTX (benzene/toluene/xylenes recovery) systems and to implement on-line optimizers. Hoffman has served on many professional and technical committees and boards in Canada and internationally. His enthusiasm, energy, and scholarship have earned him many honours and awards, especially from the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering. These include the ERCO Award and the Industrial Practice Award.

Tribute to William H. Gauvin, FCIC If an end-of-century poll had been taken for the outstanding Canadian chemical engineer of the 20th century, William H. Gauvin, FCIC, would have been a clear choice. Gauvin was an exceptional educator, researcher, inventor, industrialist, and a mainstay of professional societies. Among the latter, he was a CSChE founder and early president. Award-winner extraordinaire, Gauvin claimed several honorary degrees and the Order of Canada. Although he died in 1994, he left a legacy that is strong ten years later. A big part of that legacy is his 51 graduate students along with many colleagues, all beneficiaries of the example he set. Thirty-nine members of that human legacy met September 17–19, in Montréal, to honour their old mentor. Included were many of Gauvin’s graduate students, other students who knew and admired him, their spouses, colleagues from McGill University, Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada, and Noranda Research Centre. Attendees came from Vancouver to P.E.I., from Chicago to Houston, and from New York. After an informal dinner Friday, the program moved into a full technical day on Saturday at McGill University chemical engineering’s Wong Building, and culminated over dinner at Le Caveau restaurant. Some remained for Sunday brunch. The Saturday morning program featured Gauvin’s last great interest: plasma technology. Richard Munz, MCIC (1974 Gauvin graduate), and Maher Boulos, FCIC (1973 Gauvin postdoctoral fellow now at the Université de Sherbrooke)—both leaders in their fields—traced the evolution from Gauvin’s 1961 inauguration of plasma research to their current work and on to projects for the future. Their presentations were book-ended by George Kubanek, FCIC (1966), Gauvin’s first student on plasmas, and Paul Stuart, MCIC (1992), his last. All spoke of the great influence their supervisor had on their careers. Attendees


then toured the plasma research facilities, among other chemical engineering labs. The broad scope of Gauvin’s contributions emerged in the afternoon session. Terry Hoffman, FCIC (a 1959 Gauvin grad), and Hugh Barclay (a Pulp and Paper Research Institute colleague of Gauvin’s), gave a paper (co-authored with Ken Pinder, FCIC, of the University of British Columbia (UBC), Steve Prahacs, and Jean Gravel, MCIC) presenting the first complete history of Gauvin’s patented atomized suspension technique. This invention, developed during Gauvin’s 1951–1961 period with Paprican, combined two career-long thrusts—small particles and high temperatures. A paper by Fred Stevens and Ron Crotogino, MCIC, also of Paprican, described how Gauvin established university-industry collaboration, previously non-existent. Murray Douglas, FCIC, a close colleague of Gauvin, presented a short but comprehensive history of chemical engineering at McGill from its beginning in 1908, highlighting the early and sustained contributions of Gauvin and long-time chair J. B. Phillips. Gauvin became founding director of the Noranda Research Centre in 1961. Gauvin hired grads Nick Themelis, FCIC (1961), now at Colombia University, and George Kubanek, FCIC, at Noranda. Both grads outlined how he built a world-class industrial R&D lab from the ground up and successfully applied transport process principles to metallurgical problems. For turbulent fibre suspension flows, a phenomenon central to papermaking, Dick Kerekes of UBC described the evolution of 50 years of research and industrial application from the visionary work of Gauvin in the 1950s and 1960s. Kerekes showed the family tree of 24 McGill and UBC theses emanating from the work of Gauvin’s first students. A paper by Leonard Torobin (1960), CEO of Nanofiber Technology Inc., NC, attributed the success of his earlier


work in the nuclear power industry to a philosophy and attitude adopted from Gauvin. Gauvin’s first graduate student completed his studies in 1950, his last student in 1992. He was the sole supervisor of these 29 PhD–25 MEng theses, and most were done while Gauvin worked full-time first at Paprican and then Noranda. One of the earliest students, Lorne Phillips (1952), recalled exciting days in the lab and Gauvin’s impeccable attire and great undergraduate classroom presence. Gauvin’s undergrad classmate, John Blanchard (1941), described him as a leader and a helper of fellow students. Andrew Spears (BEng 49) recalled Gauvin “the young professor.” The weekend was honoured by the presence of Gauvin’s widow, Dorothy, and two of his stepsons, Ian and Robin Turner. The sons recalled his warmth and his persistence in the face of obstacles. At dinner, Dorothy Gauvin thanked the group for the affection expressed for her late husband. The entire event was a revelation to all, each having known only part of the Gauvin story. He clearly continues to inspire. The event organizers—Gauvin students Andrew Bobkowicz, MCIC, Keith Marchildon, FCIC, Richard Munz, Paul Stuart, McGill colleague Murray Douglas, Noranda colleague Michael Avedesian, FCIC, with McGill’s Robyn Ouimet—considered themselves richly rewarded for their efforts. A fund created for a new student award as a permanent legacy to the honour and memory of Gauvin was announced by Murray Douglas. Those interested in contributing may contact or Robyn. at 514-398-7138. A permanent record of the event—The Life and Legacy of W. H. Gauvin, Ten Years After—commemorates the occasion with biographies, reminiscences, the technical papers, historical items, and contact information for all.


National Transferability Agreement Signed Moving technical staff from province to province was recently made simpler through the implementation of an updated national transfer agreement between all ten constituent members of the Canadian Council of Technicians and Technologists (CCTT), including ASET. The improved agreement makes transferring professional credentials from province to province much easier, although some minor restrictions and exceptions will remain in place. For example, transferring Certified Technician (CTech) credentials to Quebec is not possible, since ASET’s equivalent organization there only certifies technologists. Also, certified technicians and technologists who did not write a professional practice exam in their originating province may be required to do so by their new organization. The previous transfer agreement did not have all ten constituent members participating, so the updated version will now cover all 41,000 technicians and technologists living coast to coast.

Answers to history quiz from p. 26

3 6 1 7 5 2 8 4 JANUARY 2005 CANADIAN CHEMICAL NEWS 31


DNA—A New Perspective Celebrating the intricacies of life at the molecular level

Jacqueline Barton presents her public lecture at King’s.

A sweeter version of DNA constructed from candy.

Jacqueline Barton (left), and Grace Greidanus-Strom, MCIC

The multidisciplinary group seated at dinner. Seated (right to left) with Jacqueline Barton are Ramesh Ramachandran, MCIC, CEO, Dow Chemical Canada; Mary Fairhurst, FCIC, Dow Ft. Saskatchewan; Greg Taylor, dean of science, University of Alberta; Frank Jenkins, Faculty of Education, University of Alberta; and Peter Mahaffy, FCIC, chemistry department, The King’s University College.


The E. Gordon Young Lectureship is an annual lectureship made possible by a bequest to The Chemical Institute of Canada by E. Gordon Young, a distinguished chemist and former president of the Institute. The objectives of the award are to honour the memory of E. Gordon Young, to recognize an outstanding scientist or engineer, and to enhance the public perception of the chemical profession and its contributions to modern society. The lecturer will be invited to present at least one public lecture and at least two scientific or technical lectures in different locations. The lecture series will be hosted by one of the regions represented by the Institute. The host region will vary from year to year in order to include, as far as possible, all regions across Canada. This year’s E. Gordon Young Lectureship was hosted by the Edmonton Local Section. The CIC E. Gordon Young Award and 75th CSC Lecture Series combined forces to bring world renowned bioinorganic chemist, Jacqueline Barton , to Edmonton for an evening public lecture at The King’s University College on September 20, 2004. Barton gave a more technical lecture the next day at the University of Alberta, which stimulated extensive discussion amongst both graduate students and faculty. The public lecture on September 20 was intended to revamp our perspectives on the double helix and it did exactly that. Sweeter versions of DNA provided the backdrop for a delicious meal served to Barton and a group of 25 leading science educators, researchers, and research administrators prior to the evening lecture. This group had been specifically brought together to unite the multiple sectors interested in the intricacies of life at the molecular level.


The audience then swelled to over 125 in the King’s Atrium to hear this dynamic speaker discuss her ongoing research on DNA. Attendees travelled from as far as Calgary, Red Deer, and Athabasca. Barton first described the traditional structure of DNA and then showed how the results of her group’s work has led to new insights into the structure and properties of DNA— specifically how DNA can act as an electron conductor. She then went on to show the numerous and creative ways her group has devised for exploiting this property, such as in developing new sensors and detecting disease. Second-year King’s biology student Jerilee Haverkamp from Ontario commented, “I was very nervous going to Barton’s lecture … because I thought I wouldn’t understand anything. She was great! She spoke in such a nice simple way that started at a very basic level and worked toward the more complex. She explained some of the experiments she did to show that electrons truly do move through strands of DNA … then she explained how DNA damage is detected and repaired. I was right along with her until about five minutes to the end. This impressed me so much!” The Lecture Series legacy lives on in the jujube, liquorice, and gummy bear models of DNA (with a few mutants!) created by Jonathan Loppnow (son of committee member Glen Loppnow, MCIC) and Naomi and Miriam Mahaffy (daughters of committee member Peter Mahaffy, FCIC), now hanging in several schools, research labs, and conference rooms in Edmonton, AB. Submitted by Grace Greidanus-Strom, MCIC The King’s University College

Toronto Awards Night

Ryan Draper, ACIC (Sheridan) CSCT Christopher Godbout (York) CSC Matthew Graham, ACIC (University of Toronto, St. George Campus) CSC Bernard Osei (Humber) CSCT Rehab Khashif (Sheridan) CSCT Julianne Kitevski, ACIC (University of Toronto at Mississauga) CSC Deborah Lee (Durham) CSCT Caroline Lee, ACIC (Durham) CSCT Peter Messiah (University of Toronto, St.George Campus) CSChE Michael Strantzas, ACIC (Seneca) CSCT Grace Shen-Tu (University of Toronto at Scarborough) CSC Nirojini Sivachandran (Ryerson) CSC Aleksey Tabachnik, ACIC (Ryerson) CSChE

Book prize winners Lindsay Bell (Sheridan) Dan Stefan Bolintineanu (University of Toronto, St. George Campus) David Ceron (Ryerson) Ling Cui (Humber) Shawn Draper (Sheridan) David Fisher (Durham) Elena Gershenzon, ACIC (Ryerson) Natalia Kadashevitch (Centennial) Bart Konarski (University of Toronto at Mississauga) Joy McCourt (York) Crystal McGarrett (Durham) Lam Ngoc Phan (University of Toronto at Scarborough) Daniel Strantzas (Seneca) Yi Jean Wang, ACIC (Humber) Sonya Winkworth (Durham College) Yue Ding Xiao (University of Toronto at St. George) A Grade 11 high school student was also awarded a prize at the Toronto Section awards ceremony. Adam Lerer from University of Toronto Schools represented Canada at the International Chemistry Olympiad in Kiel, Germany, this year, where he received a Bronze medal.

Student award winners 2004 Lara Bailie (Durham) CSCT Partinder Bhalla, MCIC (Humber) CSCT Angela Carruthers (Seneca) CSCT Amrik Dhaliwal, ACIC (Centennial) CSCT



National Undergraduate Chemistry Conference/ Conférence nationale de chimie des étudiants de premier cycle

NUCC attendees The second annual National Undergraduate Chemistry Conference (NUCC) was held at the University of Ottawa on October 1 and 2, 2004. Over 40 participants from across Canada attended and gave oral and poster presentations on their undergraduate research projects. The conference provided 16 travel grants, totalling just over $6,000 to help students attend the meeting. Over the two days of the conference, 17 oral and 19 poster presentations were given. Prizes were awarded for the four best oral and four best poster presentations.

The eight winners were (left to right, front row): Roxanne Lewis (Queen’s), Jessica Jackman (Ottawa), Justine Chan (Ottawa), Alissa Cheung (Alberta, with Kassim Rekieh). Back row: John Nguyen (NRC-SIMS), Mark Mohamad (Queen’s), Kassim Rekieh (Alberta, with Alissa Cheung), Bradley Merner (Memorial), and Diane Mataija (Mount St. Vincent). An overall first prize was awarded to Jessica Jackman by the Ottawa CIC Local Section. The conference would like to thank its sponsors for the financial support that makes the travel grants possible: University of Ottawa, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck Frosst, VWR International, and the Canadian Council of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC).

Un 16e succès!

First place winner Jessica Jackman accepts her prize from Barbara Gauthier, MCIC (left).


La 16e édition du Colloque annuel des étudiantes et étudiants de premier cycle en chimie de l’Université de Sherbrooke s’est déroulée le 29 octobre 2004 sous le thème « La chimie en état de transition ». Près de 350 participants se sont rassemblés et ont contribué à la réussite de cet événement unique en Amérique du Nord : un colloque de chimie francophone organisé par des étudiants de premier cycle. L’événement a rassemblé des étudiants en chimie de tous les cycles universitaires, des professionnels du milieu industriel et des professeurs de plusieurs régions du Québec et du Canada. Une quarantaine d’étudiants de niveau collégial ont également participé au Colloque et ont pu profiter d’une visite guidée du département de chimie. Cette


année, le parterre de la salle Maurice O’Bready était pratiquement rempli pour la conférence d’ouverture grâce à la présence d’environ 500 professeurs en sciences au secondaire. Tôt le matin, le Colloque a débuté par les mots de bienvenue du recteur de l’université, Bruno-Marie Béchard, de Pierre Harvey, représentant de la Société canadienne de chimie, et du président de l’Association des professeurs de sciences au secondaire du Québec, Luc Chamberland. Les quelques 800 personnes réunies ont été captivées par la conférence de Benoit Archambault, spécialiste des laboratoires clandestins au Service d’analyse des drogues de Santé Canada. Il a su, parfois en faisant rire, parfois avec des photos chocs, informer son public sur la réalité entourant l’ecstacy et le speed en expliquant leur mode de synthèse dans les laboratoires clandestins. La conférence était d’autant plus pertinente lorsqu’on sait que ces drogues sont en hausse de popularité chez les jeunes, ce qui touche directement les professeurs au secondaire qui étaient présents. Tout au long de la journée, les étudiants étaient à l’honneur. Trois types de présentations ont eu lieu durant cette journée : les présentations orales, les présentations par affiche et les présentations éclair. Afin d’encourager la relève, plusieurs prix ont été remis aux meilleures présentations, évaluées par les juges invités : André Beauchemin, MICC (Université d’Ottawa), Benoît Daoust, MICC (Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières), Frédéric-Georges Fontaine (Université Laval), Joël Fournier (Centre d’études des procédés chimiques du Québec), Jacques Yves Gauthier, MICC (Centre de recherche thérapeutique Merck Frosst), Daniel Guay, AICC (Institut national de recherche scientifique, Centre énergie, matériaux et communications), Peter McBreen (Université Laval) et Paul Poupart (Agilent Technologies).

Gagnants du 16e Colloque de chimie de premier cycle de l’Université de Sherbrooke Présentations orales en chimie organique 1re place (ex aqueo) : Daniel Beaudoin (Université de Montréal) 1re place (ex aqueo) : Nicole Blaquiere (Université d’Ottawa)

Prix du public pour les affiches Jérémie Leclerc (Université Laval) Prix du public pour la présentation éclair Jérémie Leclerc (Université Laval) Pour conclure la journée, Anne-Marie Faucher, MICC, chercheuse agrégée chez Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltée, a prononcé une conférence sur la découverte de BILN 2061, un inhibiteur de la protéase NS3 du virus de l’hépatite C ayant démontré un effet antiviral chez l’humain. Elle a démystifié les longues étapes du processus de création d’un nouveau médicament. Bravo pour la qualité des présentations et la réussite de cette journée. Merci aux commanditaires d’avoir rendu possible la tenue de cet événement et félicitations à tous les participants, aux juges, aux conférenciers et aux organisateurs!


What’s in a Name? Our honorary editor THEN Our managing editor NOW

Présentations orales en chimie physique, spectroscopie, chimie analytique et chimie inorganique 1re place : Luc Faucher (Université Laval) 2e place : Julie Gauthier (Université de Montréal) 3e place : Marianne Favreau-Perreault (Université de Sherbrooke) Affiches en chimie organique 1re place : Mathieu Arsenault (Université Laval) Affiches en chimie physique, spectroscopie, chimie analytique et chimie inorganique 1re place : Jérémie Leclerc (Université Laval) Prix du public pour les présentations orales Luc Faucher (Université Laval)

L. A. Munro, FCIC Heather Dana Munroe January 1945 January 2005


The Chemical Institute of Canada


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Canadian Society for Chemistry

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

Canadian Society for Chemical Technology


2005 JANUARY/JANVIER • 2005 • Vol. 57, No./no 1

A publication of the CIC/Une publication de l’ICC


July/August Transportation and security

March Public understanding of chemistry

September Chemistry and nuclear power generation

April Pesticides

October Nanotechnology

May Pharmaceuticals—the tissue issue

November/December Computational chemistry

June Innovation to commercialization

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Canada Conferences May 9–11, 2005. 9th Annual Advanced Process Control Appliance for Industry Workshop: APC 2005, Vancouver, BC. Contact: Guy Dumont; Web site: July 31–August 4, 2005. 18th Biennial Chem Ed Conference, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC. Web site: August 19–26, 2005. 20th International Symposium on Polycyclic Aromatic Compounds (ISPAC 20), Toronto, ON. Contact: Chris Marvin; Tel.: 905-319-6919; E-mail: August 19–26, 2005. 25th International Symposium on Halogenated Environmental Organic Pollutants and POPs (Dioxin 2005), National Water Research Institute, Toronto, ON. Contact: Mehran Alaee; Tel.: 905-336-4752; E-mail:; Web site:

U.S. and Overseas July 10–15, 2005. 7th World Congress on Chemical Engineering (WCCE7), IchemE and the European Federation, Glasgow, Scotland. Contact: Sarah Fitzpatrick; E-mail: August 13–21, 2005. IUPAC 43rd General Assembly, Beijing, China. Contact: IUPAC Secretariat; Tel.: +1 919-485-8700; Fax: +1 919-485-8706; E-mail: April 24–27, 2005. Interamerican Conference of Chemical Engineering, Lima, Peru; Web site:







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