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November/December novembre/décembre

2004 Vol. 56, No./no 10



L’Actualité chimique canadienne


Canadian Chemical News

November/December ! novembre/décembre


Vol. 56, No./no 10

Table of contents Table des matières

A publication of the CIC Une publication de l’ICC

Page 13

Page 16

• Guest Column/Chroniqueur invité Research in Canada—Forecasting the Future? Roland Andersson


Feature Articles/Articles de fond

• Personals/Personnalités


Nano Facts vs. Nano Fiction

• News Briefs/Nouvelles en bref


• Chemputing Have Chip—Will Travel Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC


Page 19


Good science as the basis of good public policy in nanotechnology Jillian M. Buriak, MCIC

Charting the Way for Nanotechnology in Quebec

• Chemfusion “Let Them Eat Flax!” Joe Schwarcz, MCIC


• Interfaces The Big Idea Behind Small Matters Chris MacDonald


• CIC Bulletin ICC


• CSC Bulletin SCC


• Division News/Nouvelles des divisions


• Student News/Nouvelles des étudiants


Building Capacity for Innovation

• Careers/Carrières


A submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance 2004 Pre-Budget Consultation

• Events/Événements



NanoQuébec implements Quebec’s strategy to further develop nanotechnology

Cover/Couverture Buckminsterfullerene, C60, the molecule that got the nanotechnology ball rolling. Named after R. Buckminster Fuller, the Fullerene molecule, or “buckyball” contains 60 carbon atoms arranged in a sphere much like the vertices of a soccer ball. Cover art by Krista Leroux

Clive Willis

Stairway to Heaven


Building a real elevator to space using paper-thin, carbon nanotubes Paul Johnson


Guest Column Chroniqueur invité Section head

Editor-in-Chief/Rédactrice en chef Michelle Piquette

Research in Canada— Forecasting the Future

Managing Editor/Directrice de la rédaction Heather Dana Munroe

With its minority government, the Liberals will now focus on commercialization while maintaining the strength of academic research.

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

Roland Andersson, MCIC


esearch funding support since 1997 has totalled $13 billion— putting Canada in first place amongst the G8 countries with respect to academic research funding as a measure of GNP. But the federal government’s internal review involves cutting 5 percent (or $12 billion) from its annual budget. Over the past several months, a concern has been voiced through the Parliament Hill rumour mill. Will the federal government make cuts to future academic research funding? In early November, the Tri-Society of The Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC), the Canadian Association of Physicists, and the Canadian Federation of Biological Sciences met with MPs of all parties and senior-level bureaucrats. Although we can’t truly predict how the federal government will financially support research in the next budget, I am more optimistic about our future direction after having recently spoken with people such as Arthur Carty, HFCIC, National Science Advisor to the Prime Minister; Peter Adams, Liberal MP and Parliamentary Secretary for Human Resources and Development; Howie Millard, Senior Policy Advisor to Finance Minister Ralph Goodale; and Bob Mills, Conservative MP and Senior Environment Critic. There appears to be a collective realization by bureaucrats and politicians of all stripes that we have come a long way in academic research and that Canada must maintain its international leadership in this area. Parliament Hill also seems to have finally woken up to the fact that there are no national science policies on such important things as strategic coordination of federal science or large science (national research facilities). I believe that Parliament Hill understands and recognizes that to be successful in the future, we must be strong in academia, government, and industry. The creation of

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the National Science Advisor position signals a new interest in science and engineering. The political mood towards the development and implementation of important national science policies appears to have improved considerably. And lastly, the word “commercialization” is not going to go away. Over the past several years, much has been said and written about how science and innovation can lead to new knowledge-based enterprises, wealth, and employment. We are still searching for the formula to make this happen. Commercialization and related challenges are extremely complex because of factors such as international trade agreements, federal and provincial policies and tax incentives, intellectual property agreements, angel investments and venture capital, and a world that is rapidly changing. This will be the key focus area for the federal government when looking for ideas and advice from the many stakeholders across Canada. The CIC must continue to support policies that strengthen academic, government and industry research, and commercialization. We can do this by remaining actively involved in both the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE) and the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR). We must also continue to seek the feedback and suggestions of our members, develop our own science policies, and then communicate these independently or through our partnerships. I welcome your comments at

Graphic Designer/Infographiste Krista Leroux

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 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

Roland Andersson, MCIC, is executive director of the CIC.

novembre/décembre 2004

Personals Personnalités

Randall S. Shermet

Arkema Inc. is pleased to announce the appointment of Randall S. Shermet as president and CEO, Arkema Canada Inc., effective January 1, 2005. Shermet has held management positions in the company since 1988. Arkema Inc. is the recently restructured intermediate chemicals branch of ATOFINA SA, itself a chemicals subsidiary of TOTAL SA, the oil/gas/refining/ marketing/chemical company. Shermet holds a BSc (chemistry) degree from the University of Western Ontario and an MBA from City University. He has continually supported his industry through membership in the Society of Plastics Engineers and the Society of Advanced Materials and Process Engineers. Born in Oakville, ON, he now resides in nearby Burlington with his wife Julie and daughters Nicole and Christine. Retiring president Bob Miller proudly reflects on Shermet’s achievements that led to his selection of Shermet as president. “During the past eight years, Randy Shermet was instrumental in the doubling of sales for performance polymers such as Rilsan, Kynar, Lotader, Lotryl, and Lacovyl,” Miller stated. “More recently, he has sold various resins manufactured

by Total Petrochemicals in the Canadian market and also was responsible for sales of Lacovyl in the U.S. market,” he added. Given the global restructuring of its international operations, Shermet’s appointment as president of Arkema Canada recognizes the importance of continuing Canadian sales and support functions in which he has been so strategically involved, along with his intimate knowledge of operating efficiencies. Everyone at Arkema Canada, along with key associates internationally, enthusiastically acknowledge the fine contribution made to the company over the past 34 years by retiring president Bob Miller. Joining the company in 1970, when it was known as M&T Products of Canada, Miller has served with distinction through his many senior management roles during this period. Miller’s initial retirement plans will include a number of travel and leisure activities with his wife Ruth. In fact, the couple already jumped the gun on their new lifestyle by participating in the City of Burlington’s official visit to its twin city of Itabashi in Japan, commemorating the 15th anniversary of this association. He leaves an organization much the better thanks to his contribution.

University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business in 1993. NSERC’s Synergy Award for Innovation has been awarded to the Pulp and Paper Research Institute of Canada (Paprican), the Canadian Pulp and Paper Network for Innovation in Education and Research (PAPIER), the University of British Columbia, École Polytechnique de Montréal, and McGill University. The award was given in recognition of a long-term partnership to conduct fundamental and applied research across a range of disciplines supporting the pulp and paper industry—particularly in their development of environmentally sustainable products and processes. Complementing its funding of university research, Paprican employs over 340 scientists, engineers, and support staff at pilot plants located in Pointe-Claire, QC, Vancouver, BC, and Prince George, BC. “These prizes celebrate and recognize effective partnerships that connect our universitybased research leaders with those in the private sector who can deliver research results to the marketplace,” said NSERC president Tom Brzustowski. “The Canadian university prizewinning teams will each receive a $25,000 research grant.”


Pierre Thibault, MCIC

L’Université de Montréal est fière d’annoncer la venue au sein du département de chimie comme professeur titulaire de Pierre Thibault, MCIC, qui sera aussi rattaché au nouvel Institut de recherche en immunologie et cancer (IRIQ) de l’Université de Montréal. Thibault a reçu son Ph.D. en 1988 et est devenu, par la suite, pendant 15 ans, chercheur au Conseil national de la recherche du Canada, de 1987 à 1990 à l’Institut de recherche en biotechnologie à Montréal, de 1990 à 1996 à l’Institut des biosciences marines à Halifax, et de 1996 à 2002 à l’Institut des sciences b iologiques à Ottawa. De 2001 à 2004, il était directeur du département d’analyse des protéines chez Caprion Pharmaceuticals. Ses recherches

Agrium Inc. is pleased to announce the promotion of Ron Wilkinson to senior vicepresident, North American wholesale. Wilkinson joined Agrium in 1996 through the acquisition of Viridian Inc. He has since held numerous senior positions with the organization. He has over 25 years’ engineering, operations, and business management experience within the petrochemical industry. A graduate of the University of Alberta with a BSc in chemical engineering, he also completed the “Executive Program” at the

Photo by


November/December 2004


Canadian Chemical News 3

Personals Personnalités Section head

portent sur le développement de méthodes d’enrichissement des protéines, le couplage de systèmes microfluidiques à la spectrométrie de masse utilisant la nanoélectronébulisation, la chimiométrie et le criblage de données issues de l’analyse de lysats protéiques complexes. Ces différents outils sont utilisés dans un contexte de recherche en protéomique. Thibault détient une chaire de recherche du Canada (niveau 1) en protéomique et spectrométrie de masse bioanalytique.

Distinction B. Mario Pinto, FCIC, began a five-year term as vice-president, research at Simon Fraser University (SFU) on September 1, 2004. Pinto is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and has been a faculty member at SFU since 1983 and Chair of the department of chemistry since 1999.

Pinto was born in Sri Lanka and grew up with strong input from both the sciences and the arts. His father was a thirdgeneration chemist who later studied immunology with professor Coombs at Cambridge University. His great-grandfather founded a pharmaceutical company in Goa and his grandfather was an apothecary in Sri Lanka. As a boy, he used to

help with his father’s research on the serological classification of primates based on bloodgroup substances, and so it is perhaps not surprising that he followed along a similar path at a much later date. However, the decision to do so was far from clear. His mother was a singer whose family included writers, editors, actors, poets, and musicians. One of his uncles was a Shakespearean actor in Sri Lanka and another, Tambi, founded Poetry London in England. Surrounded by the culture of the arts as he was growing up, he was active in poetry recitals, acting, and music. He immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of 13. At the end of high school, he remembers clearly having to make a difficult decision to pursue the arts or the sciences, having dabbled in both. He chose the latter, and became the fourth-generation chemist in his family.

feasibility study for a potential world-scale ethylene and polyethylene complex in Mexico. This confirmation follows the announcement by Pemex, which has named NOVA Chemicals and two Mexican companies—Grupo Idesa and Indelpro—as its strategic joint-venture partners in the proposed ethylene-based petrochemicals and plastics complex known as Project Phoenix. The partners have committed to a feasibility study that aims to confirm the project will deliver a globally competitive ethylene cracker and key derivatives, initially including two worldclass polyethylene plants. “We are pleased to be selected by Pemex as a partner for what could be a truly

outstanding chemicals and plastics complex,” said Jeffrey M. Lipton, president and CEO of NOVA Chemicals. “We believe that this proposed complex has all of the ingredients to be the next logical supply increment for the North and South American ethylene/polyethylene markets. We expect to develop a world-scale facility that is globally cost competitive, will produce a wide range of highquality products and will target start up in 2009 or 2010, depending on market conditions.” Initial assessments by NOVA Chemicals indicate potential for the proposed complex to achieve a competitive position that equals or exceeds that of the company’s cost-advantaged Alberta facilities. A Mexican

B. Mario Pinto, FCIC

Erratum In our tribute to CIC 50-year members that appeared in the September 2004 issue of ACCN, we mistakenly referred to Ronald F. Mann, FCIC, as Roland. It seems we had our executive director on the brain. We do apologize, Ronald, nonetheless. And congratulate you on your noteworthy accomplishment.

In Memoriam The CIC extends its condolences to the famillies of: Kenneth Heal, MCIC Ronald Stuart, FCIC

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

NOVA Chemicals Goes South NOVA Chemicals is a focused, commodity chemical company that produces ethylene, polyethylene, styrene monomer, and styrenic polymers, which are used in a wide range of consumer and industrial goods. NOVA Chemicals manufactures its products at 18 operating facilities located in Canada, the U.S., France, the Netherlands, and the U.K. It will soon add Mexico to that list. NOVA Chemicals Corporation has confirmed it has been selected by Pemex Petroquímica (Pemex) as a partner in a

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complex will benefit from access to advantaged feedstocks, a strong and growing domestic polyethylene market, and broad market access through the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) and potentially the Mercosur trade agreement. NOVA Chemicals was selected to participate in the joint-venture study because of its proven success in the design, construction, and operation of advantaged assets in Canada, its proprietary catalyst and Advanced SCLAIRTECH™ polyethylene technology, as well as its marketing expertise. Visit NOVA Chemicals on the Internet at www.novachemicals. com for more information. Nova Chemicals Corporation

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

Nanotech to Supercharge the Internet Canadian researchers have shown that nanotechnology can be used to pave the way to a supercharged Internet based entirely on light. The discovery could lead to a network 100 times faster than today’s. In a study published in Nano Letters, Ted Sargent and his colleagues at the University of Toronto (U of T) advance the use of one laser beam to direct another with unprecedented control, a feature needed inside future fibre-optic networks. “This finding showcases the power of nanotechnology: to design and create purpose-built custom materials from the molecule up,” says Sargent, a professor in the U of T’s Edward S. Rogers, Sr. department of electrical and computer engineering. Until now, engineering researchers have been unable to capitalize on theoreticians’ predictions of the power of light to control light. The failure of real materials to live up

Photo by Bob Smith

to their theoretical potential has become known as the “Kuzyk Quantum Gap” in molecular nonlinear optics. “Molecular materials used to switch light signals with light have, until now, been considerably weaker than fundamental physics say they could be,” says Sargent. “With this work, the ultimate capacity to process information-bearing signals using light is within our practical grasp.” To breach the Kuzyk quantum gap, Carleton University chemistry professor Wayne Wang, FCIC, and colleague Connie Kuang, ACIC, designed a material that combined nanometre-sized spherical particles known as “buckyballs” (molecules of carbon atoms resembling soccer balls) with a designed class of polymer. The polymer and buckyball combination created a clear, smooth film designed to make light particles pick up each other’s patterns. Sargent and U of T colleague Qiying Chen then studied the optical properties of this new hybrid material. They found that the material was able to process information carried

at telecommunications wavelengths—the infrared colours of light used in fibre-optic cables. “Photons—particles of light— interacted unusually strongly with one another across the set of wavelengths used for communications,” says Sargent. “Calculations based on these measurements reveal that we came closer than ever to achieving what quantum mechanical physics tells us is possible.” According to Sargent, future fibre-optic communication systems could relay signals around the global network with picosecond (one trillionth of a second) switching times, resulting in an Internet 100 times faster. To do this, they need to avoid unnecessary conversions of signals between optical and electronic form. “By creating a new hybrid material that can harness a light beam’s power, we’ve demonstrated a new class of materials that meets the engineering needs of future photonic networks.” The paper addresses a limit originally predicted by Washington State University theorist and physicist professor Mark Kuzyk. Kuzyk was the first to predict the

November/December 2004

fundamental physical limits on the nonlinear properties of molecular materials in 2000 and says that by approaching the quantum limit, the University of Toronto–Carleton team has succeeded where all other researchers have failed. “The report on reaching the quantum limit by the Toronto and Carleton team of researchers is a major advance in the science of nonlinear optical materials that will impact directly many important technologies,” says Kuzyk. “This intelligent nanoscale approach to engineering nonlinear-optical materials, which is guided by principles of quantum physics, is the birth of a new and significant materials development paradigm in synthetic research.” The research was supported by the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund, Nortel Networks, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Canada Research Chairs Foundation, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Ontario Innovation Trust. University of Toronto


Canadian Chemical News 5

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

Globetrotting Pollutants Turn Up On City Streets Researchers at the University of Toronto have detected migratory pollutants from a forest fire in Quebec and even particles from a sandstorm in the Sahara in Toronto air, findings that could someday give regulatory agencies an idea of who is contributing to the pollutants found in urban air. “It’s a bit of detective work,” says Greg Evans,

a professor in the department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry. “We happened to know when that forest fire was happening in Quebec and we realized that this mixture of different particles that we found in downtown Toronto is a signature for a forest fire.” With the dust particles from the Sahara, the researchers recognized sand-like particles and were ultimately able to track their trajectory from the desert, across the Atlantic Ocean to Mexico, then north through the U.S. to Toronto. The researchers used a device known as a laser ablation mass

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spectrometer (LAMS), which pulls in air from College Street and accelerates the pollutants to close to the speed of a bullet. As a particle passes by two lasers, sensors calculate its exact speed and tell the LAMS when to fire a third, high-powered laser that vaporizes a portion of the particle, sending fragments hurtling along a “flight tube.” Lighter molecules take less time to travel down the flight tube, giving the researchers the particle’s chemical signature. Evans says that once they build up a library of particles, this research could make it possible to identify pollutants without any knowledge of their origin.

The findings appear in the October issue of the journal Atmospheric Environment, and were funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Environment Canada, the Toxic Substance Research Initiative, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, and the Ontario Innovation Trust. For further information, contact Gregory Evans, department of chemical engineering and applied chemistry, at 416-978-1821, or Nicolle Wahl, University of Toronto public affairs at 416-978-6974. University of Toronto

Photo by Donald Lee

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

Nano Display Technologies— New Meaning to “Flat Screen” Researchers worldwide have been scrambling to develop new display technologies that will exploit the low cost and ease of manufacture of plastics. Dreaming of a day when making a new computer display will be as easy as feeding plastic film through an inkjetstyle printer or developing TV screens that can be printed on clothing or rolled up and put in a pocket. And road signs that illuminate themselves. And books that glow so they can be read in a dim room? These are just some of the applications that could be available if technology has its way. Well, this technology is here now. A computer display manufactured using inkjet technology, not filled with ink, but with a chemical solution containing tiny components that organize themselves into a useable, flexible display. How? Through nanotechnology—technology on the atomic scale. Computer manufacturers such as IBM are interested in nanotechnology because making smaller, faster, and cheaper computers relies on

New Player in Global Chemicals Arkema Inc. was launched on October 4, 2004, as part of the reorganization of Total’s Chemicals Branch. In Canada, ATOFINA Canada Inc. is now Arkema Canada Inc. With Thierry Le Henaff as

the increasingly finer control of the structure of matter. The original computer blueprint, the Hollerith Tabulating machine, developed at the end of the 19th century had to be manufactured using parts with a precision of a millimetre. In the 1960s, computer makers manufactured features for solid-state electronics as small as 10 microns (one-thousandth of a millimetre). And now computer chip makers can etch microprocessor features down to 0.1 of a micron. As computer chips have become faster, as they have become smaller, the lithographic techniques used to etch computer chips run into some fundamental problems. As they become faster and smaller, the process used to fabricate them inherently becomes increasingly more expensive. At some point, the cost of fabrication will exceed any reasonable price that manufacturers could charge, making the technology economically infeasible. Being able to build circuits and transistors atom by atom might be one solution. Researchers have learned how to move individual atoms, building nano-scale structures atom by atom. For example, the human body and our own DNA show how a complex system can be made atom by atom. Scientists are not looking to make biological computers

but rather by using biological techniques to make faster and smaller computers out of the familiar computer chip material silicon. The right mix of chemicals and the fine control of conditions such as temperature, humidity, and pressure would be able to allow for the self-assembly of these complex structures. And scientists now predict a flood of new product applications using this enhanced technology in conjunction with plastics. It was recently discovered that combining fluorescent molecules into a polymer will amplify any ambient light by up to 30 percent. If this plastic was incorporated into a book’s pages, for example, the reader could follow the text in the dimmest of conditions. And the applications for this technology are limitless. We could make a full-colour display for computers, for videos, and for advertisements because this light would be collected without electricity. Scientists have embedded a fluorescent dye in a polymer to make optical fibres that will channel light in one direction. Light goes into the fibres and is absorbed by the dye molecules. They re-emit the light, but because they are in the fibres, the light cannot escape and is directed to the ends of the fibres. The longer the fibre, the

more light collected. A layer of organic-based semiconductor and e-ink stuck onto a plastic sheet and wired to a graphics chip to produce a usable display. And these plastic sheets can be manufactured so thin (typically around 0.3mm thick) that they are extremely flexible. Imagine a thin plastic film with virtually unlimited display applications that can be rolled into a tube and popped into a jacket pocket—flexible, detachable, and disposable screens. Having established the principle, the engineers involved are now figuring out how to make them bigger, clearer, faster, more reliable, and in colour. One day soon, you will be able to download a document to your cell phone, take a plastic tube out of your pocket, unroll this screen, stick it to a table, read it in comfort, and then unpack a wireless keyboard and start typing away. Up to now detachable displays have not really been worth having because the display is as bulky, awkward, and fragile as the computer itself. That is about to change, and once it does we will see designers start taking full advantage of the flexibility it offers.

CEO of the global organization, Arkema is comprised of three well-balanced business segments: Vinyl Products, Industrial Chemicals, and Performance Products. The new entity has sales of $6 billion, a workforce of 19,300 employees, and enjoys a global presence through its 90 industrial facilities and 6 research centres across Europe, North and South

America, and Asia. It also boasts a solid industrial foundation with a large number of processes developed in-house, boosted by innovative R&D focused on customer service and application development. Largely autonomous and backed by a solid financial structure, Arkema can look forward to the long-term future as an independent company standing out as

an innovative and exemplary player in safety and sustainable development. Arkema has the necessary assets to boost its competitiveness through targeted growth in Europe and the U.S., a greater presence in Asia, and its firm ambition to play a leading role in the consolidation of the chemical industry.

November/Decembre 2004

Reprinted with permission from Paul Johnson. This story first appeared in The Ontario Technologist.

Arkema Canada Inc.


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News Briefs Nouvelles en bref Section head

New Uses for NanoCrystalline Nickel

Thanks to ongoing developments in nanotechnology research, nickel may one day compete with other materials in lightweight applications such as aerospace components, sporting goods, and armour systems for defense. A Canadian nanotechnology company, Integran Technologies, has developed a relatively low-cost electro-forming process that can manufacture a variety of nanocrystalline forms, such as plates and strips, with a higher strengthto-weight ratio than some of the strongest lightweight alloys made of titanium and aluminum.

For example, the company’s nickel-iron (50 percent nickel) armour plating is 2.5 times tougher than the required specifications for U.S. military vehicles, whereas its body armour is seven times stronger than that currently worn by soldiers and police. This increase in strength is accompanied by a decrease in weight. Integran has partnered with the U.S. Department of Defense to design new products based on these properties. On the consumer front, potential applications include lightweight helmets that use nano-metal foam technology, lightweight coatings to add stiffness to tennis rackets and golf clubs, and corrosionresistant, durable edges for skates, skis, and snowboards. The key to the technology is a single-step process that produces nano-materials with a grain size a thousand times smaller than conventional alloys without sacrificing ductility. The tiny grain size makes the metal stronger and more resistant to wear. Although first tested in the lab in the early 1980s, it was another decade before the technology found commercial applications. The breakthrough occurred in the 1990s, when Ontario Hydro was seeking an in situ repair technology for the degraded tubes in its nuclear steam generator. Although nickel seemed like the ideal choice, because of its resistance to corrosion and stress corrosion cracking in nuclear reactors, its use was limited by poor mechanical strength. Nano-crystalline nickel saved the day, as it is four times stronger than conventional nickel while retaining all of the metal’s other attributes. The resulting nano-crystalline “electro-sleeves” were fitted over the original tubes to provide resistance to pitting, denting, cracking, and

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other forms of degradation. They remain intact today. More recently, Integran has been working on bringing other applications to market. The versatility of the company’s process allows for a wide range of product forms including powders, foams, and complex netshape components. “The electro-sleeve process remains one of the first-ever large-scale applications for nano-structured materials,” says Gino Palumbo, Integran’s president and CEO. “But we’re still only scratching the surface in terms of applications for nano-nickel products. Our main limitation in promoting our technology in the nickel community has been in identifying the areas where our materials can best be of benefit.” Recent breakthroughs in nano-crystalline nickel have included its use in a nickel iron coating with superior magnetic properties and as an environmentally benign substitute for nickel-beryllium alloys with better strength, resilience, and electrical conductivity. Equally valuable are nano-structured analogs of nickel-iron alloys with low thermal expansion coefficient, such as those used in the shadow masks of televisions and computer monitors. Palumbo also sees a future for nano-crystalline nickeliron alloys in the manufacture of micro-electro-mechanical devices by electro-deposition. The current electro-deposits fall short on reliability because of their unpredictable properties. Electro-deposited bulk nano-structures promise to overcome this challenge by providing a uniform fine-grain structure throughout the device. Virginia Heferenan, published by the Nickel Institute’s Nickel Magazine.

Nobel Prize for Chemistry Awarded Two Israelis and an American won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry this October. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences chose Irwin Rose, 78, of the University of California, Irvine, and Avram Hershko, 67, and Aaron Ciechanover, 57, both of the Israel Institute of Technology, in Haifa, Israel, “for the discovery of ubiquitin-mediated protein degradation.” These scientists discovered the method by which cells tag defective proteins (or proteins that have outlived their usefulness) and direct them to the cellular machinery that grinds them into reuseable parts. This system not only recycles raw materials, it regulates many of a cell’s activities by removing the “target” proteins from the stage during important scenes in the cell’s life. Ubiquitin is the key molecule involved. It is so useful it exists in a nearly identical form in yeast, in human beings, and in every organism between them on the evolutionary ladder. The three will share the $1.36 million prize. The front side of all the Nobel Medals features a portrait of Alfred Nobel, but the back sides vary. The medal of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences— for the prizes in physics and chemistry—represents Nature in the form of a goddess resembling Isis, emerging from the clouds and holding in her arms a cornucopia. The veil that covers her cold and austere face is held by the Genius of Science. The Swedish medals bear the Latin inscription “Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes,” which is taken from Virgil’s Aeneid and means “And they who bettered life on earth by new-found mastery.” They were designed by Erik Lindberg. Visit the Nobel e-Museum at


Have Chip—Will Travel Marvin D. Silbert, FCIC


y old Compaq has just retired. In its place, a shiny, thinner, and lighter replacement is just waiting to jump into action. When almost every company makes notebooks with essentially the same components and specs, how does a computer review editor pick from the list? I wanted a Canadian French (CF) keyboard. I have them on my other computers and have learned to like this configuration as it lets me type accented characters and some °, ¢ or ± without mousing around. Several manufacturers may offer a CF keyboard, but only with French operating systems. I have enough trouble working in English. The old Compaq had a CF keyboard and it offered a choice of language when you initialized it. I went to Compaq and got a few too many different responses. Of the big guys, only IBM offered any hope. I could buy an English notebook and then buy a CF keyboard and install it myself. Then I found a shop in Markham, ON, that would install it for me. They specialize in partially assembled notebooks from Taiwan that they can customize for each customer. They went to the effort of ordering a keyboard and asking me if that was what I wanted. It was, and I’m now the proud owner of a new notebook equipped with a Centrino chip set and 802.11g wireless module. My first task was to install everything the desktop computer has in anticipation of a much-needed reformatting to give the desktop a clean start. I have successfully put off that reformat job for months and now that the notebook is here, the desktop’s Windows XP seems to know it’s going to be wiped out and has decided to behave. If you go back a few years, you will remember that Zip drives and scanners needed SCSI cards to operate. You bought a desktop over a notebook as it gave you capability to add those cards. Today everything is USB and it doesn’t matter whether you have a desktop or a notebook. The new kick these days is to toss out the old CRTs and replace them with flat screen LCD monitors. All notebooks come with LCDs. Sure, most notebooks are limited to

a 15" screen, but you couldn’t have a much bigger one and still fit it into your briefcase. The comparison between the notebook LCD with my 17" CRT was a surprise. They use different measuring standards and my so-called 17" monitor has a diagonal measurement just a bit under 16"—not all that much bigger than 15". I ran the CRT from the notebook as you would a projector to compare screens from the same input. The notebook display was sharper than the Sony Trinitron. I have a 1250 VA uninterruptible power supply (UPS) for my desktop and peripherals. The battery in the notebook is a UPS. I took my notebook over to a friend’s house a few weeks ago and used it there for a couple hours. I forgot to plug it in when I got back home and it ran about five hours before I had my low battery alarm. That’s why you buy a Centrino chip set and, of course, there’s the biggest advantage of that Centrino-based notebook over a desktop. It can travel! It came with me to Washington, D.C., at the end of August. I visited two locations that were equipped with wireless networks. Before I could figure out what to do, I was on-line sending and receiving e-mail and looking for goodies on the Web. You don’t get manuals these days. The online manual is difficult to print. Fortunately, I did eventually find an Adobe version on the Web. I have jacks for just about anything, but no floppy drive. Floppies are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. In their place, I bought a USB memory stick. Just plug it into a USB port on any post 1998 system and you’ve got 256 MB—the equivalent of 170 floppies in a compact package. I have a distinctive ring for my fax. When that notebook was connected to the same telephone line, it sensed that distinctive ring and killed the connection before the fax had a chance to decide what to do. I didn’t realize until then that XP and modern modems can’t handle distinctive rings. I borrowed a friend’s USR PCMCIA modem as a Band-Aid solution and went about solving the problem. That one will make for an interesting horror story for a future “Chemputing.”

Because I’m planning that reformat, I have identical software loaded on both my notebook and desktop. My data is on the D and E partitions, which are backed up on all my computers over the network. I can do everything with the notebook I did with the desktop, but somewhat faster. Five years ago, I would have suggested that a desktop was the route to go for serious work. Today’s notebooks have better screens and with all the USB-based peripherals you no longer need those expansion slots. I consider that my work requires having a pair of computers to give me reliability and the ability to do different tasks at the same time. Having both a desktop and a notebook, I think I’ll trade in the desktop one day for a notebook. Imagine the quiet without the fan and getting rid of that plethora of wires. 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:

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Chemfusion Section head

“Let Them Eat Flax!” Joe Schwarcz, MCIC


et them eat flax!” The chickens that is. That’s what researchers told egg producers bent on improving the nutritional value and the public image of eggs. Let’s face it, when “eggs” are mentioned, the first word that often comes to mind is “cholesterol,” which in turn conjures up thoughts of clogged arteries and premature demise. In truth, cholesterol in eggs makes a far smaller contribution to blood cholesterol than the saturated fats found in meat and full-fat dairy products. Still, eggs suffer from an image problem. Omega-3 fats, on the other hand, are positively basking in the limelight these days. Found mostly in fish, these fats have been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease, breast cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, and arthritis. Slipping these fats into eggs would certainly be a healthy boost to their image! Especially considering that many people worry about pollutants like mercury and PCBs that crop up in fish. Flaxseed is one of the few plant sources high in omega-3 fats. The term “omega-3” refers to the molecular structure of these fats, indicating the presence of a carbon-carbon double bond on the third carbon from the end of the molecule. Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), the specific omega-3 found in flaxseed, differs slightly from eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which are the major fats in fish. Most research has focused on the health benefits of the latter two, but ALA itself has also been linked with a reduced risk of heart disease. Furthermore, some ALA is converted to EPA and DHA in the human body, as well as in the chicken’s body. Feeding flaxseeds to chickens makes great use of the “you are what you eat” phenomenon, and results in eggs that have roughly twelve times more omega-3 fats than regular eggs. Of course, the important question is whether eating such eggs makes a significant contribution of omega-3s to the diet. Perhaps surprisingly, it does. Canadian guidelines recommend 1.1 grams of omega-3s for women and 1.5 grams for men on a daily basis. An omega-3 egg has roughly

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0.35 grams of ALA and 0.13 grams of EPA and DHA, so a couple of eggs provide a significant portion of the recommended intake. About the same as a couple of ounces of a high-oil fish, like salmon. No nutritional authorities suggest that we should be eating two eggs every day, but five to seven a week is reasonable. And even at that rate, switching to omega-3 eggs makes sense; it’s equivalent to a weekly serving of fish. By now you’re thinking that this must be too good to be true. There must be a “but” coming up, right? Right! Back in 1994, the scientific community was stunned by a study that linked high blood levels of alphalinolenic acid with an increased risk of prostate cancer. Total fat consumption had been associated with this cancer before. That was no great surprise, since dietary fat is known to increase the production of male sex hormones, which are linked to prostate cancer. Furthermore, many pesticides are fat soluble and a high fat diet increases the body’s pesticide load, which of course is undesirable. But all previous indications had been that a diet high in fish oils decreases the risk of prostate cancer. Could ALA be different from other omega3s? While it clearly decreased the risk of heart disease, was it increasing the risk for prostate cancer? Several studies since have also suggested that ALA may be linked to prostate cancer, but there is a lot of controversy surrounding the issue. Plasma levels of ALA, for example, show no association with ALA levels in tissue taken from prostate cancer patients. The prudent analysis of the data suggests that it is probably not a good idea for men to consume flax oil on a regular basis. Ready for another “but?” Consuming flaxseeds themselves has consistently been linked with a reduced risk of prostate cancer, as well as breast cancer. Perhaps this is because other components of the seed, such as lignans, have decided anticancer properties and may overcome any detrimental effect that may be attributed to ALA. A study at Duke University clearly showed that men awaiting surgery for

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prostate cancer benefited from a daily consumption of three tablespoons of ground flax. Testosterone levels were lowered and there was a decrease in cancer cell proliferation. So we now have the following scenario: Eating flaxseed is good. It protects against heart disease and cancer. Consuming flax oil is questionable because of the connection between ALA and prostate cancer. Wouldn’t it be great if the ratio of ALA to DHA and EPA in flax could be altered to increase the latter? After all, the greatest benefits for omega-3s have been seen with the fish oils. Well, it looks like genetic engineering in this instance is going to deliver the goods! Genetic modification of plants has been criticized for various reasons, including the fact that so far the consumer has seen no obvious direct benefit of the technology. Now researchers at the University of Hamburg have succeeded in genetically modifying flax plants to produce more DHA and EPA. They managed to isolate the gene from a species of algae that codes for an enzyme that converts ALA into DHA and EPA and have introduced it into flax plants. (Fish of course derive their omega-3 fats from eating algae.) This will make not only for healthier flax for human consumption but also for improved animal feed. Chickens dining on genetically modified flax seeds will produce eggs with a higher DHA and EPA content and men will have less of a concern about the alpha-linolenic acid content of flax oil. Where does this leave us? Ground flaxseed is a great addition to the diet, and may be even better when the genetically modified version becomes available.

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


The Big Idea Behind Small Matters Nanotechnology, ethics, and scientific integrity


ecent hype over nanotechnology has included significant discussion of ethical issues. Or, more accurately, hype over nanotech has been accompanied by the raising of ethical issues: nothing much like thoughtful discussion has been seen, though this is (thankfully) beginning to change.1 But even simply raising the issues is, of course, a good start: issues have been raised related to human health, environmental impacts, privacy, and the human-machine boundary, among other things. It is on the whole a good thing that ethical debate has accompanied this “new” field from its very first appearance on the public stage. But discussion of ethical issues related to nanoscience and nanotechnology provides important lessons for scientific ethics more generally. In particular, discussions of nanotech help highlight the power—and hence ethical significance—of successful science, the power of scientific rhetoric and the responsibility that goes along with that power, and the need for individual scientific integrity in the absence of detailed regulation. First, let us look at the issue of the power of science. If the more optimistic promises regarding nanotechnology turn out to be accurate, then nanoscientists are currently working towards a set of technologies that may literally change the world, either for better or for worse. The most extreme prediction for nanotechnology, of course, involves “nanoassemblers”—nano-scale robots to construct macro-scale objects, a technology predicted by Eric Drexler2 but roundly decried by most of the scientific community. According to Robert Wolkow of Canada’s National Institute of Nanotechnology (NINT), such promises are “based on a most limited understanding of molecular science and no experimental or theoretical backing.”3 Notwithstanding evidence to the contrary, were nanoassembly to turn out to be possible, the result would be nothing short of earthshattering. Drexler and his followers tell us that nanoassemblers will give us the ability to rearrange the very constituents of matter: and the simple rearranging of matter

could (they say) give us the ability to turn charcoal into diamonds, or to synthesize just about any compound you’d like out of just about any raw material. But such fantasy scenarios aside, even the predictions of more moderate commentators suggest that nanotechnology may well turn out to be an incredibly potent cluster of technologies. Responsible scientists have foreseen immense positive impact in areas such as computation, bioremediation, and drug delivery for example. Not everyone is optimistic, of course, about what the future of nanotechnology will bring. Harsh critics—ones who agree with Drexler regarding the potential potency of nanoassembly, but less optimistic about its effective use and control—are making quite literal doomsday predictions: England’s Prince Charles last year asked scientists to look into the so-called “grey goo” problem,4 which is the somewhat colourful term for the worry that Drexlerian nanoassemblers might one day turn from their assigned tasks and begin devouring anything and everything at hand. The dangers inherent in machines designed to use anything and everything—including potentially air, vegetation, or flesh—as raw materials are perhaps too obvious to state. All of this makes science—including decisions about what science gets done, and how—incredibly ethically significant. The kind of power potentially implied by science of this sort brings with it real responsibilities. In contrast, the ethical issues associated with even the kind of science that results in (or contributes to) the development of, say, a new kind of chemotherapy are pretty straightforward: the benefits to humankind are real, but modest, and the risks, while equally real and not to be taken lightly, are at least limited to a relatively small number of individuals. Nanoscience, even if we stick with moderate predictions, could change millions of lives, either for better or for worse. This is a sobering thought. The second ethical lesson to be learned from the burgeoning debate over nanotech is this: if in fact the optimistic promises

Chris MacDonald

made on behalf of nanotechnology are unlikely to come true, then scientists need to reflect on their role in maintaining the current, deceptive level of hype about nanotechnology. Wolkow is right to criticize those (including Drexler and his followers) who promise a nano-future in which immortality is cheap and custom-made planets are an option. Wolkow rightly argues, for example, that “misinformed discussion can lead to the misjudging of and a tolerance for poor quality or unsafe activities.”5 But reputable scientists are not altogether blameless in perpetuating the excitement over nanotech. Today’s hype over nanotech is in many ways comparable to earlier hype over biotech. Here, for example, are some fairly typical claims made about nanotech by apparently reputable scientists, as represented in the media: • “Scientists claim that nanotechnology will have an even more profound effect [than television, automobiles, or computers] on the next century.”6 • Nanotechnology is apparently “a breakthrough scientists claim will change our lives forever.”7 • “Many scientists promise nanotechnology’s impact on society will be on the scale of the industrial revolution.”8 • “Some scientists say nanotechnology will dramatically change every aspect of our lives.”9 There are real risks in hype of this kind. As Tim Caulfield has pointed out with regard to biotech, while hype may bring short-term attention and funding for research, hype can also undermine possible benefits of new technologies.10 And I’m sure that Wolkow would agree that the point he makes about the dangers of misinformed discussion, though intended to apply to misinformation spread by Drexlerian nano-enthusiasts, applies equally well to the kind of hype evidenced in the headlines just alluded to. Finally, the debate over nanotechnology provides important lessons for scientific ethics more generally in that it highlights

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the need for individual scientific integrity in the absence of detailed regulation. The fact that what today passes for nanotechnology encompasses a very broad and diffuse category of scientific research should remind us of the importance of ethics and integrity for individual scientists. What people call “nanotechnology” is a regulatory agency’s worst nightmare: it’s a “type” of science

about which there is increasing public concern, but which is hard to define and isolate. According to the National Research Council, for example, “Nanotechnology is the application of science and engineering at the atomic scale.”11 As most chemists will recognize, this definition encompasses an awful lot of science, including whole branches of scientific research that long predate the current fascination with all things prefixed with the word “nano.” In such a context, it should be clear that the public cannot rely upon government regulation to forestall the potential risks of nanotechnology. If government wished, for example, to put strong limits on nano-research (as has been recommended by Bill Joy, former chief scientist at Sun Microsystems12), where would it begin? Just who really is conducting nanoscience, or building things that would constitute nanotechnology? After all, activities under this general heading are now going on everywhere from high school classrooms13 to garment factories.14 How could one even hope to regulate such a broad and varied range of basic scientific research? Many other nameable domains of scientific research look readily regulable, by contrast. Think, for example, of advanced reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IFV). IVF goes on in just a handful of labs in Canada: according to the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, there are roughly 25 labs in Canada with the capacity to do it.15 As another example, think of virological work of the kind done in high-level containment labs.

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There are just about one hundred level- three containment facilities either functioning or under construction in Canada today,16 and level-four labs are considerably rarer. There are only around 15 or so level-four facilities in the entire world, and only one of them in Canada.7 While the number of labs doing a given kind of work is only one factor affecting ease of regulation, it seems clear that regulatory agencies at least have a chance of exercising effective oversight when faced with just a short list of labs to visit. But nanoscience is going on in literally hundreds, perhaps thousands, of public and commercial labs in Canada alone, far too many for the public to sanely rely upon centralized government regulation. In this context, the integrity of each and every scientist involved matters. As NINT’s Wolkow puts it, “… any technology so fundamentally based and broadly applicable can most certainly be applied for both good and ill …”18 The public needs to be able to trust19 that each and every scientist conducting researc h on nanoscience will refuse to take undue risks, and that they will strive to make sure that their research contributes to the betterment of the human condition. In this way, discussion of nanoethics highlights an important feature of scientific ethics more generally.

References 1.

2. 3.


5. 6.



See, for example, the papers in a recent special issue of the University of Alberta’s Health Law Review Vol. 12, No. 3 (2004). K. Eric Drexler, Engines of Creation, (Anchor Books, 1987). Robert A. Wolkow, “The Ruse and the Reality of Nanotechnology,” Health Law Review Vol. 12, No. 3 (2004), pp. 14–18. Liz Kalaugher, “Prince Charles airs his nano-views,”, 14 July 2004 (http://nanotechweb. org/articles/society/3/7/1/1). Wolkow, 2004. Kevin Bonsor, “How Nanotechnology Will Work,” ( “Nanotechnology: a life-changing breakthrough,” 5 July 2004, by Kellie Connolly reporting for NineMNS ( 1721.asp). Neil Mukhopadhyay, “Panel Discusses Ethics in Science,” Cornell Daily Sun, April 12, 2004.

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11. 12. 13.





18. 19.

The Next Big Thing, BBC, (http:// nano/synopsis.htm). Tim Caulfield, “Underwhelmed: Hyperbole, Regulatory Policy and the Genetic Revolution,” McGill Law Journal 45 (2000), pp. 437–460. See nano/index_e.html. Bill Joy, “Why the Future Doesn’t Need Us,” Wired, 8.04, April 2000. “Nanotechnology School Kits For Middle And High School Education,” NanoSonic, Inc., schoolkits2.pdf. Jenny Everett, “Little Robots in Your Pants,”, January 10, 2004, /TECH/ ptech/07/18/popsci.nantech.pants/. Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society (personal communication, September 28, 2004) Population and Public Health Branch, Health Canada (personal communication, September 20, 2004). David Square, “The strange world inside Canada’s only level-4 containment laboratory” Canadian Medical Association Journal 161, 9, November 2, 1999. Wolkow, 2004. Bryn Williams-Jones “A Spoonful of Trust Helps the Nanotech Go Down,” Health Law Review Vol. 12, No. 3 (2004), pp. 10–3 (available on-line at Nanotech-HLR.pdf).

For more about ethical issues in nanotechnology, visit

Chris MacDonald is an assistant professor in the department of philosophy at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, NS. His work is supported by an Ethics Operating Grant from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Interfaces is edited by Richard Cassidy, FCIC. 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.//




Good science as the basis of good public policy in nanotechnology


veryone’s talking about nanotechnology and nanoscience. Perhaps too much. The excitement, promise, and good science of the field risk being squelched by overblown and inaccurate commentary. Hype threatens a backlash that could have serious ramifications—not only on funding, but on our ability to carry out important fundamental science. Each chemist knows other chemists working diligently on nanoscience-based applications that could lead to fast and inexpensive medical diagnoses, molecular computing,

clean energy and environmental remediation, and new materials. These applications are all pieces of a projected trillion dollar industry. 1 The concern of mainstream scientists, however, is the media’s current perception of nanotechnology. The media seems to blur the distinction between what is realistic and what is improbable. Much of the increasingly vocal debate is no longer based on peer-reviewed science. Are scientists losing their voice? More importantly, are scientists losing the trust of the public? Nanotechnology is following

Jillian M. Buriak, MCIC closely on the heels of the experience of the biotechnology industry. As large quantities of nanomaterials are synthesized and commercialized, it has also developed its own unique set of parameters and pitfalls.2 Nanoscience now finds itself squarely in the sights of several high-profile advocacy groups such as Greenpeace and the Canadian ETC Group. Contrary to many widely held stereotypes, the arguments of advocacy groups are often firmly rooted in realistic science. They are calling for the advanced study of biological, environmental, and

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sociological hazards of nanotechnology. And they are right to do so. First and foremost, it is good science. This research is critical for the public acceptance of nanotechnology. How can an industry be founded without the basic knowledge of what is benign or hazardous in both the short and long term? And how can these risks be managed in a rational fashion in a manner transparent to the public? All these questions require trustworthy science that we can use as the basis of accurate and reliable public policy.3 One good example is the treatise published by the Greenpeace Environmental Trust, “Future Technologies, Today’s Choices,” by Alexandar Huw Arnall.4 Greenpeace suggests that a ban on nanotech research is “both unpractical and damaging” but that if the issue of public opinion and trust is not addressed, a fate similar to that of the biotech industry will be “virtually self-imposed.” The comparison of nanotechnology to the much older and highly developed biotechnology industry—with its history of trials and tribulations, successes and mistakes—is now made continuously. The key point is that the public did not trust industry’s affirmations that their biotech products were safe. Similar phenomena were observed in the U.S. with the debate over stem cell research and cloning that dramatically hampered the ability of U.S. scientists to carry out important biomedical research. As a direct result, research is moving off-shore, into private companies, and out of reach of public oversight. The solution is consistent, independent, and transparent parallel research into the safety of nanoscale materials—with significant public involvement and outreach. It is important to remember that nanoscale materials have been made synthetically on the industrial scale for many years (in the fields of catalysis and separations technologies, for instance) with little incident. Within the past year, however, a number of early results have suggested that nanoparticles cannot be assumed to be benign,5 or to have similar toxological profiles to their bulk parent materials.6,7 While the number of published papers in this area can be counted on only one hand, they have received a great deal more media attention than expected when compared statistically with the hundreds of thousands of “nano” papers published in the last decade. This is the core of the backlash. The worst way to deal with such a situation is through suppression of these and related results. A lack of scientific data, whether positive or negative, will lead to public outcry, poor quality science

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and reactionary policies as “nano-products” enter the environment. We venture into new territory as our control over the properties, size, and integration into hybrid organic and biological nanoscale materials broadens. It is important to develop a good understanding, particularly of nanoscale materials, for which valid assessment methodologies are still non-existent. C60 (Figure 1a) is one material that is the focus of scrutiny for toxicological effects. It is one of the darlings of the public eye—and certainly a favourite of the scientific community—as it resulted in the 1996 Nobel Prize in chemistry. C60 is now produced in a dedicated plant by the Mitsubishi Corporation in Japan, for instance, and is widely used in research laboratories. C60 is a hydrophobic molecule, and thus

Figure 1

would not be expected to dissolve in aqueous solutions and present potential water contamination problems. Yet researchers from Texas recently published results suggesting that 500 ppb concentrations of C60 in aquaria causes irreversible brain damage in juvenile large mouth bass.7b Clearly, there is a discrepancy between this work and our chemical knowledge of C60. Recent research just published from Rice University showed that C 60 in water agglomerates into nanocrystallites with a partially oxidized shell—rendering it water-soluble. 8 This photoactive material can then produce oxygen radicals that damage lipid bilayers of cells (and presumably higher animals), although it does not appear to oxidize the cellular proteins and other organelles. At the same time,

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the group demonstrates how to prevent this crystallization by partially oxidizing the C 60 molecule in advance (Figure 1b). Cell cytotoxicity studies show that this approach eliminates the lipid bilayer damage, and no toxicity is noted up to solubility limits. Clearly, by understanding the chemistry of a system (nanoscale or otherwise), preventative measures can be taken before costly trials are made by industry. Concrete scientific investigation provides a detailed understanding of the interaction of nanoscale materials with their environments. It allows us the means of tailoring their surfaces to reduce or eliminate undesired properties. Should Canada play a role in this very new area? The answer is a resounding yes. Canada has the people, the expertise, the international goodwill and respect, and the resources to take the global lead to establish the scientific foundation to understand and control the interactions of nanomaterials in the environment and living organisms. This could be one of several areas in nanotechnology w here Canada could take the lead. No one can do research in every avenue of nanotechnology, and so all countries, including Canada, must find productive niches. Ensuring good science is tantamount, and requires the involvement of leaders in research from a range of different disciplines. Many of Canada’s best scientists are motivated by these questions and have expressed interest in working together on these issues. How might this be organized? The culture of Canadian science funding is to provide broad-based support for a wide range of activities. These sources are distributed across several government departments with little, if any, cooperation among them. The expertise is there, but contained in the usual silos. If Canada is going to be a player in this area, our university funding agencies (NSERC, CIHR, SSHRC), key government research (NRC, NRCan), and regulatory departments (Environment Canada, Health Canada), as well as industry must establish some common goals and coordinate their strategies. A balanced program would bring together an exciting and unprecedented group of chemists, biologists, environmentalists, clinical scientists, industrial chemists, engineers, and social scientists in a virtual centre of excellence. It would foster open dialogue within the scientific community and with the public through frequent meetings and workshops to discuss collaborative projects and recent advances.

Canada has a chance to shape


research in nanotechnology on a global scale, but only if we act now. Canada could establish its presence in a global network. Funding could be pooled from a number of government and private sector sources, and be administered under the jurisdiction of a single secretariat. This centre would be challenged to build public trust by engaging in open discussions of societal and ethical impact—not only on Canadian society, but worldwide—through outreach activities with the Canadian public, policy and law makers, and advocacy groups. This is all achievable, accessible, and important. One critical benefit not yet mentioned is the training of young Canadians in science, ethics, and the relatio nship between science, technology, and society through this research. Canada and Canadian science should seize this opportunity to have a lasting influence during this critical moment in scientific history. By taking this bold and active leading role, Canadian voices will be heard.


References 1.


3. 4.


Mihail Roco, National Science Foundation, interviews/MRoco.htm. Vicki L. Colvin, “The Potential Environmental Impact of Engineered Nanomaterials,” Nature Biotechnology 21, 10 (October 2003), pp. 1166–1170. Health Law Review 12, 3 (2004), pp. 1–77., “Scientific Research” menu link, “Nanotechnology” related stories link. Robert F. Service, “American Chemical Society Meeting: Nanomaterials


Show Signs of Toxicity,” Science 300 (April 11, 2003), p. 243. (a) Anna A. Shvedova, Elena Kisin, Nagu Keshava, Ashley R. Murray, Olga Gorelik, Sivaram Arepalli, Vadim Z. Gandelsman, and Vincent Castranova, “Cytotoxic and Genotoxic Effects of Single Wall Carbon Nanotube Exposure on Human Keratinocytes and Bronchial Epithelial Cells,” I&EC 20, March 28, 2004, 227th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Anaheim, CA. (b) David B. Warheit, Thomas R. Webb, Kenneth L. Reed, Christie M. Sayes, and Vicki Colvin, “Assessing the Pulmonary Hazards and Health Risks of Nano (Ultrafine) Particles and Carbon Nanotubes: Lung Toxicity Studies in Rats and Relevance of these Findings for Humans,” I&EC 19, March 28, 2004, 227th American Chemical Society National Meeting, Anaheim, CA. (a) Chiu-Wing Lam, John T. James, Richard McCluskey, and Robert L. Hunter, “Pulmonary Toxicity of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes in Mice 7 and 90 Days after Intratracheal Instillation,” Toxicological Sciences 77, 1 (January 2004), pp. 126–134. (b) Eva Oberdorster, “Manufactured Nanomaterials (Fullerenes, C-60) Induce Oxidative Stress in the Brain of Juvenile Large mouth Bass,” Environmental Health Perspectives 112, 10 (July 2004), pp. 1058–1062. (c) Günter Oberdörster, Zachary Sharp, Viorel Atudorei, Alison Elder, Robert Gelein, Wolfgang Kreyling, and Christopher Cox, “Translocation of Inhaled Ultrafine Particles to the Brain,” Inhalation Toxicology 16, 6–7 (June 2004) pp. 437–445. (d) D. B. Warheit, B. R. Laurence, K. L. Reed, D. H. Roach, G. A. M. Reynolds, and T. R. Webb, ”Comparative Pulmonary Toxicity Assessment of Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes in Rats,” Toxicological Sciences 77, 1 (January 2004) pp. 117–125. Christie M. Sayes, John D. Fortner, Wenh Guo, Delina Lyon, Adina M. Boyd, Kevin D. Ausman, Yizhi J. Tao, Balaji Sitharaman, Lon J. Wilson,

Joseph B. Hughes, Jennifer L. West, and Vicki L. Colvin, “The Differential Cytotoxicity of Water-Soluble Fullerenes,” Nano Letters 4, 10 (October 13, 2004), pp. 1881–1887.

Jillian M. Buriak, MCIC, holds the Canada Research Chair in Inorganic and Nanoscale Materials, and holds a joint appointment of professor of chemistry at the University of Alberta. She is a senior research officer of Canada’ s National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) on the University of Alberta campus. She has been awarded the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry, an A. P. Sloan Fellowship, a Camille Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, a Research Corporation Cottrell Teacher-Scholar Award, a National Science Foundation Career Award, and Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 recognition, among others. Buriak recently returned to Canada in 2003 after spending 18 years abroad. She is interested in the synthesis of nanoscale structures and the integration of molecular electronics with semiconductor materials.

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CHARTING THE WAY FOR NANOTECHNOLOGY IN QUEBEC NanoQuébec implements Quebec’s strategy to further develop nanotechnology.


anoscience and nanotechnology promise to revolutionize a number of industrial fields. Experts expect that the benefits stemming from nanotechnology in terms of productivity and better quality of life will be similar to those created by information technologies over the past 50 years. The anticipated consequences are prompting many players, from various sectors, to identify the development of nanotechnology as a priority. Knowing that some of the most important industrial sectors will benefit from nanotechnology, Quebec, like many other regions around the world, has worked to establish a strategy for the development of nanotechnology. In collaboration with the federal government, NanoQuébec has been established to play a key role in developing and implementing this strategy.

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The organization: mission and mandate Founded in 2001, NanoQuébec is a nonprofit corporation that works to enhance the profile of nanotechnology in Quebec and to facilitate economic benefits accruing from the application of this new technology. Its initial mandate was to assist in establishing a solid university network for nanotechnology research in Quebec. A formal agreement between NanoQuébec and a number of universities in Quebec has been developed under which the universities have agreed to organize and plan their efforts in nanotechnology collectively and to share their research infrastructures. This team includes Montréal, Laval, McGill, Sherbrooke, and Concordia universities, as well as the Institut national de recherche

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Clive Willis

scientifique and École Polytechnique. A new player, École de Technologie Supérieure (ETS), has recently joined the team. Other agreements with Canadian, American, and European research centres are currently under development. NanoQuébec’s mandate was broadened in 2003. Though its initial mission to keep Quebec among international leaders in nanotechnology remains, NanoQuébec’s focus on innovation now constitutes the cornerstone of its strategy. The stakes are high: to consult and link all players in order to enhance its knowledge base and to accelerate the commercialization of applications in nanotechnology. In order to maintain a sharp focus on these key objectives, NanoQuébec’s Board of Directors includes strong representation from private sector interests.

The world nanotechnology market could reach more than a trillion dollars a year by 2015. Within this framework, NanoQuébec is in the process of implementing an action plan for Quebec for the development of nanotechnology. This plan will provide Quebec with a coherent strategy regarding nanotechnology with the aim of consolidating the best elements in the chain of innovation and to reinforce the weakest links.

Emerging trends The long-term economic potential of nanotechnology is simply phenomenal. The U.S. National Nanotechnology Initiative estimates that the world nanotechnology market could reach more than a trillion dollars a year by 2015. CMP Cientifica, which has conducted a more recent review of nanotechnology s potential, believes that nanotechnology will already generate over $500 billion in 2005. Because of its potential for generating a broad spectrum of applications, nanotechnology is seen as having the capacity to transform many different industrial sectors. Chemistry, pharmaceuticals, materials, healthcare, transportation, electronics, aerospace, tools, and sustainable development are expected to see a significant growth in the use of nanotechnology within the next few years. Both the chemical and material industries will also benefit from innovations in

nano-technology in areas such as nanostructured catalysts, nanostructured coatings, and nanoparticles. As one typical example, Nanox, a Québec City-based corporation, plans on marketing a catalyst made of nanostructured materials with better performance for the reduction of polluting emissions from car exhausts while reducing the production costs of these catalysts at he same time. Nanox expects to begin taking these new catalytic materials to the marketplace within the next two years. One of the greatest challenges linked to the marketing of nanotechnology is its integration to the existing activities of well-established industrial products and processes. To a large extent, major industry players are still reluctant to incorporate nanotechnology components because of their initial high production costs and because of the uncertainty regarding potential risks associated with nanotechnology. However, industry is progressively gaining confidence and is starting to trust that nanotechnology could bring it a competitive edge.

Quebec, a pole for innovation In the past few years, Quebec has carved itself an enviable niche in the field nanotechnology. Major investments for research infrastructure of over 400 million dollars have been made. Quebec now has a network of outstanding research infrastructure and a proven scientific base working on fundamental research in nano-sciences. It can also count on a strong history of collaboration between university and industrial players. Currently, more than forty SMEs in Quebec are developing industrial and commercial applications stemming from nanotechnology. That number appears to be increasing rapidly. Quebec has enjoyed the reputation of being a strong pole for innovation for many years now. In part at least, this strength comes from the SME community that forms a major element at the base of its economy. This SME community includes the flexibility and creativity necessary to move ahead with

new technological advances by maintaining close ties to the universities and to other research groups and by creating international partnerships. Quebec’s SMEs are in an excellent position to take a lead in developing nanotechnology. It will benefit from the favourable provincial tax system with its various tax credits granted to research and development. Together with a critical mass of professionals in nanotechnology, these factors explain why Quebec is an ideal place for R&D development as well as nanotechnology start-up businesses.

Commercialization challenges However, Quebec’s various assets must not overshadow the challenges it will have to overcome to remain a leading international player. In addition to strengthening the ties between various players, Quebec’s main challenge will be to take active steps to commercialize nanotechnology applications, which will also mean that companies will need to gain better access to the private sector’s venture capital. NanoQuébec recently launched a call for proposals from Quebec companies for nearterm projects targeting commercialization of nanotechnology applications. The firms had to submit a research and development project with proven potential in industrial and commercial applications. The contest was an overwhelming success among Quebec-based companies working in nanotechnology. Nearly half of the 40 or so companies currently involved in nanotechnology in Quebec submitted excellent projects overall—a clear sign that these companies are already moving towards the world marketplace but urgently need this type of financial assistance to commercialize their knowledge. For additional information on NanoQuébec visit

November/December 2004

Clive Willis is the general director of NanoQuébec.


Canadian Chemical News 17



ack about 15 years ago, scientists conducted laboratory experiments aimed at simulating the conditions under which carbon nucleates in the atmosphere of a cool carbon-rich red giant star. The specific goal of this Fullerene Research was to explore the possibility that long carbon chain molecules could form when carbon vapour nucleates in the presence of hydrogen and nitrogen. Then, in 1991 and purely by accident, these scientists discovered what may end up being the most significant spin-off of Fullerene research. They created tiny carbon tubes referred to as nanotubes or C60 “buckyballs” that can assemble themselves into microscopic scaffolds. These hollow carbon-based

… people could be transported up along this nanotube cable. nanotubes consist of graphitic layers seamlessly wrapped to cylinders that are 100 times stronger than steel—yet so tiny that 50,000 of them would fit into a human hair. They would have immeasurable applications in the future to build molecular structures of a specific size from the atom up, and they can take on different chemical properties. The discovery of this new form of carbon was a tantalizing surprise to scientists. Just imagine the possibilities of a molecule that has the strength of a diamond but is six times lighter than steel. The scientists used principles of biology to create long chains of carbon atoms that form structures spontaneously when mixed in water. The first structures they created were

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simple rosettes of six groups of molecules. Rings form because the inside and outside react differently to water. The inside surface of the ring is trying to avoid water, but the outside surface of the ring is attracting water. The rings then form tubes. Electrical charges on the outside of the tubes form a belt that holds them together. This system of tubes could be used to build new materials, nano-sized electronic devices, and even machines that could enter the human body and deliver drugs. Scientists envision an even more significant application of this technology. They’re looking into the possibilities of building a fixed link into outer space. That’s right—an elevator made up of a metre-wide, paperthin ribbon of nanotubes stretching from the earth’s surface straight up 35,800 kilometres and linked to a space station that was in a synchronous orbit with earth. Up to now, the biggest hurdle to building a space elevator was in finding a material strong enough and light enough to construct it. As amazing as it sounds, a carbon-nanotube ribbon would be durable enough to carry as much as 5 tons of payload for every trip. About 22 tons of carbon-nanotube cable would be lifted up into orbit, then reeled down from an anchor (space station) like a fishing line to a location on the equator where it would be tethered. Robotic climbers would then slide up the ribbon, strengthening it with more carbon nanotubes material as they ascended. Satellites, spacecraft, and even people could be transported up along this nanotube cable—and at much less expense and risk than the conventional method of launching rockets. Currently, it costs around $40,000 per pound to rocket-launch material into orbit around earth. The space elevator would bring that down to about $100 per pound. The estimated cost to build such a structure would be about $7 billion and could be finished as soon as ten years from now. And, after the first space elevator is

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Building a real elevator to space using paper-thin, carbon nanotubes Paul Johnson built, it could be used to ferry up material to build other elevators around the equator. The space elevator would open up space to greater economic opportunity for humankind. Factories in the weightless environment of space could produce exotic chemicals, life-saving pharmaceuticals, and other materials that would greatly benefit our world. Orbiting solar energy plants might beam down concentrated light from the sun to power our electricity-hungry world. Eventually, the heavens could be opened to space tourism via the space elevator. If built by an international alliance, it could help foster a spirit of cooperation and unity among the world’s nations. There is a down side, of course. Scientists are still trying to understand the properties of this new material with regard to health issues. Are carbon nanotubes safe to breathe? What if something cut the space elevator cable sending bits of carbon nanotubes into the air? Or, even worse, what if the cable didn’t break up and instead collapsed and came tumbling back down to Earth? It will be crucial to keep the elevator out of harm’s way; to avoid roaming satellites and space junk. However, most experts agree that the concept far outweighs the risks. But watch that first step. It’s a long way down. This article was previously published in The Ontario Technologist.

Paul Johnson is president of Neoteric Enterprises, a company that provides business solutions based on quality assurance and technical documentation. He has had numerous articles published dealing with regulatory issues in Canadian technical publications. He currently writes a column dealing with quality/technical issues in the Ontario Technologist magazine, and has been an OACETT member since 1981.

Photo by Alessandro R. Braun Amaro

BUILDING CAPACITY FOR INNOVATION A submission to the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance 2004 Pre-Budget Consultation Presented by the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering, September 7, 2004 Foreword by Roland Andersson, MCIC Foreword The CIC and Constituent Societies communicate key messages to the federal and provincial governments through their active participation in both the Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE) and the Canadian Consortium for Research (CCR). The CIC/Constituent Society Boards and the CIC National Office are continuously involved in the development and delivery of key chemical science- and engineering field-related messages to federal MPs, senior government bureaucrats, and other relevant organizations on behalf of the membership.

Introduction The Partnership Group for Science and Engineering (PAGSE) is a cooperative association of more than 20 national organizations in science and engineering, representing some 50,000 individuals from industry, academia, and government sectors. It was formed in June 1995 at the invitation of the Academy of Science of the Royal Society of Canada. On behalf of its members, PAGSE addresses issues

concerning the nature, importance, and benefits of science and engineering to Canadians, and promotes greater understanding by decision-makers of the role of Science and Technology (S&T) in Canada’s prosperity.

General comments The quality of life of Canadians is tied to our country’s ability to compete in a global economy. Canada’ s capacity for innovation in S&T is essential to maintain and enhance that ability. In order to build its capacity for innovation, technology transfer, and commercialization, and increase its market share, Canada must attract or train and retain a diverse and skilled workforce that will remain current with cutting-edge S&T developments and techniques. PAGSE congratulates the government for its constructive portfolio of new science agencies, programs, and activities over the last few years. These include Canada Research Chairs, funding foundations (e.g. Canada Foundation for Innovation, Genome Canada, Canadian Foundation for Climate and Atmospheric Sciences,

Sustainable Development Technology Foundation), Canada Graduate Scholarships; and federal contributions to indirect costs of research in our universities. PAGSE also commends the increased funding that has been provided to the Granting Agencies. In particular, we welcome the recent creation of the office of National Science Advisor (NSA) to the Prime Minister, and his immediate mandate, which includes evaluation of these government investments in S&T. The Advisor’s input will assist the government to position itself to address its stated national priorities regarding pressing social issues, the economy of the 21st century, and Canada’s place in the world. Canada’s S&T capacity for innovation must be strengthened. Other governments (e.g. the U.K., Asian countries, Australia) are substantially increasing their investment in national S&T capacity, while the U.S. sees increasing international competition as a threat to its lead in innovation and to its market share. All are working to attract highly qualified personnel from abroad, and to retain their own skilled nationals. Canada must also act, now.

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Building capacity for innovation PAGSE considers the following to be important issues related to S&T capacity that merit consideration by the Government of Canada:

1. Support for the office of the National Science Advisor PAGSE congratulates the Government of Canada on the appointment of an independent National Science Advisor (NSA) to the Prime Minister. The NSA’s task is imposing and expectations on him to lever Canadian S&T capacity are high. He will need access to robust assessments of scientific knowledge targeting key societal issues and sound foresight regarding the future impacts of S&T in Canada.

Recommendations • That the government ensure adequate resourcing of the NSA’s office to enable it to fulfill its mandate; • That the government follow through on its declared support for the creation and funding of a “Canadian Academies of Science.” This institution would help mobilize Canada’s capacity to provide independent scientific assessments, enhance the NSA’s capacity, and provide an international voice for Canadian S&T.

2. S&T research capacity Government science capacity The National Science Advisor has been charged with identifying better ways to coordinate and integrate Canada’s scientific assets across the innovation system. Science-Based Departments and Agencies (SBDAs) and Research Support Agencies (RSAs) are vital components of the nation’s capacity for innovation. In addition to monitoring and regulatory work, they conduct in-house process-oriented, thematic research to meet departmental mandates and government priorities. Moreover, they do so with a breadth of focus and a long-term perspective that is not common in other research sectors. PAGSE commends those SBDAs that have adopted the guidelines formulated by the Council of Scientific and Technical Advisors (CSTA) with respect to the selection and evaluation of S&T projects (BEST and STEPS reports). However, the perception of integrity of the selection/evaluation process, and of the quality of the science undertaken by SBDAs, would be strengthened by

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adopting a uniform set of open and transparent evaluation and selection procedures across all federal SBDAs. Furthermore, a horizontal approach to federal S&T should integrate aspects of complementary university- and industry-based research with government S&T programs in innovative and mutually advantageous partnerships.

Recommendations • That the government of Canada establish a body for strategic coordination of federal science, to prioritize the renewal of federal research infrastructure in order to improve federal S&T capacity, and to facilitate cross-sectoral research cooperation (government/external partnerships); • That the government establish government-wide standards for the transparent selection and evaluation of S&T projects in order to enhance the credibility of science undertaken by SBDAs.

Granting agencies PAGSE congratulates the Government of Canada on the investments it has made through the three Granting Agencies over the past several years: the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council (NSERC), the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC). At the same time, major challenges for S&T capacity building remain. These include the enormous pressure on granting councils created by the large numbers of new applicants for research funding, and the requirement for appreciably higher levels of support, in order that Canada’s current trailblazers and “leaders of tomorrow” can compete globally.

Recommendation • To affirm its commitment to innovation, and thus retain and attract outstanding researchers to Canada, the government should strengthen the capacity of the granting agencies to maintain a longterm perspective by accelerating the rate of increase of their funding allocations, and adopting a multi-year approach coupled with the option of a 10% carryforward between years.

Capacity for research in remote areas Canada’s vast landmass and seas present daunting logistical and financial challenges for scientific research. PAGSE commends the government for its renewed investment in

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the Polar Continental Shelf Project (PCSP) and (through Networks of Centres of Excellence and NSERC) the ArcticNet consortium. However, the costs of access and daily maintenance, shipboard operations, and long-term field observatories are beyond the capabilities of these organizations. In the past, federal SBDAs managed substantial facilities, permanent or otherwise, in remote regions of the country. Reductions in federal research platforms have left university-based scientists scrambling to assemble new ad hoc support to maintain vital facilities and to preserve knowledge that Canada needs now and in the future. By way of example, we point to the sudden closure of the Arctic Stratospheric Ozone Observatory on Ellesmere Island in 2002. In a recent report to Paul Martin by the former Chair of the Government Caucus on Post-Secondary Education and Research, science-based departments and agencies now constitute the weak link in Canada’ s S&T capacity. PCSP has rendered exceptional service to northern scientific research and stands as a model. However, a long-term, strategic vision is now needed, including local capacity building, to ensure that Canada’ s research and policy needs are met in remote areas across the country, and that Canada is able to take its rightful place in relevant international activities, such as the International Polar Year (2007–2008).

Recommendations • That the Government of Canada specifically mandate and fund SBDA operational support for scientific programs in remote areas, and create an inter-agency body to provide coordinated logistical support to the full spectrum of scientific research conducted in remote regions across Canada, particularly the Arctic. The resources must be able to provide sustained, integrated support over a wide range of geographic and disciplinary areas; • That Canada’s National Science Advisor be tasked with advising on how to structure the national inter-agency body to ensure sustained logistical support for effective research planning and operations to meet national needs.

3. Capacity for commercialization of S&T The ability of industry to successfully move new inventions and ideas into the global marketplace depends on bridging the gaps

in the commercialization process. Canada has invested heavily in the research pipeline upon which new products and services are based on. The government has also set ambitious goals for its innovation agenda. These goals include dramatically increasing the amount of research and development conducted by the private sector and increasing the amount of investment capital flowing into innovative companies. More recently, the government has provided funding for two pilot commercialization programs aimed at universities and federal laboratories. These are all valuable contributions to Canada’ s quest to develop a knowledgebased economy that’ s among the top five in the world. But the competition is not merely watching from the sidelines. All advanced nations have developed or are developing aggressive innovation and commercialization strategies and programs. Now is the time for Canada to accelerate its efforts to realize these goals by establishing a progressive fiscal framework and creating programs that will allow companies to increase their capacity to bring their innovation to market and create new wealth. Governments can assist smaller companies in their bid to commercialize products by becoming a first adopter of new products and services. They can also invest in proof of principle and demonstration projects. These steps serve to increase capital required for commercialization by minimizing the risk to venture capitalists and angel investors. The federal government also has a role in financing promising, innovative

technology. Successive studies have demonstrated the need for more seed and pre-seed capital to stimulate company formation and growth. A new seed and pre-seed program could also include funding for skills development. Such an initiative should be private sector led, market driven, national in scope and directed towards the sectors in which Canada has existing strength, with an emphasis on receptor capacity. Existing programs such as the National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program and Technology Partnerships Canada already make valuable contributions and should be strengthened.

qualified personnel, it is imperative that the Government of Canada continue to strongly encourage the post-graduate training of young Canadian scientists and engineers as part of its strategy to ensure the nation’s S&T capacity in the immediate future. Many students graduate at the BSc level with a significant debt load that discourages them from pursuing further training. Furthermore, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) need highly qualified personnel in order to build their capacity for innovation. Commonly, this involves graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.


• That the government examine potential mechanisms for debt forgiveness to encourage greater numbers of students to enter graduate school; • As part of our recommendation regarding the strengthening of Granting Agencies, that the Government of Canada provide more substantial support through the Granting Agencies to cover both the stipends and the research and training costs of graduate students and post-doctoral fellows based in Canadian universities and colleges; • That the government ensure that young scientists and engineers working in SMEs be paid regular salaries.

• That the Government of Canada establish a seed and pre-seed funding program that is market driven and led by the private sector. Such a program could be administered by the Business Development Bank of Canada; • That the government strengthen existing programs such as Technology Partnerships Canada and the Industrial Research Assistance Program; • That the government review the highly successful Scientific Research and Experimental Development tax credit program with the view to expanding its reach further downstream towards the marketplace.

4. Future Capacity in S&T Young scientists and engineers


CIC executive director, Roland Andersson, MCIC, welcomes your comments at

Given the increasing international competition for attracting and retaining highly

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Canadian Chemical News 21

CIC Bulletin ICC

CIC BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOMINATIONS (2005–2006) The Nominating Committee appointed under the terms of CIC By-law Article X, Section 1, has proposed the candidates listed below to serve as The Institute officers for 2005–2006. Further nominations are solicited from the membership for the positions of Chair and Vice-Chair. They must be submitted in writing, must have the written and signed consent of the nominee to serve if elected, and must be signed by no fewer than 25 members in good standing of The Institute (CIC By-law Article X, Section 3 (d)). The deadline for receipt of any additional nominations is Monday, January 24, 2005. If any elections are required, ballots will be mailed in February. Those elected—whether by ballot or acclamation—will take office following the annual general meeting of The Institute on Monday, May 30, 2005 in Saskatoon, SK.

Bernard West holds a BSc and a PhD in chemical engineering from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology. He is currently owner and president of Westworks Consulting Limited and was previously president and chief operating officer, chemicals with Canada Colors and Chemicals Limited located in Don Mills, ON. Prior to that, West worked for Rhone-Poulenc Canada for nine years (two as president and seven as Chair and Délégué pays). He joined Rhone-Poulenc via its acquisition in 1989 of Alkaril Chemicals by then a part of GAF’s surfactant business. West was also previously with Imperial Oil for 15 years in various technical business and management positions of increasing responsibility, with the University of Manchester for six years as a tenured lecturer, and with Polymer Corporation where he started his career as a process engineer.

Chair 2005–2006 Bernard West, MCIC President Westworks Consulting Limited

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En vertu de l’article X, section 1, du règlement de l’ICC, le Comité des candidatures propose la candidature des personnes listées ci-dessous aux postes d’administrateur pour 2005-2006. Les membres sont invités à soumettre d’autres candidatures pour les postes de président et de vice-président. Celles-ci doivent être présentées par écrit, être accompagnées du consentement écrit et signé par le candidat à remplir la charge s’il est élu, et doivent être signées par au moins 25 membres en règle de l’Institut. (Article X, section 3 (d) du règlement de l’ICC). La date limite pour soumettre d’autres candidatures est le lundi 24 janvier 2005. Advenant qu’un scrutin soit nécessaire, les bulletins seront postés en février. Les personnes élues par scrutin ou par acclamation entreront en fonction après l’assemblée générale annuelle de l’Institut, qui aura lieu le 30 mai 2005, à Saskatoon (Saskatchewan).


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In addition to leading businesses, West has been very active in several industry associations and industry-government bodies. He was a member of the Board of the Canada’s Chemical Producers Association (Chair 1995–1997), Chair of the Society of Chemical Industry–Canadian Section (remains on the SCI executive), a member of the Board of the National Association of Chemical Distributors (Washington, D.C.) and a member of the Advisory Board of SGF Chimie Inc. West is currently Vice-Chair of The Chemical Institute of Canada, Co-Chair of the Ontario Chemistry Value Chain Initiative Steering Committee, a member of the Board of the Canadian Manufacturing Agility Forum (founding Chair 1996– 1999) and a member of the French Chamber of Commerce in Ontario. He was awarded the CCPA Outstanding Leadership Award and the SCI Canada Medal in 2003.

CIC Bulletin ICC Section head

In 2002, Cardy received the Norman and Marion Bright Award for her continued support of chemical technology.

Statement of policy

Vice-Chair 2005–2006 Catherine Cardy, MCIC Environmental Group Leader Imperial Oil Catherine Cardy graduated from Mohawk College in 1974 with a technician diploma in chemical engineering. Her first position was as a biochemistry technologist at McMaster University’s biochemistry department for four years and held a similar position at the University of Western Ontario for five years. During this time, she co-authored five papers in the area of hormone research. In 1983, she started a successful career with Imperial Oil where she held various positions from research analytical laboratory technologist to environmental group leader with Imperial Oil’s Environmental, Health and Safety Group (as of September 2004). In 1993, she received her BSc in chemistry from the University of Waterloo. Cardy became involved in The Chemical Institute of Canada in the late 1980s at the Sarnia local section. In 1995, she became a board member of the CSCT at the national level, then became vice president in 1996 and president in 1998. She organized the 25th CSCT Anniversary symposium in London, ON, in 1998 where area college students had the opportunity to listen to the career technologist’s papers. The success of this lead to the current annual student symposia sponsored by CSCT. Cardy continues to be present at most as a judge. In 2000, the first National Workshop for the CSCT in Toronto, ON, was planned and continues each year. Cardy has been very active in National Chemistry Week, and was nominated as part of the CSCT Board to sit on the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB) to represent technology programs.

The CIC has been an institution across Canada for 60 years. As with all organizations, institutions need to continually evolve to survive and progress. The CIC is no different. The synergy of the CIC is with the constituent members. The diversity of engineers, chemists, and chemical technologists and their ever changing roles and responsibilities is what continues to make the CIC the institution of choice. We must work closer with others who have titles such as environmental technologists and biotechnologists who have strong chemistry educational backgrounds but do not see themselves in the traditional titles of the CIC. I will continue to focus our mandate to deliver the programs and services to this diverse group of individuals. I will ensure that chemistry-based initiatives are well represented at all levels of government. I will work with the three Societies to ensure national and international associations are tied and linked where appropriate. Together we can make the profession progressive and stronger and make CIC membership the choice for chemical professionals.

Process and Environmental Technology at the National Research Council of canada (NRC) in Ottawa, ON. He supervises 80 scientific professionals performing research in the fields of membrane separation, fuel chemistry, polymeric materials for photonic and tissue engineering applications, energy materials and fuel cells, nanostructured materials and numerical simulations applied to atmospheric chemistry and computational fluid dynamics. Deslandes obtained his PhD at the department of chemistry of the Université de Montréal in 1980. The same year, he joined the Xerox Research Centre of Canada, in Mississauga, ON, where he applied his knowledge of polymer chemistry, physics, and morphology to research activities related to materials for application in xerography, such as organic photoreceptors, toners, and papers. He joined the division of chemistry at the NRC in 1988, performing research on polymer crystallization, sol-gel chemistry, polymeric composites, and fibre-matrix interfaces. He developed a competency in organic surface analysis using mainly X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) and Time-of-flight Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (ToF-SIMS). Deslandes is co-author of two patents and more than 75 refereed scientific articles. Deslandes has been active in the scientific community, filling the roles of secretary, treasurer, co-Chair and Chair of The Chemical Institute of Canada Macromolecular Science and Engineering Division from 1988 to 1996, and secretary, program Chair and Chair for the biannual Canadian High Polymer Forum in 1996, 1998, and 2000. Deslandes currently chairs the strategic grant committee for value-added products and processes with NSERC and is a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Nanoparticle Research.

President 2005–2006 Yves Deslandes, FCIC Director, Chemical Systems and Materials Program Institute for Chemical Process and Environmental Technology National Research Council of Canada (NRC) Yves Deslandes, is currently director of research at the Institute for Chemical

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CSC Bulletin SCC

CSC BOARD OF DIRECTORS NOMINATIONS (2005–2006) The Nominating Committee appointed under the terms of CSC By-law Article X Nominations and Elections has proposed the candidates listed below for election to the Board of Directors in 2005–2006. Members are reminded of the provision of By-law Article X, Section 3 (e) which states: “Further nominations for any officer position may be made in writing by any ten or more Voting Members of the corporation. Further nominations for directors to be elected by Divisions [or Regions] in any year may be made by any five members in good standing qualified to vote for the said director [i.e. a member of the Division(s) or Regions the director will represent].” Each nomination must be accompanied by the candidate’s written agreement to serve if elected, a curriculum vitae and a recent black and white photograph. The deadline for receipt of additional nominations is Monday, January 24, 2005. If any elections are required, ballots will be mailed in February. Those elected, whether by ballot or acclamation, will take office immediately following the annual general meeting of the Society on Monday, May 30, 2005 in Saskatoon, SK.

Dave Schwass, a native Albertan, graduated from the University of Lethbridge with a BSc in chemistry and joined NOVA Chemicals. As senior environmental advisor, Schwass provides environmental leadership and support to NOVA Chemicals’ research and technology, and olefins and polyolefins businesses. Previously, he was corporate environmental advisor; safety, health, environment and risk audit team leader; and senior environmental specialist within the chemical manufacturing, gas transmission, and international businesses. Prior to joining NOVA, Schwass spent time with both the federal and provincial governments and for a period had his own consulting practice. He is a certified auditor in both Canada and the U.S. in the areas of environmental, health, and safety in addition to being a professional chemist.

Dave W. Schwass, MCIC Vice-president 2005–2006 Senior environmental advisor NOVA Chemicals Corporation

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Le Comité des candidatures, nommé en vertu des dispositions du règlement 14(i) de la Société canadienne de chimie (SCC), propose la candidature des personnes listées ci-dessous aux postes de membres du conseil pour 2005-2006. Il est rappelé aux membres que le règlement 15(f) précise ce qui suit : « Des candidatures additionnelles pour les postes d’administrateurs peuvent être soumises par écrit par au moins dix membres votants de la Société. D’autres candidatures aux postes de directeur à élire par les divisions (ou les régions) en n’importe quelle année peuvent être faites par au moins cinq membres en règle de la Société, pourvu qu’ils aient le droit de voter pour ces directeurs (c.-à-d. des membres de la ou des divisions ou régions que l’administrateur représentera). » Chaque candidature doit être accompagnée du consentement écrit et signé par le candidat, qui s’engage à remplir la charge s’il est élu, d’un curriculum vitae, ainsi que d’une photographie récente en noir et blanc. Les membres auront jusqu’au lundi 24 janvier 2005 pour faire parvenir de nouvelles candidatures. Advenant qu’un scrutin soit nécessaire, les bulletins seront postés en février. Les personnes élues par scrutin ou par acclamation entreront en fonction immédiatement après l’assemblée générale annuelle de la Société qui aura lieu le lundi 30 mai 2005, à Saskatoon (Saskatchewan).


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Schwass has been actively involved in the Canadian Society for Chemistry and has held numerous positions in the Calgary Section, been treasurer for the Calgary CSC 2000 Conference, and since 2001 the Society treasurer and member of the Executive Committee. He is a charter member and past officer of the Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta, the vice-president of the Alberta Plastics Recycling Association, and a director of the Rockyview Gas Co-op Ltd.

Statement of policy The decision to maintain a membership in the CSC is a personal one. CSC members, whether from business, academia, or government, represent a very diverse range of interests and activities. This includes

CSC Bulletin SCC Section head

education, pure and applied research and development , and chemically related services, as well as those who have a chemical background but are engaged in other diverse areas. Regardless of a member’s affiliation, the Institute, Society, divisions and local sections provide benefits and opportunities for all members, including a world-class annual conference and exhibition, professional and technical networking, opportunities to influence science-related public policy, financial benefits, encouraging and “turning on” young minds to the wonders of the chemical sciences, and perhaps the most enjoyable aspect, providing opportunities to interact with others of similar interests and curiosities. Ever advancing technology and societal demands have created a competitive environment; competition for our time, interest, and money. The CSC has, and continues to focus on providing value to its members through effective use of technology, hiring and retaining the right people, and engaging in those activities that achieve results aligned with the long-term Strategic Plan. I believe that continued focus on our strategy is critical to the continued re-growth in membership and long-term viability of the organization. Beginning with my activities on the Calgary 2000 CSC Conference Committee and then since 2001 on the CSC Board and Executive Committee as treasurer, I, along with many others, have encouraged and participated in the development and improvement of management systems, financial accountability and transparency, predictable funding models, and governance processes. These issues will remain a focus for me with the review and updating of the Institute and Society By-laws in 2006, and following in subsequent years those of the divisions and local sections. I will work with the Societies and Institute to develop and communicate positions on issues of interest to the membership and the broader community as identified in the in the 2002 membership survey. Recognition of the profession of chemistry in its many manifestations is an area of significant concern given the actions of many provinces to ensure that individuals are properly qualified to provide opinion and take accountability for issues and decisions that involve public safety or environmental protection. On behalf of our almost 4,000 members across Canada, I will work to continue to expand relationships with the existing and developing provincial professional associations representing chemists, and to

engage policy makers on behalf of our members in the provinces without such a voice. We will endeavour to ensure that the profession and practice of chemistry is adequately represented, and roles and employability that involve the chemical sciences are maintained and ensured.

Kim Baines, FCIC Director 2005–2008 Professor of chemistry University of Western Ontario

William Ogilvie, MCIC Treasurer 2005–2008 Associate professor of chemistry University of Ottawa William Ogilvie received a BSc from Laurentian University in 1985. He then attended the University of Ottawa as an NSERC 1967 Science and Engineering Scholar receiving his PhD in 1989. He was then an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania and at the Scripps Research Institute, working in the K.C. Nicolaou group. In 1990 he joined Boehringer-Ingelheim (then BioMega) in Montréal working as a research scientist and spent 11 years with the company. During this period he contributed to antiviral medicinal chemistry and helped develop inhibitors of the human papilloma virus, the human cytomegalovirus, and the human immunodeficiency virus. He also found time to develop new asymmetric radical reactions and selective acetal displacements. In 2001, he joined the department of chemistry at the University of Ottawa as an associate professor. He is an author of 35 research papers and an inventor on 10 patents. Ogilvie has been a co-organizer of several scientific meetings including the 10th QOMSBOC in St-Sauveur (1999), the National Undergraduate Chemistry Conference (2003– 2004), and was a member of the organizing committee for the 84th CSC Conference and Exhibition in Montréal (2001). He is currently a co-organizer of the 15th QOMSBOC and is an area coordinator for Pacifichem 2005.

Kim Baines was born in Halifax, NS, and received her BSc Honours in chemistry from St. Mary’s University in 1982. She received an NSERC 1967 Science Scholarship for her postgraduate studies at the University of Toronto under the tutelage of Adrian Brook, FCIC. After receiving her PhD in 1987, she spent one year as an NSERC postdoctoral fellow at the University of Dortmund, Germany, with Wilhelm Neumann. She then joined the faculty at the University of Western Ontario where she is now a professor of chemistry. Baines’ research interests focus on the chemistry and reactivity of Group 14 dimetallenes and metallylenes. She was awarded the inaugural J.C. Polanyi Prize for Chemistry in 1988, the Clara Benson Award from the CSC in 2002, and the Florence Bucke Prize for Science in 2004. She currently serves as a member the NSERC Discovery Grant Selection Committee for Inorganic and Organic Chemistry and is a member of the international advisory boards for the International Conference on the Coordination and Organometallic Chemistry of Ge, Sn and Pb, the International Symposium on Organosilicon Chemistry and the International Conference on Heteroatom Chemistry. She served as program Chair for the recent 87th CSC Conference held in London, ON.

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in pure or applied analytical chemistry, and was one of the first winners of the Amethyst Award in 1993 for outstanding achievements by Ontario civil servants. Clement earned the distinctions of Fellow of The Chemical Institute of Canada (FCIC) in 1997, and Fellow of Canadian Certified Environmental Practitioner (CCEP) in 2002 (Environmental Research category).

The CSC Board of Directors has agreed to extend the following directors’ terms by one year to 2005–2006: • Geoffrey Rayner-Canham, FCIC, Memorial University of Newfoundland, director of student affairs • John McIntosh, FCIC, University of Windsor, director of accreditation The biographies of both are available to members by request from the CIC executive director at

Ray Clement, FCIC, CCEP Director 2005–2008 Senior research scientist Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Laboratory Services Branch (MOE) After graduating from the co-op chemistry program at the University of Waterloo, Ray Clement earned his PhD in analytical chemistry. In 1982, he joined the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Laboratory Services Branch (MOE), where he supervised the Dioxin laboratory for several years before being promoted to his current position of senior research scientist. He has published 140 technical reports and papers, and five books. He founded the biennial international conference EnviroAnalysis—the sixth meeting is planned for May 2006. Clement has taught environmental/analytical chemistry at the University of Waterloo, University of Western Ontario, and Sheridan College, and coordinates the hiring of co-op and summer students at the MOE laboratory. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Council for Human Resources in the Environment Industry (CCHREI), and frequently presents lectures and workshops to undergraduate students on environmental employment and job search strategies. As a member of the environmental and analytical divisions of the CSC, Clement has been involved with the organization of several conference sessions over the years, and in the award programs of both divisions. As Environment Division Chair in 1992– 1993, he helped revive the Environmental Improvement Award. Clement received the 1991 Francis W. Karasek Award for achievements in environmental analytical chemistry, the 1992 McBryde Medal for a significant achievement

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Yves Ducharme, MCIC Director 2005–2008 Director Medicinal chemistry Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Yves Ducharme, MCIC, was born in Montréal, QC. He graduated with a BSc in chemistry from the Université de Montréal in 1983 and with a PhD in 1988 from the same school. His PhD research, performed under the guidance of James D. Wuest, FCIC, involved pioneering work in the field of m olecular r ecognition in organic chemistry. He then joined the group of Yoshito Kishi in the department of chemistry at Harvard University as a postdoctoral Fellow. While at Harvard, he worked on the asymmetric synthesis of non-proteinogenic amino acids and on molecular recognition between peptides. In 1990, Ducharme joined the department of medicinal chemistry at the Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research in Montréal where he now holds the position of director. Since joining Merck Frosst, Ducharme has been actively involved in the search of novel and potent inhibitors of various enzymes such as 5-Lipoxygenase, Cyclooxygenase-2 and Phosphodiesterase-4 to treat different inflammatory diseases. He is the co-author of more then 15 refereed scientific publications and of over 25 patents.

novembre/décembre 2004

SAVE TIME ~ RENEW ON-LINE Renew your CIC membership for 2005 at https://secure. default.asp

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The 87th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition INTRODUCTION The 87th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition “opened” after a full day of oral presentations and a poster session that included the Undergraduate Students Poster Competition. Richard N. Zare of Stanford University was the Plenary Speaker and discussed the topic of Examining the Ultra Small. Approximately 1,000 people attended this session as well as the Opening Mixer that followed. The London Convention Centre and the adjacent London Hilton Hotel were the sites of this very successful Conference that attracted more than 1,800 attendees from Canada, the U.S. and the rest of the scientific world. In addition to the long-standing annual all-conference events– the presentation of the CIC Medal lecture by Mitchell A. Winnik of the University of Toronto and the presentation of the Montreal Medal lecture by Tristram Chivers of the University of Calgary– there was an additional all-conference event. A Science Policy Forum was initiated; the Role and Mandate of the National Science Advisor to the Prime Minister was presented by Arthur J. Carty who was appointed National Science Advisor to the Prime Minister in April 2004. From his unique and unprecedented position, Carty gave an outline of the mandate and responsibilities of his position as well as the immediate and long-range priorities of the role. Time constraints, unfortunately, limited the discussion of this fascinating topic. There was a CIC Chair’s Event, a Green Chemistry and Engineering Forum that was designed to promote awareness in sustainable chemistry and engineering by chemists and chemical engineers with diverse backgrounds. This program was moderated by Sundar Sundararajan, FCIC, then Vice-Chair of the CIC, and addressed topics to encourage the use of better process design to decrease emissions and waste rather than simply using “end-of-the-pipe” solutions. Participants in this timely forum included C. J. Li, McGill University, Joseph Cunningham, Industry Canada, Dave Schwass, NOVA Chemicals and Yves Deslandes, NRC. In the Chemical Education Division, a standing-room-only audience attended NO, the collaborative production of Carl Djerassi and Pierre

Kim Baines, FCIC, professor of chemistry at UWO was the scientific program Chair.

CSC2004 was chaired by Rob Lipson, MCIC, Chair and professor of chemistry at UWO.

Laszlo, which was presented as a word play by three students with accompanying audiovisual support. The subject was a discussion on how to raise money for research on the biological applications of NO and was designed to demonstrate the critical role of chemistry in the interdisciplinary nature of contemporary research. The presentation, which was designed to fit into a classroom setting, was followed by an assessment by Michael Atkinson, one of the University of Western Ontario’s (UWO’s) 3M Teaching Awardees, and a commentary by one of the playwrights, Pierre Laszlo. In the usual format of a CSC conference, ten divisions were represented; the History of Chemistry was included with the Chemical Education Division. There were 47 symposia including 10 symposia joint between two divisions as well as seven general sessions and three combined poster sessions.

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The local organizing committee, division representatives, and symposia Chairs.

Front row: Michael Kerr, organizer, Emerging Organic Synthesis: James Wisner, organizer, Self-Assembly and Molecular Recognition: Rob Lipson, conference chair and organizer, Spectroscopy 100 Years after the Birth of Gerhard Herzberg; Kim Baines, scientific program chair; Martin Stillman, divisional rep. of the Environment Division and co-organizer, Teaching Environmental and Green Chemistry and Environmental Science, and organizer, Properties and Functions of Metal Ions and Complexes in Biological Systems; Tom Woo, graduate student program coordinator, divisional rep., Physical and Theoretical Division and co-organizer, Frontiers in Quantum Chemical Modeling and Simulation. Second row: Zhifeng Ding, organizer, Electrochemistry; Robert Hudson, divisional rep., Biological/Medicinal Chemistry Division, organizer, Frontiers in Nucleic Acid Chemistry; Myra Gordon, communications with authors and Web site liaison; Mel Usselman, divisional rep., History of Chemistry; organizer, all History of Chemistry symposia; Mark Workentin, divisional rep., Organic Chemistry Division. Third row: Lars Konermann, divisional rep., Analytical Chemistry Division; Keith Griffiths, volunteers coordinator; Peter Guthrie, organizer, Mechanistic Studies in Organic, Biological and Medicinal Chemistry.

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Missing from photo: Colin Baird, divisional rep., Chemical Education Division, organizer, all Chemical Education symposia and co-organizer, Teaching Environmental and Green Chemistry and Environmental Science; Michael Bancroft, organizer, Science Capabilities at the Canadian Light Source; Paul Charpentier, divisional rep., Macromolecular Science and Engineering Division; Stella Constas, co-organizer, Classical and Quantum Approaches of Rare Event Dynamics in Condensed-Phase Systems; John Corrigan, divisional rep., Inorganic Chemistry Division; Yining Huang, treasurer and co-organizer, Frontiers in Solid State Magnetic Resonance and co-organizer, Advances in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy; Peter Norton, divisional rep., Materials Chemistry Division; T.K. Sham, organizer, Materials Science Using Synchrotron Radiation; Ken Yeung, undergraduate student program coordinator and co-organizer, Separations and Bioanalytical Chemistry. Myra Gordon, MCIC

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Conference Highlights It has always been difficult to keep up with Richard Zare’s research interests. To spectroscopists he was one of the first and most prominent advocates for the use of lasers in spectroscopy and molecular dynamics. His 1970s work on laserinduced fluorescence and reaction dynamics set the pace for a generation of physical chemists and molecular physicists. His recent work on microfluidics and in particular single-cell manipulation and analysis will likely affect analytical chemists in much the same way as Plenary speaker Richard N. Zare his continuing work in molecular physics has influenced laser physics for three decades. In the opening lecture of the conference entitled, “Adventures in Chemical Analysis,” Zare, the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University, described the fabrication and functionalization of packed capillary columns having micron-sized pores using sol-gel technology. This monolithic silica structure was used to immobilize the enzyme trypsin that was then used to digest N–benzoyl-Larginine ethyl ester (BAEE). The reaction took place within the few Figure 1 seconds it took to flow the sample through the column, with an enzymatic activity of 11,000 U, orders of magnitude higher than the activity of free trypsin in solution. Zare attributed the enhanced activity to the much more efficient use of the immobilized enzyme in a forced flow reactor. The theme of making things more efficient, cheaper, and smarter continued with the presentation of the Hadamard transform time-of flight mass spectrometer, a regular TOF-MS equipped with a fast shutter for an incoming continuous ion beam. By modulating the shutter at rates that are fast compared to the flight time, and then demodulating the resultant ion signal, Zare showed that the signal-to-noise ratio obtained far exceeded any regular TOF-MS. The advantage of the Hadamard transform TOF is twofold: by being run continuously it can be readily attached to a variety of analytical separation devices, and by having a duty cycle of 50 percent its S/N ratio is superior to a regular TOF-MS. The remainder of Zare’s presentation was a rollercoaster ride in single-cell manipulation and analysis. In a presentation that was animated in every respect, it was shown how “labs-on-a-chip” can be used to trap single cells, to lyse them, to fluorescently label the contents, and to analyze them on columns with only centimetre lengths. The message was clearly that the information obtained by analyzing an ensemble of cells is no more than an average and the contribution from a single cell may be greatly different than the average value. Obviously, the Zare lab is again playing a leading role—this time in the development of microfluidic techniques and single-cell chemical cytometry!

Ian Young, ACIC, and Michael Kerr, MCIC

In the Emerging Organic Synthesis Symposium, graduate student Ian Young, ACIC, presented work he has carried out with Michael Kerr, MCIC, at the University of Western Ontario in the development of a new cycloaddition reaction, in which nitrones and cyclopropanes are coupled to make highly functionalized heterocycles. Young showed that the combination of a hydroxylamine 1, aldehyde 2 and cyclopropane 3 produces substituted tetrahydro-1,2-oxazines 5 via the in situ generation of a nitrone 4. The reactions proceed in high yields with near complete diastereoselectivity. The tetrahydro-1,2-oxazine ring is a key structural element of the anti-cancer compound FR900482 7. Using this reaction, a series of FR900482 structural analogs 6 were constructed in only two steps. In addition, a tetrahydro-1,2-oxazine precursor to the tricyclic core of Nakadomarin A 13 has been prepared in a short reaction sequence from 11, the cycloadduct resulting from the coupling of 8, 9, and 10 (See Scheme 1). Current efforts are directed towards the preparation of this highly complex natural product.

Scheme 1

Also in Michael Kerr’s emerging organic synthesis symposium, Peter Wilson, MCIC, of the department of chemistry at Simon Fraser University described a number of total syntheses that his group has accomplished, including an elegant synthesis of the complete polycyclic ring system of the anti-inflammatory agent artocarpol A (18) (Scheme 2). The synthesis begins by the reaction of 14 with aldehyde 15 to provide cross-condensation products 16 (EE and EZ) as well as the desired 2H-pyran 17 (Scheme 2). 16 was November/December 2004


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recycled to afford 17 in a combined overall yield of 70 percent. Irradiation of a dilute solution of 17 in the presence of benzophenone gave the artocarpol A analog 18 in 45 percent yield in an amazingly direct synthetic pathway.

Scheme 2

In the Spectroscopy 100 Years After the Birth of Gerhard Herzberg Symposium organized by Rob Lipson, MCIC, Benoit Simard, MCIC (group leader, molecular spectroscopy, Steacie Institute, NRC) , presented an invited talk focusing on three issues of current importance to gas phase molecular spectroscopy. The talk began with the seemingly simple but unassigned Resonant 2-Photon Ionization (R2PI) spectrum of the linear Si-N-Si molecule. He showed that in this case, laser-induced fluorescence and dispersion emission spectroscopy were better suited to study the molecule and in fact the visible spectrum can be assigned unambiguously. He then demonstrated that it was possible to obtain high-quality Stimulated Emission Pumping (SEP) spectra in noisy environments such as those found in laser vaporization sources, plasmas, and possible flames. As an example he used the visible spectrum of PH2 generated in a laser vaporization source. Finally, he showed that Infrared Multi-Photon Depletion spectroscopy with a continuous free-electron laser beam is a powerful tool to probe the structure and bonding of ligated metal clusters such as Rhn–CO(n = 2-30).

have been unsuccessful. However, in recent research described during the talk, which was performed together with fellow graduate student Eric Rivard, MCIC, in Ian Manners, FCIC’s, group at the University of Toronto, the presence of a strong donor ligand (L) such as 4–dimethylaminopyridine has been found to allow the labile cations to be isolated and fully characterized (Scheme 3). The resulting donor-stabilized phosphoranimine cations [LR2P≡NSiMe3]+ showed extensive shortening of the PN bond (down to 1.46 – 1.49 Å) and widening of the angle at nitrogen (up to 144 – 173º) compared to the neutral phosphoranimine precursors and possess what can be considered to be

Scheme 3

phosphorus-nitrogen bonds with significant triple bond character. Efforts to prepare the analogous phosphine stabilized cations [LR2P≡NSiMe3]+ (L = phosphine) resulted in imine transfer, which provided a convenient route to tri-organo-substituted phosphoranimines without the use of hazardous azides (J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2004, 126, 2286).

In the Main Group Chemistry Symposium organized by Ignacio Vargas-Baca, MCIC, and Charles Macdonald, MCIC, the chemistry of phosphoranimines XR2P=NSiMe3 (X = Cl, Br, OCH2CF3, etc.) was described by graduate student Keith Huynh, MCIC. These compounds are of considerable interest because they possess phosphorus-nitrogen multiple bonds and would be convenient precursors to high molecular weight polyphosphazenes. Phosphoranimine cations [R2P=NSiMe3]+ have been considered as key intermediate species in the polymerization mechanism. To date, attempts to generate transient cationic species of this type Gregory Lopinski, MCIC

Ian Manners, FCIC, and Keith Huynh, MCIC

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Figure 2

In the Scanning Probe Microscopy Symposium organized by John-Bruce Green, MCIC, Gregory Lopinski, MCIC, from the Steacie Institute, NRC, gave an invited talk on the chemical modification of silicon surfaces for applications in conventional microelectronics and in the fabrication of novel hybrid organic /silicon molecular devices and sensors. Atomically flat hydrogen terminated Si(111) (produced via a wet chemical etching process) is being used by a number of groups to produce surfaces terminated with halogens as well as with a wide range of organic functional groups and biomolecules. On surfaces of semiconductors such as silicon, adsorption of electron donating or withdrawing species can lead to long-range bandbending effects that alter the conductivity of the underlying substrate. The Lopinski group demonstrated that chlorination of n-type H/Si(111) surfaces leads to a significant increase in the surface conductivity that

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can be attributed to the formation of a minority carrier channel resulting from the electron withdrawing nature of the chemisorbed chlorine. By using conductivity as an in-situ probe of the gas phase reaction of molecular chlorine with H/Si(111), they observed that this reaction could take place spontaneously in the dark at room temperature, while previous chlorination reactions used UV light or elevated temperatures. Under the mild reaction conditions used here, the resulting surfaces have very low defect densities. See the STM image in Figure 2. The Si-Cl stretch is also observed in high-resolution electron energy loss spectroscopy (HREELS) measurements. High-quality halogenated surfaces made by this approach may prove useful to form hydroxylated surfaces for growth of high k dielectric layers for microelectronic applications. Alternately they can be used as a more reactive alternative to the H-terminated surface for the covalent attachment of organic molecular layers to silicon. On-going work involves exploring reactions of a wide range of molecules with these surfaces, using conductivity to monitor the reactions and HREELS and STM to characterize the resulting surfaces.

Christopher Barrett, MCIC, (centre) and crew from McGill University

In the Photoprocesses in Molecular Assemblies Symposium organized by David Andrews, Christopher Barrett, MCIC, from McGill University described his group’s research into selfassembled photo switches. His approach involves the preparation of multilayer thin films of polyelectrolytes incorporating azobenzene, which switches between cis and trans forms depending on the frequency of light with which it is irradiated. In other words, it is “photo-responsive.” A variety of photo-responsive polymeric materials including homopolymers, statistical copolymers, and block copolymers were studied with an eye towards understanding how light influences the surface and structural properties of the materials. Many potention applications of the azo-polyelectrolytes were described, including their use as sensors, for signal processing or information storage and for light-activated drug delivery. Scott Maybury from the University of Toronto presented a lecture in the Environmental Analytical Chemistry Symposium organized by Renata Bailey, MCIC, describing his research into the bioaccumulation of toxins. Human and animal tissues collected in urban and remote global locations contain persistent and bioaccumulative perfluorinated carboxylic acids (PFCAs).

The source of PFCAs was previously unknown. The talk presented smog-chamber studies that indicate fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) can degrade in the atmosphere to yield a homologous series of PFCAs. Atmospheric degradation of FTOHs is likely to contribute to the widespread d issemination of PFCAs. After accounting for their bioaccumulation potential, the pattern of PFCAs yielded from FTOHs could account for the distinct contamination profile of PFCAs observed in arctic animals. Furthermore, polar bear liver was shown to contain predominately linear isomers (>99 percent) of perfluorononanoic acid (PFNA) while both branched and linear were observed for perfluorooctanoic acid, strongly suggesting a sole input of PFNA from “Telomer” based products. The significance of the gas-phase acyl peroxy radical cross-reactions that produce PFCAs has not been previously recognized. Such reactions are expected to occur during the atmospheric degradation of all polyfluorinated materials, necessitating a re-examination of the environmental fate and impact of this important class of industrial chemicals. H e l e n P. G r a v e s S m i t h , MCIC, of the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, ON, gave a presentation in the Chemical Education Division “Canadian Firsts” organized by Mel Usselman describing the life of Raymond Urgel Lemieux (1920–2000). Lemieux is one of the newest members of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame. His contributions in the field of carbohydrate chemistry earned him worldwide recognition, including his Helen P. Graves Smith, MCIC, monumental total synthesis of spoke on “Canadian Firsts.” sucrose, reported for the first time in 1953. Lemieux joins other notable chemists including John Polanyi, E.W.R. (Ned) Steacie, and Michael Smith. Ray Lemieux was a man who believed that “being in the academe gives one the opportunity to do the kind of research in which discoveries made along the way will prove more important than the initial goals set for the research program.” He also said, in his 1990 book, Explorations with Sugars: How Sweet It Was, that he owed his career to “the trust placed in [him] by [his] family and employers.” The induction ceremony for the Hall of Fame took place at the Museum in Ottawa on May 20, 2004. Ray’s wife and several of their children and friends traveled from Alberta, the U.S., and elsewhere to be there to share in the event. Photos taken that evening were included in the presentation, which also included proton NMR spectra of sucrose at 90 MHz and 600 MHz, generously provided by D. R. Bundle, A. Otter, and C. C. Ling (University of Alberta). Cathleen Crudden, MCIC Hans-Peter Loock, MCIC

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CSC Conference at a Glance

Exhibitor Aida Krneta of John Wiley & Sons Canada Ltd.

Martin Tanner, MCIC, claims his Merck Frosst Award.

Info is exchanged at the Sigma-Aldrich booth.

Margaret-Ann Armour, FCIC, poses with Reg Friesen Award winners.

The MontrĂŠal Award is bestowed upon Tris Chivers, FCIC.

Undergraduate Student Award winners smile for the camera.

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Dick Puddephatt, FCIC, presents the CIC Medal to Mitchell Winnik, MCIC.

Sundar Sundararajan, FCIC, receives the NOVA Chemicals Award.

Eugenia Kumacheva, MCIC, receives her Clara Benson Award.

Conference goers enjoy the opening reception.

Seven universities had a successful day at the CSC Graduate Studies Fair.

The Canadian Society for Chemistry wishes to thank the members of the organizing committee, the conference sponsors, and volunteers for creating a well planned, successful conference. Robert Lipson, MCIC, Conference Chair Kim Baines, FCIC, Scientific Program Chair Myra Gordon, Communications with Authors, Web site Liaison Yining Huang, MCIC, Treasurer Tom Woo, MCIC, Graduate Student Program Coordinator Ken Yeung, MCIC, Undergraduae Student Program Coordinator Keith Griffiths, MCIC, Volunteers Coordinator Rita Afeltra, Logistics, CIC/CSC Liaison, Social Activities, Exhibition Roland Andersson, MCIC, CIC Executive Director Joan Kingston, CIC Director, Finance and Administration Pierre Lemasson, MCIC, Technical Support Cheryle Levert, Communications, Marketing, Media Relations Gale Thirlwall-Wilbee, Awards, Career and Graduate Studies Fair

Sponsors GOLD ($10,000 and Up) • • • • •

3M Canada AstraZeneca Canada Inc. Bruker Canada Canadian Light Source, University of Saskatchewan University of Western Ontario, department of chemistry

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

MAKerr Laboratories MBraun USA Merck Frosst Canada Ltd. Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research PENCE Inc. Perkin Elmer Canada Petroleum Research Fund Pfizer Inc. Sepracor Sigma-Aldrich Smart & Biggar Spectra-Physics Strem Chemicals, Inc. University of Western Ontario, Faculty of Science University of Western Ontario, VP Research Varian Canada, Inc. VWR International Waters Canada Wellington Laboratories Wiley Canada Wyeth Xerox Research Centre of Canada


(Up to $1,000)

($1,000 - $9,999) • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Advanced Chemistry Development, Inc. (ACD/Labs) Agilent Technologies Applied Biosystems Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) Ltd. Brantford Chemicals Inc./Apotex Pharmachem Inc. Bristol-Myers Squibb Canada Dalton Chemical Laboratories Inc. Eli Lilly Canada Inc. Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Guelph GlaxoSmithKline GlaxoSmithKline Inc. Canada Hudson Research Group Inel Ionalytics Corporation

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• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Aegera Therapeutics Inc. Affinium™ Pharmaceuticals American Dye Source, Inc. Apotex Inc. C/D/N Isotopes Chromatographic Specialties Inc. College of Physical and Engineering Sciences, University of Guelph Hoffmann-LaRoche Inc. Kluwer Malvern Instruments Mandel Scientific McDonald’s Canada McGraw-Hill NOVA Chemicals Pearson Education Canada

Division News Nouvelles deshead divisions Section

• • • • • • • •

Random House of Canada Limited Seastar Chemicals Inc Spectra Research Corporation STOE & Cie GmbH SynFine Research, Inc. Torcan Chemical Ltd. Thomson Nelson W.H. Freeman

Exhibitors Anasazi Instruments Inc. Argonaut Technologies AstraZeneca BOC Edwards Bruker AXS Bruker Biospin, Daltonics and Optics Canadian Light Source Inc. C/D/N Isotopes Cedarlane Laboratories Inc. Chemical Abstracts Service FTS Systems Canada Gamble Technologies Ltd. Hayden-McNeil Specialty Products Hellma Canada John Wiley & Sons Canada, Ltd. Lasalle Scientific Inc. London Scientific Limited M. Braun Inc. McGraw-Hill Ryerson Ltd. Merck Frosst Canada M R Resources, Inc. NRC Research Press – National Research Council Canada P & P Optica Pearson Education Canada Photon Technology International ProSpect Scientific Rose Scientific Ltd. Royal Society of Chemistry Sigma-Aldrich Canada Spectra Research Corporation Strem Chemicals, Inc. Systems for Research Corporation The Blueprint Initiative Thomson Nelson Learning Vacuum Atmospheres Company Viscotek Wavefunction, Inc. Thanks to all who made the 87th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition a success. See you next year … in Saskatoon!

Canada Hosts the 11th Symposium on the Latest Trends in Organic Synthesis Brock University hosted the 11th Symposium on the Latest Trends in Organic Synthesis (LTOS–11) August 11–14, 2004. The symposium was founded by Tomas Hudlicky at Virginia Tech in 1984 and convened in Blacksburg, VA, every two years until Hudlicky moved to the University of Florida in 1995. The next four were held in Gainesville, FL. The symposium moved again and convened for the first time in Canada this year. The meeting was attended by 141 scientists from 14 different countries and consisted of 23 invited lectures and more than 60 posters depicting the state-of-the-art in synthesis. The mission of the conference continues to focus on the interactions between academic and industrial chemists. It has given many opportunities to graduate students and postdocs to display their current projects before an excellent audience. The meeting was well supported by more then 20 industrial companies from the U.S. and Canada and is sponsored by Synthetic Pathways, a subsidiary of TDC Research, Inc., a Virginia-based custom synthesis company. For details about LTOS–11 (speakers and sponsors) as well as information about the next symposium, please visit the symposium Web site or contact Tomas Hudlicky at the Brock University department of chemistry at

Speakers at LTOS–11 Howard Alper, FCIC Merle Battiste Jos Brands Kay Brummond Fred Capretta, MCIC Armin de Meijere Alex Fallis, FCIC Rick Friesen David Gonzalez Stephen Hanessian, FCIC Ioannis Houpis Tom Hoye Mike Kerr, MCIC Julian Levell Jiri Mareda James McNulty, MCIC Joseph O’Connor Timo Ovaska Albert Padwa John Rainier Matthew Sigman David Tschaen Peter Wipf

University of Ottawa University of Florida Merck, Sharp & Dohme Limited University of Pittsburgh McMaster University Georg August Universität, Germany University of Ottawa Merck Frosst, QC Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay Université de Montréal Lille, Belgium University of Minnesota University of Western Ontario Aventis Université de Genève, Switzerland McMaster University University of California, San Diego Connecticut College Emory University University of Utah University of Utah Merck & Co., Inc. University of Pittsburgh

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Student News Nouvelles des étudiants

Alfred Bader Scholarship Winners CSC Undergraduate Student Poster Competition 2005 Are you working on a research project and want to share your results? Do you have a paper to present at a CSC Undergraduate Student Chemistry Conference and would like to present it again in poster format? Are you interested in presenting a poster for your first time? Here is an opportunity to show your peers and chemical professionals what you can do. The 88th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition will take place May 28–June 1, 2005, in Saskatoon, SK, the home of the Canadian Light Source. An undergraduate poster competition will take place at this event and you are invited to participate. Winners will be chosen in each discipline. More details can be found at and in upcoming issues of ACCN as they become available.

The 2004 Alfred Bader Scholarship winners are Andrew Leduc, University of Western Ontario, and Katherine Duffield, Acadia University. The scholarship is a mark of excellence for achievement in organic chemistry or biochemistry, by undergraduate students completing their final year of study in an honours program. Both students are continuing their studies in the chemistry graduate programs. Katherine Duffield grew up in Halifax, NS, and discovered her love of science early on in her academic career. She was accepted into the BSc program in chemistry at Acadia University in Wolfville, NS. In her fourth year, Duffield conducted her honours thesis under the supervision of Amitabh Jha, MCIC, in the field of medicinal organic chemistry. Her research involved the synthesis and evaluation of potential anti-cancer agents and was funded by a Pfizer Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship Award. During her time at Acadia, Duffied held several positions in student governments including president of the chemistry club. She was also involved in volunteer activities such as being a leader for Girl Guides Canada and helping to organize the CIBC Run for the Cure in Wolfville, NS. After graduating from Katherine Duffield Acadia this past May as a University Scholar, Duffied won an NSERC Postgraduate Scholarship and worked as a summer student under the supervision of Lakshmi Kotra, MCIC, at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Toronto. She will continue her studies at the University of Toronto in the PhD program.

Born and raised in Ottawa, ON, Andrew Leduc first took an interest in chemistry in grade 11. H is teacher, Roger Taguchi, was so enthusiastic and made the subject so interesting, that he began doing extra work in the subject, including writing the University of Waterloo’s chemistry contests for grade 11 and OAC chemistry. After high school, Leduc firmly believed that a career in the biomedical sciences was where he was headed, but once again chemistry stepped in and pushed those thoughts from his mind, becoming the focus of his undergraduate career. The fourth -year honours project with Michael Kerr, MCIC, at UWO convinced Leduc to continue in organic chemistry, and he is currently a graduate student in Kerr’s lab. The past four years have been some of the best of his life, and he hopes that graduate school will continue Andrew Leduc to provide unique and exciting experiences in chemistry. It is certainly off to a good start! Finally, Leduc would like to thank the CIC and Alfred Bader for this scholarship, as well as all his chemistry teachers and professors, without whom he could not have come as far as he has.

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Got Chemical Education Ideas? Need Funding? The Trustees of the Chemical Education Trust Fund (CETF) are looking for original and innovative educational projects to fund.

For more information about the CETF and the funding application form visit

The CETF is a registered charity of The Chemical Institute of Canada. The Funds permit the support of programs with an educational component.

Proposals must be submitted by the December 20 deadline for review in early January. When funds permit, the Trustees are willing to consider new initiatives at other times throughout the year. For more information contact: Ed Capes, FCIC, Chair, CETF Trustees at 613-692-9336 or e-mail: or Gale Thirlwall-Wilbee, at 613-232-6252, ext. 223 or e-mail:

The CETF has sponsored student symposia, undergraduate student conferences, science fairs, and in 2004 added support to the Process Safety Management’s Summer Institute and outreach modules on chemical engineering education at Dalhousie University

November/December 2004


Canadian Chemical News 37

The Chemical Institute of Canada


View and pay your annual membership renewal notice on-line (Please note that this is only available if no changes are required on your renewal form. Should you need to make changes to your renewal, you will need to indicate them on a printed copy and mail or fax it in.)

! !

Update your own personal profile Perform an on-line membership search

We want to help simplify your busy schedule with our on-line services, restricted to members only. Ensure your current e-mail address has been entered on your “Profile” page. To access on-line renewal and member services, click this link or type the URL in your browser. For the protection of your personal information, the on-line membership services are restricted to CIC members only, and you will be asked to logon your own personal secure account with a username and password. The “username” is composed of the first letter of your first name and the five (or less for short surnames) first letters of your surname. The middle name is not used (e.g. “John A. Dalton” would become: jdalto or “N. Stephen Bohr” would become: nbohr).

The “password” is your CIC membership reference number, which you can find written on all correspondence from the CIC (e.g. 223 or 27890). Once you have logged on the first time, you will be required to change your password to something other than your membership number. If you ever forget your password, you have the option to request your password to be reset to your membership number. If you experience any difficulty, please call CIC Membership Services between 8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. EST at our toll-free number 1-888-542-2242, ext. 230, or e-mail The CIC values your privacy and encourages membership networking. The Chemical Institute of Canada, 130 Slater Street, Suite 550, Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Fax: (613) 232-5862

Canadian Society for Chemistry

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

Canadian Society for Chemical Technology

Careers Carrières Section head

November/December 2004


Canadian Chemical News 39

Careers Carrières

Events Événements

Canada Conferences 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:

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November/December 2004


Canadian Chemical News 41

Careers Carrières


The following subjects will be covered in

2005 January History of chemistry in Canada February Bioproducts March Public understanding of chemistry April Pesticides May Pharmaceuticals—the tissue issue June Innovation to commercialization July/August Transportation and security September Chemistry and nuclear power generation October Nanotechnology November/December Computational chemistry

Contribute your own ideas!

Contact to find out how.

42 L’Actualité chimique canadienne


novembre/décembre 2004

EMPLOYMENT WANTED Chemist/Geologist with several graduate-level courses seeking a part-time Product Development position in the Calgary area. I possess relevant research experience pertaining to elastomeric paint, stucco, detergents, asphalt emulsions and drywall joint cement compounds. I plan on taking mining geophysics next fall. Please contact David at 403-280-7706 or by e-mail at

Careers Carrières


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November/December 2004


Canadian Chemical News 45

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Nov/Dec 2004: ACCN, the Canadian Chemical News  

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