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Vol. 34 No. 5
September-October 2012

IUPAC Wire | News and information on IUPAC, its fellows, and members organizations
See also www.iupac.org/indexes/News

CHF Catalyst Series on Women in Chemistry

Women have been central to the chemical and molecular sciences since antiquity, though their role has been—intentionally or not—obscured or missing in the annals of history. Now, the Chemical Heritage Foundations is setting the records straight with several initiatives.

First, a new series of videos—the Catalyst Series—aims at encouraging young women to pursue careers in science. It tells the stories of fascinating women who dared to follow their drive for success and passion for chemistry—and changed the world for the better. The first three releases are Uma Chowdhry, retired senior vice president and chief science and technology officer of DuPont; Mary L. Good, former president of the American Chemical Society, undersecretary for technology in the U.S. Department of Commerce under President Clinton, and recipient of the Priestley Medal; and Kitty Hach-Darrow, cofounder of the Hach Chemical Company and the only woman to receive CHF’s Pittcon Heritage Award.

The second project, Stories from the Field, captures scientific adventures and career insights in short, conversational audio interviews, conducted in part at the American Chemical Society’s Fall 2012 National Meeting in Philadelphia.

For those who follow IUPAC history, Mary Good was very active and well respected in IUPAC in the 1980s. She was president of the Inorganic Chemistry Division from 1981 to 1985 and also served on the Executive Committee for eight years. She succeeded Ted Becker as chair of the U.S. National Committee for IUPAC, a position she held in 1987 when she was ACS president. Becker recalls that Good arranged major industry support for the IUPAC General Assembly in Boston in 1987 and remembers her as a major force on the Bureau and Executive Committee.
“You’ve got to take the opportunities as they appear,” Mary Good.

A third initiative is the CHF oral history project that preserves the history of women’s contributions to science, medicine, and technology in their own words. The oral histories in this collection focus on formative experiences, the importance of mentors and networks, as well as the changing roles of women in chemistry throughout the twentieth century.

www.chemheritage.org/discover/online-resources/women-in-chemistry


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