Norman Hackerman begins the interview with a description of his graduate education at Johns Hopkins University and his encounters with Neil E. Gordon. After graduating from Johns Hopkins with a Ph.D. in chemistry, Hackerman became a steady participant of the Gordon Research Conferences [GRC], particularly the Corrosion Conference, which he chaired in 1950. Hackerman recalls that the early conferences were helpful to his scientific research, and that the atmosphere was informal and interactive. He also explains that as the numbers of attendees, disciplines, and locations of the conferences increased, the conference atmosphere became a more formal, lecture-type setting. Hackerman discusses some of the activities of the GRC board of trustees, on which he served as a member from 1970 to 1973. From attendee to conference chairman to trustee, Hackerman watched GRC evolve into an international organization that brings together thousands of individuals from academe, government, and industry. Hackerman concludes the interview by commenting on the important role that GRC plays in public education and public understanding of science.
Arthur Daemmrich is an assistant professor in the Business, Government, and International Economy Unit at Harvard Business School and a senior research fellow at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. His research examines science, medicine, and the state, with a focus on advancing theories of risk and regulation through empirical research on the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemical sectors. At HBS he also plays an active role in an interdisciplinary Healthcare Initiative, advancing scholarship and developing applied lessons for the business of creating and delivering health services and health-related technologies. Daemmrich was previously the director of the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He earned a PhD in Science and Technology Studies from Cornell University in 2002 and has held fellowships at the Social Science Research Council/Berlin Program for Advanced German and European Studies, the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He has published widely on pharmaceutical and chemical regulation, biotechnology business and policy, innovation, and history of science.
Arnold Thackray founded the Chemical Heritage Foundation and served the organization as president for 25 years. He is currently CHF’s chancellor. Thackray received MA and PhD degrees in history of science from Cambridge University. He has held appointments at Cambridge, Oxford University, and Harvard University, the Institute for Advanced Study, the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences, and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.In 1983 Thackray received the Dexter Award from the American Chemical Society for outstanding contributions to the history of chemistry. He served for more than a quarter century on the faculty of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was the founding chairman of the Department of History and Sociology of Science and is currently the Joseph Priestley Professor Emeritus.
1948 to 1961Director, Corrosion Research Laboratory
1950 to 1970Professor of Chemistry
1952 to 1961Chairman, Chemistry Department
1960 to 1961Dean of Research and Sponsored Programs
1961 to 1963Vice President and Provost
1963 to 1967Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs
1967 to 1970President
1985Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
1970 to 1985President
1970 to 1985Professor of Chemistry
1985Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Chemistry
Robert A. Welch Foundation
1982Chairman, Scientific Advisory Board
Whitney Award, National Association of Corrosion Engineers
Joseph L. Mattiello Award
Palladium Medal, The Electrochemical Society
Southwest Regional Award, American Chemical Society
LLD, St. Edwards University
DSc, Austin College
Honor Scroll, Texas Institute of Chemists
DSc, Texas Christian University
LLD, Abilene Christian University
Gold Medal, American Institute of Chemists
Mirabeau B. Lamar Award, Association of Texas Colleges and Universities
Distinguished Alumnus Award, Johns Hopkins University
Edward Goodrich Acheson Award, The Electrochemical Society
Alumni Gold Medal for Distinguished Service, Rice University
Charles Lathrop Parsons Award
Philip Hauge Abelson Prize, American Association for the Advancement of Science
Vannevar Bush Award, National Science Board
Doctor of Public Service, University of North Texas
National Medal of Science
Texas Distinguished Scientist Award, Texas Academy of Science
Norman Hackerman, interviewed by Arthur Daemmrich and Arnold Thackray in Chemical Heritage Foundation on March 12, 2002. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0237. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/1831cm03g.
The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.