Oral history interview with Michael Szwarc

Oral history interview with Michael Szwarc

  • 1986-Sep-11

In this interview, Michael Szwarc begins with his early interest in science while growing up in Poland, leading to his studies at the Warsaw Polytechnic Institute. Szwarc next describes his experiences from 1935, when he emigrated to Israel, until his move to the University of Manchester in 1945. At Manchester, he worked in Michael Polanyi's physical chemistry group and first embarked on his studies on polymerization. A 1950s visit to the USA, involving many lecture trips, is described, as are the circumstances leading to his acceptance of a professorship at SUNY, Syracuse. Research on the methyl affinities of aromatic compounds led Szwarc to work with the naphthalene radical anion and, hence, to the development of the living polymers. The interview ends with Szwarc reviewing his later studies and his reflections on co-workers and associates.

Place of interview
Original file type MP3, PDF
  • 41 pages
Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Related URL
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

Physical location


Cite as

Michael Szwarc, interviewed by James J. Bohning in Solana Beach, California on September 11, 1986. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0054. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/c534fq17b.

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Transcript (Published Version)

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.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

7 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads