Paul Doty begins by describing his family's background and his early education in Western Pennsylvania. He also recalls attending the ACS national meeting while he was still a teenager. He describes his impressions of Pennsylvania State College under Frank Whitmore, and the influence of John G. [Jack] Aston. Examining his selection of Columbia University for graduate studies, Doty describes the famous scientists there at that time and the effects of World War II; next he discusses how thesis research in physical chemistry led to work on light scattering and polymers. He remembers his coworkers, including Bruno Zimm and Turner Alfrey, and his postdoc in Eric Rideal's laboratory at Cambridge University, where he was first drawn to research in biopolymers. Doty recounts his early research at Harvard University, including protein denaturation and renaturation, and describes his colleagues. He continues the interview with an account of the development of biochemistry at Harvard and his involvement in public service and activism in nuclear and international issues. Finally, Paul Doty reflects on national characteristics in academic policy.
Raymond C. Ferguson obtained his degrees in chemistry from Iowa State University (BS, MS) and Harvard University (PhD). He worked in research divisions of the Organic Chemicals, Elastomer Chemicals, and Central Research Departments of DuPont, principally in molecular spectroscopy, organic structure analysis, and polymer characterization. Currently he is affiliated with CONDUX, Inc., a consulting association of former DuPont professionals.
See our FAQ page to learn how to cite an oral history.