Oral history interview with Francis O. Rice

Oral history interview with Francis O. Rice

  • 1984-Jan-04 (First session)
  • 1984-Jan-05 (Second session)

Francis O. Rice discusses his life and career in this interview, which begins with mention of his early days in England, his studies at Princeton, and his teaching at New York University. Rice describes his teaching, research, and administrative activities at the Johns Hopkins University and the Catholic University of America. Of central concern is his theory of free radicals. Mrs. Katherine Rice adds to the interview by discussing her husband's professional activities and remembering several of his closest colleagues. The interview concludes with an appraisal of the place of science in Catholic universities and an explanation of the Laidler-ADX controversy of the mid 1950's.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 28 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute
Digitization funder
  • Audio synchronization made possible through the generous funding of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

About the Interviewer

John A. Heitmann holds a BS degree in chemistry from Davidson College and an MA degree in history from Clemson University. From 1971 to 1977, he worked as a chemist in the metallurgical industry. He then studied at the Johns Hopkins University under Owen Hannaway and received his doctorate in the history of science in 1983.

Physical location

Oral history number 0006

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • May 20, 1890
  • Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • January 18, 1989
  • Mishawaka, Indiana, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1911 University of Liverpool BSc Chemistry
1912 University of Liverpool MSc Chemistry
1916 University of Liverpool DSc Chemistry

Professional Experience

Princeton University

  • 1919 1851 Exhibition Fellow

New York University

  • 1919 to 1920 Instructor
  • 1920 to 1924 Assistant Professor

Johns Hopkins University

  • 1924 to 1926 Associate, Chemistry Department
  • 1926 to 1938 Associate Professor
  • 1968 Principal Research Scientist, Institute for Cooperative Research
  • 1968 to 1985 Director, Research Chemistry Lab, Johns Hopkins University

Catholic University of America

  • 1938 to 1959 Professor and Head of Department, Chemistry Department

Georgetown University

  • 1959 to 1962 Professor and Chairman of Department, Chemistry Department

University of Notre Dame

  • 1962 to 1968 Visiting Research Professor and Principal Research Scientist

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PDF — 570 KB

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