Oral history interview with Michael J.S. Dewar

Oral history interview with Michael J.S. Dewar

  • 1991-Jan-22

In his oral history Michael J. Dewar describes his education and long career in chemistry, both in academia and industry. He discusses his research and colleagues at Courtalds, Ltd. , his learning physical chemistry, his work on resonance theory and molecular orbital theory, and his theoretical publications at that time. He also describes his associations with H. Christopher Longuet-Higgins, Charles A. Coulson, and Jack Roberts.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 77 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

James J. Bohning was professor emeritus of chemistry at Wilkes University, where he had been a faculty member from 1959 to 1990. He served there as chemistry department chair from 1970 to 1986 and environmental science department chair from 1987 to 1990. Bohning was chair of the American Chemical Society’s Division of the History of Chemistry in 1986; he received the division’s Outstanding Paper Award in 1989 and presented more than forty papers at national meetings of the society. Bohning was on the advisory committee of the society’s National Historic Chemical Landmarks Program from its inception in 1992 through 2001 and is currently a consultant to the committee. He developed the oral history program of the Chemical Heritage Foundation, and he was CHF’s director of oral history from 1990 to 1995. From 1995 to 1998, Bohning was a science writer for the News Service group of the American Chemical Society. In May 2005, he received the Joseph Priestley Service Award from the Susquehanna Valley Section of the American Chemical Society.  Bohning passed away in September 2011.

Physical location

Oral history number 0087

Related Items

Interviewee biographical information

  • September 24, 1918
  • Ahmednagar, India
  • October 10, 1997
  • Gainesville, Florida, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1940 University of Oxford BA
1942 University of Oxford DPhil
1943 University of Oxford MA

Professional Experience

University of Oxford

  • 1945 Imperial Chemical Industrial Fellow

Courtaulds (Firm)

  • 1945 to 1951 Research Chemist in Physical Chemistry

Queen Mary College (University of London)

  • 1951 to 1959 Professor of Chemistry and Head of the Department of Chemistry, University of London

University of Chicago

  • 1959 to 1963 Professor of Chemistry

University of Texas at Austin

  • 1963 to 1990 Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry

University of Florida

  • 1990 to 1993 Graduate Research Professor


Year(s) Award
1961 Harrison Howe Award, American Chemical Society
1976 GW Wheland Medal, University of Chicago
1977 Evans Award, Ohio State University
1978 American Chemical Society Southwest Regional Award
1982 Davy Medal, Royal Society of London
1984 James Flack Norris Award, American Chemical Society
1986 William H. Nichols Award, American Chemical Society
1988 Auburn-G. M. Kosolapoff Award, American Chemical Society
1989 Tetrahedron Prize for Creativity in Organic Chemistry

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PDF — 4.1 MB

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

8 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads