Oral history interview with Russell E. Marker
Russell Marker begins the interview by describing his childhood in a farming community in Maryland, his early schooling, and his growing interest in organic chemistry while a student at the University of Maryland. He then talks about his first jobs at the Naval Powder Factory and the Ethyl Gasoline Corporation, where he devised the octane rating system. Marker then discusses his subsequent move to the Rockefeller Institute. He elaborates on his interest in synthesizing human hormones from plants, resulting in a fellowship at Penn State and his first travels to Mexico to examine indigenous plant life. Marker then describes his laboratory work and business ventures in Mexico, including his role in forming the companies Syntex and Botanica-Mex. Marker concludes by discussing his leaving chemical research and newfound interest in silver reproduction.
|Place of interview|
|Rights||Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License|
About the Interviewer
Jeffrey L. Sturchio is president and CEO of the Global Health Council. Previously he served as vice president of corporate responsibility at Merck & Co., president of the Merck Company Foundation, and chairman of the U.S. Corporate Council on Africa. Sturchio is currently a visiting scholar at the Institute for Applied Economics and the Study of Business Enterprise at Johns Hopkins University and a member of the Global Agenda Council on the Healthy Next Generation of the World Economic Forum. He received an AB in history from Princeton University and a PhD in the history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania.
|Oral history number||0068|
|View in library catalog|
Interviewee biographical information
|1923||University of Maryland, College Park||BS||Chemistry|
|1924||University of Maryland, College Park||MS||Chemistry|
|1925||University of Maryland, College Park||Completed thesis requirements for Ph.D.|
United States Naval Powder Factory
- 1925 to 1926 Chemist
- 1926 to 1928 Chemist
Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research
- 1928 to 1935 Chemist
Pennsylvania State University
- 1935 to 1936 Fellow, Department of Chemistry
- 1936 Assistant Professor, Department of Chemisty
- 1942 Professor, Department of Chemistry
- 1944 to 1945 Partner
- 1945 to 1946 Owner
- 1946 to 1949 Consultant
|1969||Honorary Member, Mexican Chemical Society|
|1984||The Russell Marker Lectures in the Chemical Sciences, Pennsylvania State University|
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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.