Oral history interview with Marion David Francis

Oral history interview with Marion David Francis

  • 1997-Jan-24

Marion David Francis begins his interview with a discussion of his childhood in Canada. Deeply influenced by his industrious parents and siblings, Francis worked his way through high school and college at a logging camp. He received his B.A. in chemistry in 1946 and his M.A. in chemistry in 1949, both from the University of British Columbia. Francis married shortly after, and he and his wife moved to Iowa, where he continued his studies at the University of Iowa, obtaining a Ph.D. in biochemistry in 1953.

Francis accepted a position with Procter & Gamble in 1952. His first work there involved research on detergents and skin penetration. Procter & Gamble then moved Francis into hair research. Finally, Francis moved to the dental section, where he became involved with fluoride research. Using both human and bovine dental samples, Francis explored enamel resistance to calcium fluoride. He also proved in other lab tests on rats that fluoride had an anti-enzymatic effect on teeth, and that fluoride treatments helped protect rats' teeth from decay. Francis continued to do dental research on calculus and its safe removal from teeth without damaging the enamel. Speaking on scientific innovation, Francis touches on team effort and support, as well as management and research and development. Francis concludes the interview with a reflection on winning his scientific awards and final thoughts on his family.

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Original file type MP3, PDF
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Extent
  • 51 pages
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Rights In Copyright - Non-Commercial Use Permitted
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  • Science History Institute
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  • Courtesy of Science History Institute

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Cite as

Marion D. Francis, interviewed by James G. Traynham in Cincinnati, Ohio on January 24, 1997. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0153. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/rn3012352.

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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

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads