This interview covers the education, teaching, and research of Melvin S. Newman, an eminent organic chemist. Initially, Newman discusses his family, childhood, and early education. He then elucidates his undergraduate and graduate activities at Yale and describes his initial experiences at Ohio State University, where he has spent most of his academic career. The interview continues with Newman's remarks about his early consulting and doctoral advising. The central portion of the interview contains Newman's reflections about his research at Ohio State and his approach to teaching in the classroom and in the laboratory. His publications, use of the innovative "Newman Projection," later consulting, patents, and awards are also discussed. The interview concludes with Newman's views about research funding, former students, and philosophies of teaching and administration.
Milton Orchin is an organic chemist with an interest in the history of chemistry. He received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Ohio State University. One of Melvin Newman’s first graduate students, he earned a PhD from Ohio State in 1939. Since then, he has combined research in federal laboratories, especially for the United States Bureau of Mines, with university teaching both at home and abroad.
John H. Wotiz was an organic chemist. Born in Czechoslovakia in 1919, he attended Furman University, the University of Richmond, and Ohio State University, where he received his PhD degree in organic chemistry. He taught at six universities, most recently at Southern Illinois University as professor of chemistry and chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. In 1982 he received the American Chemical Society’s Dexter Award in the History of Chemistry. John Wotiz died in 2001.
Newman, Melvin S. (Melvin Spencer), interviewed by Milton Orchin and John H. Wotiz in Ohio State University on March 4, 1979. Philadelphia: Science History Institute, n.d. Oral History Transcript 0004. https://digital.sciencehistory.org/works/tq57ns187.
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