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Fred Anson Oral History Interview with Shirley K. Cohen [sound recording]

An interview in two sessions, February 1997, with Fred C. Anson, Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry, in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Professor Anson received his BS in chemistry in 1954 from Caltech and his PhD from Harvard in 1957. That year, he returned to Caltech as an instructor in the chemistry division, becoming an assistant professor in 1958, an associate professor in 1962, full professor in 1968, and holder of the Gilloon chair in 1995. In this interview, he recalls his early education in South San Gabriel, his undergraduate years on a Los Angeles Times scholarship, and his graduate years at Harvard. He describes the state of the chemistry division in the late fifties and early sixties and his experiences as executive officer and then chairman of the division (1984-1994). He discusses his role as chairman of the presidential search committee resulting in the selection of Marvin L. (Murph) Goldberger, 1978. Recalls conflict over establishing an army research center (the Arroyo Center) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early eighties. Comments on his relationship with provost R. E. Vogt during his division chairmanship. He discusses working with the electrochemists Lucien Gierst (Brussels, 1964) and Heinz Gerischer (Berlin, 1984). Recalls establishment of the Beckman Institute. Comments on the growth of Caltech and its divisions and the consequent increased pressure on the faculty and decline in collegiality. Recalls his various awards, including receiving an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne in 1993.

ID: 1997-00004
Anson, Fred C. (Chemist)

Creation Feb. 21, 1997 through Feb. 26, 1997

MEDIUM: Sound recording; FORMAT: Sound cassette: analog; QUANTITY: 1 set (2 cassettes per set)

Topics: Chemistry

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