PRF Makes Biggest Grants Yet
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PRF Makes Biggest Grants Yet Three grants of $50 f 000 each are unrestricted n tme# set pace for more liberal policy
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1 HREE research awards of $50,000 each have been made by the Petroleum Research Fund which is administered by the American Chemical Society. These new awards unsolicited and larger in size than any previous P R F grants and unrestricted in time, signify the more liberal policy better designed to provide freedom needed for the pursuit of new basic knowledge. By assuring the scientists of a lump sum that can be used when and as needed, a restrictive influence is removed.
Two of the awards are for use starting in 1959. One goes to Michael Kasha, professor and head of the Florida State University chemistry department, who is internationally known for his investigation of the behavior and structure of molecules. Among his recent and current studies is work on energy transfer from one excited molecule to another, significant to photosynthesis and photography and related to the basic driving force in chemical reactions.
Harold Hart, professor of chemistry at Michigan State University, receives the other 1959 award. Hart's outstanding studies have provided a better understanding of the natural forces which produce changes in matter. Wis recent work on divalent carbonium ions has attracted much attention.
S. I. Weissman, professor of chemistry at Washington University, St. Louis, will be the recipient of the third award effective in 1960. He is widely known for his research on ions, electrically charged particles of matter, and free radicals. This includes study of kinetics in electron jumps to or from atoms or ions.
Karl Dittmer, of the grants and fellowships division of ACS, program administrator for the fund, explains that these awards, in the form of grants-in-aid, are made to the universities t o enable these outstanding chemists to continue their research interests to the fullest extent possible.
"The distinctive feature of these awards," explains Dittmer, "is that they
are unsolicited and the use of the funds is unrestricted; that is, the money may be used for any purpose at any rate of expenditure over a period of u p to six years. Thus, t h e recipients who have demonstrated exeeMenee of research productivity in the petroleum field a r e left completely free t o ponder basic problems simply because it interests them to do so. They need not submit a proposal, which frequently limits t h e range of their curiosity, and they need not worry wliether they can get continued support on a yearly basis."
The Petroleum Research Fund is used "for advanced scientific education a n d fundamental research in the petroleum field." This in eludes any field of pure science which may afford a basis for subsequent research directly connected with the petroleum field. It is quite possible that s-ueh studies may lead to improved plastics, more efficient fuels, or new ways to synthesize petroleum derivatives, b o t it is even more likely that new ideas not yet recognizable will evolve. By next fall the fund will have about 220 grants in addition to the awards actively supporting research.
Principal fuuids of the PRF, derived from sale of Universal Oil Products Co. , are now being invested in a diversified portfolio by Guaranty Trust Co. Neither the money from UOP sale nor income from i t s investments belongs to the ACS, but rather to the PRF Trusts.
Recipients of these new unrestricted and unsolicited grants must be members of a faculty of a n educational institution and must be engaged in advanced scientific education and fundamental research. Final selections are made each year from a large number of nominees by a -member Petroleum Research Fund Advisory Board and approved by the American Chemical Society's Board of Directors.
A total of eight such awards was made previously since this type of P R F grant was started in 1957. Each of these was for $20,000 per year for a two-year period which was subsequently extended to a third year with
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a n additional $20,000 for each grailt. The previous recipients are the follow-ing professors of chemistry and chemi-cal engineering: J. D . Roberts , Cali-fornia Institute of Technology; D . F. DeTar , University of South Carolina; JL,. ?^. Canjar, Carnegie Inst i tute of Technology; H . S. Gutovvsky, Univer-sity of Illinois; Herman F ines , North--western University; G. C. Pimentel , "University of California (Berkeley); F . A . Matsen, University of Texas; Bus turn Roy Pennsylvania State Uni-versity.
Kentucky Lake Elects Rober t W. Levin, laboratory super-
intendent at Union Carbide Nuc lea r , is t he newly elected chairman of the K e n t u c k y L a k e Section. O t h e r of-ficers installed for 1939 are O . W. Fortner o f Air Re-duction Chemical , c h a i r m a n - e l e c t ;
^ , . Pete Panzera of R , W . Levin * * 0 . . r,
Murray S t a t e Col-lege, secretary-treasurer; \V. E . Black-burn of Murray Sta te College counci-lor; and H. M. Fisher of Pennsalt Chemicals, alternate councilor.
Louisville Officers D a v i d Apotheker of Du Pont has
taken office as chairman of t he Louisville Section ^ , for 1959. Milton Clock of B. F. Goodrich is chair-m a n - e l e c t , Hans Spaushus of Gen-eral Electric is vice c h a i r m a n , Gerry R e c k t e n w a l d of General Electric is secretary, and K. Leron Xiiller of Du Pont is t reasurer .
Wyoming Teacher Honored Sister Mary Paulinus, science depa r t -
ment head of St. Mary's High School, Cheyenne, Wyo., received the W y o -ming Section's 1959 O u t s t a n d i n g Teacher Award.
The awarda certificate o f commen-dation nd a bookis given annual ly to a Wyoming high school teacher for competence in and devotion to science teaching.
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ACS NEWSPRF Makes Biggest Grants YetKentucky Lake ElectsLouisville OfficersWyoming Teacher Honored