Dr. W. Conway Pierce, Professor of Chemistry
University of California, Riverside
The fourth annual Richard C. Tolman Medal will be presented in April 1964. The Tolman Medal recognizes broad accomplishment in chemistry rather than a single fundamental discovery. To be eligible for the medal, the recipient must be a resident of the Southern California area, and the major portion of his work must have been accomplished during this residence. He must be currently active and making continuing contributions in chemistry. Competition is not limited to U. S. citizens nor to members of the American Chemical Society.
The Richard C. Tolman Medal was named after a man who was a distinguished scientist and profound scholar having a deep concern for his fellow beings. His career properly reflects the qualities sought in the recipients of the medal named after him. His interests were extremely broad, and he made outstanding contributions to the development of chemistry in Southern California. In addition, he served his nation well, acting in various capacities on committees of national scope, international scope and international importance.
Previous recipients of the Tolman Award are Professor William G. Young of the University of California at Los Angeles for 1960, Professor Anton B. Burg of the University of Southern California for 1961 and Professor Ernest H. Swift of the California Institute of Technology for 1962.
Biography: For the past 42 years, Professor Willis Conway Pierce has followed a dedicated career in chemical education, and has distinguished himself as a teacher, an author, an administrator, and a researcher. He started his career as a teacher at the University of Kentucky in 1920. He completed his Ph.D. in 1927-28 at the University of Chicago and remained an instructor of quantitative analysis, coming to Pomona College in 1945 as Department Chair. He taught quantitative analysis and general chemistry at Pomona for 7-1/2 years. Now, as professor of chemistry at the University of California at Riverside, he is still teaching general chemistry. It is his personal interest, his wise counsel, his sympathetic ear, together with clear logical presentation of material, that has made his teaching real teaching.
Professor Pierce has also had, and continues to have, a significant influence over a very large number of students in an indirect and impersonal way as an author. He is co-author with Professor Edward L. Haenisch of Wabash College, of the wel-known standard text, “Quantitative Analysis,” and with R. Nelson Smith of the “General Chemistry Workbook.” It is likely that considerably more than half a million students have had their chemical education indirectly influenced by Professor Pierce.
Among the honorary awards to Dr. Pierce are the Presidential Certificate of Merit in 1948 and an honorary D.Sc. from Georgetown College in 1950.
Friday, April 3, 1964
Rodger Young Auditorium
936 W. Washington Blvd.
Speaker: Dr. W. Conway Pierce
Professor of Chemistry
University of California at Riverside
Subject: “Measurement of Surface Area by Gas Absorption”
Abstract: Two basic assumptions are made in measuring surface areas by gas adsorption. (1) That the monolayer volume is truly determined from a BET Plot, and (2) that the cross section areas of adsorbed molecules are known and that they remain the same on all surfaces. Over the years, the BET method has been highly useful and few questions have been raised as to its reliability and the validity of the assumptions involved. But recent data, in particular for samples of highly uniform surfaces, are today causing a re-examination of the two assumptions. It is found that on a uniform surface, the typical isotherm is not a smooth sigmoid curse, but rather it often shows phase changes, as the first layer forms and a somewhat stepwise building up of succeeding layers. Such isotherms are not described by the BET equation, which assumes the absence of lateral interactions. Recent work will be reviewed.
Reservations must be made by 4:00 p.m., Thursday, April 2, 1964. They may be made by telephoning Fujiko Nakamura at 467-3489. The cost is $4.00 with reservation, $4.25 without.
The April meeting of the Southern California Section, ACS, was the occasion for the awarding of the 4th Richard C. Tolman Medal. Chairman Adamson started the meeting with announcements and introductions of those at the head table. He then introduced the Past-Chairmen of the Section to honor them before the group. Those present were: Dr. B. A. Stagner (1932); Mr. Marion E. Dice (1934); Dr. G. Ross Robertson (1935); Mr. Raymond B. Stringfield (1936); Mr. W. a. Bush (1938); Mr. W. E. Baier (1942); Dr. R. E. Vivian (1943); Dr. T. L. Jacobs (1945); Dr. L. Reed Brantley (1947); Mr. Harry Welch (1948); Mr. William J. Hanson (1951); Dr. Thomas F. Doumani (1953); Dr. Anton B. Burg (1954); Mr. Paul R. Pariseau (1955); Dr. Arie J. Haagen-Smit (1956); Dr. John L. Bills (1962); Dr. Ulric B. Bray (1963).
When he introduced Bill Baier (now of San Gorgonio Section), he brought to light the fact that Mr. Baier first suggested the name SCALACS for the Section’s publication in 1945. It was promptly adopted.
Following an excellent dinner, the recipient of the Tolman Medal, Dr. W. Conway Pierce, was introduced to the meeting by Dr. Corwin Hansch, a close associate of his at Pomona College. Dr. Hansch recounted many of the outstanding accomplishments of Dr. Pierce, taking special note of his remarkable successes in the development of strong chemistry departments at Pomona College and the University of California at Riverside. Dr. Hansch reminded the meeting of the similarity of his name with that of Dr. Haenisch, who with Dr. Pierce, has furnished a highly effective textbook for quantitative analysis. He bemoaned the fact that the name similarity did not extend to the accounting department of the publisher who has published this book.
Following the introduction by Dr. Hansch, Chairman Adamson presented the Tolman Award certificate and the Medal itself. Medalist Pierce went right to work and presented a talk which demonstrated to the Section one of the reasons be became a medalist. His talk was on the absorption of gases, using BET plots. Dr. Pierce’s exposition was crisp, concise, and carried the audience through each phase of the work, from conception to data reduction.
The Social Committee added a festive touch to the meeting with sprays of free flowers on each of the tables.