Science in Christian Perspective



Walter R. Hearn, Ph.D.

From JASA 10 (December 1958): 16-18.

At the time of writing this column 1 am still so involved in making arrangements for the Annual Convention that I won't try to do anything but report on activities of A.S.A. chemists from whom I have heard this spring.

Floyd F. Rawlings, Jr., is now Associate Professor of Chemistry at Monmouth College, Monmouth, Illinois, having formerly taught at several other liberal arts colleges. At Monmouth he teaches physical, analytical, and advanced inorganic courses. He took his Ph.D. in physical chemistry at the University of Washington and has been interested in X-ray diffraction studies of long chain molecules such as n-alkyl sulfates and in electrochemical studies on the Kolbe reaction. A member of the First United Presbyterian Church of Monmouth, he has also been active as a church pianist, teacher of adult Sunday school classes, and even in preaching from time to time. "Fritz" has been an A.S.A. member for about eight years but until this year hadn't been able to attend an Annual Convention; he thinks that our idea of getting together with other A.S.A. members at national A.C.S. meetings is a good one. What do you think? How about Chicago in September?

Robert B. Fischer is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana. Bob's degree is in analytical chemistry from the University of Illinois; he is interested in electron microscopy and the use of other instruments. He worked on the Manhattan Project for several years and has been at Indiana since 1948. Bob is a Fellow of the A.S.A., and was one of those who attended the A.S.A get-together in San Francisco during the April A.C.S. meeting.

Elaine Zimmerman is now an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Elaine received her Ph.D. from Purdue in January. (congratulations!) after completing research on reactions of titanium (IV) in concentrated sulfuric acid: she now teaches quantitative analysis and a basic studies course in physical science. W.M.U. hopes to offer a Masters degree in chemistry in the very near future. Elaine has been a member of A.S.A. since 1956, is a faculty sponsor of Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship on her campus, and is active in the local Free Methodist Church.

Earl S. McColley is Coordinator of Laboratory Standards for the Textile Division of the Celanese Corporation of America, P.O. Box 1001, Rock Hill, South Carolina. That means that he is responsible for the standardization of analytical methods and the introduction of new methods in each of the laboratories of the Textile division. He visits each laboratory about once a month and serves as a consultant on analytical problems for the various laboratories. Dr. McColley serves as chairman of the Chemical Methods Committee of the Technical Associatipn of the Pulp and Paper Industry (TAPPI) and the Testing Committee of the A.C.S. Division of Cellulose Chemistry. He writes that the heavy travel schedule required in his present capacity has forced him to give up some of his church activities as a Sunday school teacher and lay preacher. He usually attends the September A.C.S. meeting, so we should be able to get acquainted at an A.S.A. get-together before long.

Elmer W. Maurer is a Chemist at the U. S. Department of Agriculture Eastern Regional Research Laboratory, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, just outside of Philadelphia. Elmer has been at the U.S.D.A. lab since 1953, doing research on synthetic detergents produced from animal fats, and has been a co-author on a number of papers from this work in the J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc. He is also active in the Wissinoming Baptist Church of Philadelphia, where he serves as a deacon and teaches a Sunday school class. For a number of years he has also been regularly scheduling and showing worthwhile films for the Men's Bible Class. I had the privilege of visiting in Elmer's home and church during the Federation meetings in April, and was there the night Elmer showed "Red River of Life" to the congregation. Elmer has his M.S. from the U. of Pennsylvania and his B.S. from Iowa State College. He told me he would especially enjoy attending this year's A.S.A. Convention here at his alma mater, but may not be able to, unfortunately.

Russell Maatman is just now moving to the University of Mississippi at University, Mississippi, where he will be an Associate Professor of Chemistry. He has been a Senior Research Chemist at the Research and Development Laboratories of the Socony Mobil Oil Company in New Jersey. Russ took his Ph.D. at Michigan State and has been interested in the field of catalysis, studying the preparation and use of solid catalysts and also kinetics and mechanisms of catalytic reactions. He has published several papers in this field and has several others in the works. Russ also gave an excellent paper on "Science and Biblical Miracles" at the 1954 A.S.A. Convention (J.A.S.A., Vol. 7, March, 1955). He feels that the chief activity of the A.S.A. ought to be the production of papers, and that we ought to do everything possible in the way of refereeing, etc., to improve the quality of papers in the Journal and on our convention programs. Better papers should attract more members, who would produce more papers to choose from, and thus make it possible to raise our standards continually. I think he's on the right track with his idea. Russ has been active in the mission program of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church and was also active in the local Christian Day School Association before he made this recent move.

Eugene C. Jekel. teaches general and analytical chemistry at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, a liberal arts school sponsored by the Reformed Church in America. He received his M.S. degree from Purdue, where he also became acquainted with A.S.A., becoming a member in 1955. Eugene is active in his local church as a Sunday school teacher and choir member, attends IVCF conferences with Hope students although there is no active Inter-Varsity chapter at the College. Several other A.S.A. members are on the faculty at Hope, so maybe they will be starting a local section soon.

Paul R. Godfrey is Chairman of the Department of Chemistry of Louisiana College, Pineville, Louisiana. Paul took his Ph.D. in the field of biochemistry at Purdue and has published several papers on nutrition and biochemical analyses, but now teaches all of the basic chemistry courses at various times. He has spent twelve years at this Baptist liberal arts college, after being associated with two other Baptist schools, Ouachita and Furman University, in addition to his alma mater, William Jewell. Paul was able to attend the 1957 A.S.A. Convention at Gordon College and says that it really increased his enthusiasm for the work of the Affiliation. He even brought with him to the convention his brother, a Baptist pastor i~i Maine, who also thoroughly enjoyed it. I know of several of our members who have brought their own pastors to our Conventions, which seems to me to be a wonderful way of spreading the word about what the A.S.A. is doing. Paul serves his local church as a deacon and Sunday school teacher, and for two years has also participated almost every Sunday in the visiting of prisoners in the Alexandria city jail. Paul says that attending A.S.A. Conventions is a bit complicated for his family, since they have five children ranging in age from one to sixteen!

Mrs. Lloyd Halladay, nee Phyllis C. Cook, wrote me one of the most interesting letters I have received from any of our chemists. My letter had been sent to her Ann Arbor address given in the A.S.A. directory so imagine my surprise on getting a reply from her, c/o American Embassy, Kabul, Afghanistan! Phyllis taught general chemistry for a year at Hood College in Maryland after getting her B.S. at Wheaton, and then worked two years as a chemist in an endocrinology research group at Massachusetts General Hospital. This experience so stimulated her thirst for knowledge that she left for work toward her M.S. in biochemistry at Michigan. While there she also took the medical bacteriology course and taught biochemistry and bacteriology. She married Lloyd a year ago and a few months later found herself in Kabul, where Lloyd teaches English under the Columbia Teachers College English Language Program under the U. S. Government's I.C.A. (International Cooperation Association) program of economic aid. Phyllis is now teaching science to the seventh and ei~hth grades of the American Christian School, finding this a real challenge to her ingenuity since she has no equipment or chemicals to work with. This school is attended by the children of Americans stationed in Afghanistan. Here is a paragraph from her letter:

"The adjustment and education to local conditions has kept us exceedingly busy-earthquakes, leaking roofs, balky servants, etc.-but we are hoping to expand our knowledge into areas of our previous careers. Because of an unexpected accident to our cook, I managed a visit to the Men's Hospital-a rare experience I understand for an American woman-but I struck up an acquaintance with the Afghan eye specialist who did his post-graduate work at Mass. General Hospital under Harvard University and hope maybe to get another more thorough visit. 1 had expected utterly nothing and was surprised to see many fairly good instruments and business-like medical procedures. At the Women's Hospital I found quite the opposite, practically nothing and quite a bit of dirt. The American women are doing quite a little sewing for the Women's hospital and the Swiss doctor there is most pleased. The first thought and care is extended to the newborn infant rather than the mothers. For some needed blood tests 1 was sent to the Central Health Lab set up by W.H.O., where I had a complete blood count, done by Afghans. Techniques were satisfactory but rather primitive. A biochemistry exam was being given to the future medical technicians next door to the hematology lab. Of course, these are all men, as the women are still repressed and 'behind the veil.

Phyllis and Lloyd are members of the Community Church of Kabul, the first and only Christian church in all of Afghanistan,--and it is only for "foreigners" such as the Halladays. In these troubled days for the Middle East, let us remember to pray f or the influence of Christians who have the opportunity to serve in countries in that part of the world. Phyllis was active in Christian service in this country, especial1Y With IVCF at Michigan, where she also taught Sunday school at the Grace Bible Church of Ann Arbor.

At the time this is being written, Wallace Erickson has agreed to make the arrangements for our A.S.A. get-together at the A.C.S. meeting in Chicago. I don't have the details on time and place yet, but I will try to get the word around by postcard. We will also have some small posters up at the registration desks. We should have a large turn-out, and I am hoping to see many of you there even if you don't make it to the Annual Convention in Ames. I have a small backlog of letters to report on next issue, but I would still like to hear f rom the rest of you. Keep me up-to-date on your activities.

Do you make it a practice to take notes on articles you run across in the scientific literature of interest to the A.S.A.? 1 do. Or at least I jot down the reference and drop it in my A. S.A. file so I can took it up later and maybe discuss it in this column. Since we don't all read the same journals, if enough of us would get in this habit we could be a help to each other in keeping ourselves informed. Several of you have offered to contribute to this column already, and I hope all of you will feel free to do so.

I might say that in addition to making arrangements for the A.S.A. Convention I am also seeing a certain amount of re-arrangement of my own schedule, sleeping habits, etc. The reason: Miss Christine Hearn, born on the Fourth of July! Mother and daughter are both doing nicely, and father is learning lots of things every day. Isn't the Lord rich? And isn't biochemistry fascinating?