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ACCN March | Mars • 2006 • Vol. 58, No./no 3

l’actualité chimique canadiennecanadian chemical news

Chemistry—from the central to the shrinking science?National Chemistry Week • Chemistry on the Go • Professional Awareness

Hélène Lebel, MCICUniversité de Montréal

“Toward the Enantioselective Formation of Chiral Amines”

André Beauchemin, MCICUniversity of Ottawa

“Development of Enantioselective Reactions Involving Trans-Cycloalkenes”



Enantioselective synthetic chemistry research Program

Programme de recherche en chimie de synthèse énantiosélective

Each winner will receive $30,000 per year for a two-year period and will have the opportunity to apply for matching funds from NSERC’s Collaborative Research and Development (CRD) grants.

Chaque gagnant recevra 30 000 $ par année pendant deux ans et aura la possibilité de faire une demande de subvention d’un montant équivalent auprès du Programe de recherche et développement coopérative (RDC) du CRSNG.

Winners • Les gagnants




Ar ticles

Chemistry Redefined?McGill University’s chemistry department could rest on its laurels. Instead, it’s been redefined, redesigned , and realigned. Why all the drastic changes? Does chemistry as we know it still exist?

R. Bruce Lennox, MCIC

The Chemistry Enterprise in 2015An excerpt from the final ACS report highlights the changes to which chemistry—as a core science —must adapt and the challenges it must meet, if it is to remain relevant in a dynamic global environment.

William F. Carroll, Jr. and Douglas J. Raber

Chemistry on the GoFirst-year chemistry moves out of the classroom and into the pocket PC.

Robert Burk, MCIC

The Brain DrainAre Canada’s best brains washing down the drain?

Richard G. Lipsey

RNA—Marvellous, Multi-Tasking Molecules Jennifer Gardy

Science that SticksChemist’s work behind U.S. decision to ban PFOA

Sonnet L’Abbé

Chemists are Professionals, Aren’t They?Dave Schwass, MCIC

Guest Column Chroniqueur invité . . . . . . 2Is canadian chemistry Obsolete?Bernard West, MCIC, and Joanne West

letters lettres . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3

Personals Personnalités . . . . . . . . . . . 3

News Briefs Nouvelles en bref . . . . . . . 4

Chemfusion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8Intangibles—Exploring the Full Depth of Issues

CIC Bulletin ICC . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20In Memoriam

local section News Nouvelles des sections locales . . . . . . . . 20

NCW News Nouvelles de la sNC . . . . . 21

student News Nouvelles des étudiants . . . 26

Employment Wanted demande d’emploi . . 26

Careers Carrières . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28

Events Événements . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31

ACCN MARCh | MARS • 2006 • Vol. 58, No./no 3A publication of the CIC | Une publication de l’ICC

T a b l e o f C o n t e n t s | T a b l e d e s m a t i è r e s


Winners • Les gagnants





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Editorial Board/Conseil de rédactionJoe schwarcz, MCIC, chair/président

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L’Actualité chimique canadienne/Canadian Chemical News (ACCN) is published 10 times a year by The Chemical Institute of Canada / est publié 10 fois par année par l’Institut de chimie du Canada. www.cheminst.ca.

Recommended by The Chemical Institute of Canada, the Canadian Society for Chemistry, the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology. Views expressed do not necessarily represent the official position of the Institute, or of the societies that recommend the magazine.

Recommandé par l’Institut de chimie du Canada, la Société canadienne de chimie, la Société canadienne de génie chimique et la Société canadienne de technologie chimique. Les opinions exprimées ne reflètent pas nécessairement la position officielle de l’Institut ou des sociétés constituantes qui soutiennent la revue.

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Chemistry remains a fundamentally important science, but its role is changing . Innovation is moving east,

and Canada needs to react .The centuries-long practice of chemistry has

been the foundation for many other forms of science . Chemistry is the basis for one of the largest industries in the world, and continues to be one of the most important drivers of increased human longevity .

However, globalization has changed the rules . Western supremacy in the field is no longer assured . The maturation of the chemical sector combined with a decline in the perceived value of a chemistry degree has provided an opportunity for the Asian chemical sector to innovate and move towards supremacy .

Product life cycle theory is a way of examining the future of chemistry and the pressures facing its practitioners . Mainstream chemistry, and the large NA/EU commodity industry that grew from the chemistry inno-vations of the last century, are certainly well into the maturity phase . The primary strategy in this phase is to defend existing markets and extract from them the most value possible . Other strategies include differentiating oneself from the competition, lowering the barriers to entry, offering incentives, and promoting differentiation .

Typical of the late stage of a life cycle, chem-istry is differentiating and splitting into many different groups, including green chemistry, nano-chemistry, and biochemistry . They are each just beginning their life cycle and create the potential for new value chains and indus-trial enterprises . These are areas in which the Western industry can continue to innovate .

But Asia is currently the centre of real growth . The potential size of the Asian markets presents companies with their best opportunities for continued growth . But the changing supply patterns for commodity

and large segments of the specialty chemical industry are also apparent . Feedstock and energy costs are driving this, as well as lower labour costs for all aspects of the science-based enterprise .

From a global perspective, the number of chemists continues to increase, but the growth is not in Europe and North America . We know that the number of students studying chemistry in Western countries is shrinking . The perception of chemistry and the chemical industry has detracted from enrolment in Canada and most Western countries .

This dynamic does not apply to Eastern countries . Entrance to chemistry courses is highly prized in China and India, for example , and in those countries, some of the best minds are going into science . Our challenge is to get our best minds to choose science and chemistry , so that we can con-tinue to drive innovation here in North America and Europe .

We must do a better job of encouraging chil-dren to learn about chemistry, and reinforce the perception of it as a vital building block for an education in science . We also need to show that the Responsible Care® process, which has spread from Canada to over 50 countries, has significantly improved the operation of the industry over that last 20 years .

In reaction to the shift in supply sources and the constant rebalancing of different company portfolios in Canada, several of



Bernard West, MCIC, is chair of the CIC and

co-chair of the Ontario Chemistry Value Chain

Initiative. He is currently owner and president

of Westworks Consulting Limited. West

has been on the boards of several industry

associations in Canada and the U.S.

Joanne West is a Toronto-based freelance writer.

Bernard West, MCIC, and Joanne West

Continued on p. 26



in furthering the recruitment and support of students for the CIC and its three societies as well as contributing to the areas of gover-nance and administration .

UniversityJohn A. Coxon, MCIC, has been appointed professor emeritus, retroactive to July 1, 2005, at dalhousie University in Halifax, Ns . His research interests include chemical physics and physical chemistry . Coxon’s research program is concerned with detailed studies of the quantum states (rotational, vibrational, and electronic) of small molecules in the gas phase .

The University of Western Ontario has announced that Natasha Patrito, MCIC, Duangp*rn Wanapunthe, and Jigang Zhou, MCIC, have each won Christian sivertz scholarships in the department of chemis-try for best overall performance in physical chemistry graduate courses in the year 2005 .

University of saskatchewan chemistry professor, Dale E. Ward, MCIC, has been appointed director of the saskatchewan structural sciences Centre (sssC) for a three-year term . Ward will oversee the work of the sssC, located in the Thorvaldson Building . He will also promote interactions among users, and seek contracts with poten-tial private-sector users .

The sssC, a $11 .4 million multi-disciplin-ary research centre, was opened in 2003 . It provides a broad spectrum of instrumenta-tion and techniques for structure determina-tion that serves academic, government, and private-sector researchers . Its state-of-the-art equipment is also used in several undergradu-ate and graduate courses .

A growing group of more than 200 re-searchers from numerous disciplines use the sssC’s unique capabilities to probe the struc-ture of matter . scientists use the centre’s tools to track environmental toxins, build semicon-ductors, create new plastics, and develop new drugs to fight cancer and heart attacks, to cite a few examples . The centre complements research tools available at the Canadian light source (Cls) synchrotron . Ward succeeds Marek Majewski, MCIC, in the position .

GovernmentThe Ontario government promotes research excellence by recognizing dedicated uni-versity researchers as recipients of the John Charles Polanyi Prize . Each year, up to five Polanyi prizes are awarded to out-standing researchers in the early stages of their careers who are planning to con-tinue post-doctoral studies at an Ontario university . The prizes are awarded in the fields of chemistry, literature, physics, phys-iology or medicine, and economics . The 2005 Polanyi Prize recipients for chemistry are David Bryce, MCIC, assistant profes-sor at the University of Ottawa, and Paul Ragogna , MCIC, assistant professor at The University of Western Ontario .

Daniel Leznoff, MCIC, associate professor of chemistry at simon Fraser University, has received an NsERC Idea to Innovation (I2I) grant for the development of a prototype vapo-chromic sensor device . NsERC’s I2I program provides funding to university researchers for early-stage R&d activities leading to the trans-fer of technology to a Canadian company . leznoff and his colleague, Hogan Yu, MCIC, will develop a prototype sensor to detect and identify certain volatile and potentially harm-ful organic compounds and gases in the air .

DistinctionPeter D. Clark, FCIC, is the 2005 winner of the Canadian Catalysis lectureship Award . He is a professor in the department of chemistry at the University of Calgary and technical manager of Alberta sulphur Research ltd . Clark’s research interests focus on the recovery of sulphur from fossil fuels and the chemistry relating to the use of sulphur in industry .

The Canadian Catalysis lectureship Award is made annually to a Canadian researcher who is recognized as a leader in a particular field of catalysis, or someone who has just completed a new and interesting or contro-versial piece of work but who is not widely recognized . This tour is sponsored by the Canadian Catalysis Foundation with a series of lectures given across Canada .


The CIC is pleased to announce that Kristin Crane, MCIC, joined the national office staff in January 2006 as the assistant to the execu-tive director . Crane holds a Bsc in chemistry and a BA (honours) in political science from the University of saskatchewan and an advanced French immersion certificate (Cégep de Rivière-du-loup) . she has worked in the biotechnology industry and in envi-ronmental health . Fluent in spanish, Crane has studied and worked in south America and is interested in strengthening the CIC’s presence internationally . she will be involved

Kristin Crane, MCIC

THANKs To MARviNIt was with regret that I read the last columns of “Chemputing,” written by Marvin silbert, MCIC . I wish to thank this contributor for all the work he has put into his articles, and I know there are many other members who will echo my words . Thanks, Marvin, for keeping us up-to-date . We wish you a happy retirement .

“Chemfusion” is another example of pages with appeal to all chemical professionals . I would like to sug-gest other general areas that might prove appealing to our readers—personal investment, income tax, retirement, and vacation planning readily come to mind .

David Thorn, MCIC





CCPA Signs the RC Global Charter CCPA recently signed the Association decla-ration of support for the Responsible Care® Global Charter . sixty-six CEOs of multina-tional chemical companies have signed the CEO declaration of support for the Charter . seven of them were based in Canada . This commitment means that CCPA will support Responsible Care by meeting the Funda-mental Features of the initiative within its national program and by supporting and implementing the Responsible Care Global Charter to actively strengthen the Respon-sible Care initiative worldwide .

In addition, the association will encourage its members to:• manage their chemical products using

a risk-based and life-cycle-oriented approach ,

• makeriskinformationavailable;• to cooperatewith governments and the

public to promote the safe use of chemicals worldwide .Through the implementation of these

commitments, the association is playing its part in improving industry performance and advancing the quality of life .


CLS Signs Exchange with AustraliaOfficials at the Canadian light source synchrotron (Cls) have signed a memoran-dum of understanding with the Australian synchrotron in Melbourne, Australia that will further the existing scientific collaboration between the two facilities . scientists from the two countries have been working together on a beamline at the Cls that focuses on miner-als industry applications . A news release said there are plans to transfer that technology to the Melbourne synchrotron that is under construction . Researchers also plan to work together on medical imaging and radiation therapy investigations .

University of Saskatchewan

ACS Chemistry Enterprise 2015looking ahead a decade, experts predict strong growth, expanding markets, and increased ca-pacity for the chemistry enterprise . This vision for the future is contained in “The Chemistry Enterprise 2015,” a report recently issued by the American Chemical society (ACs), the world’s largest scientific society . Throughout 2005, then ACs president William F . Carroll, Jr ., led a society-wide effort to anticipate how chemistry will change by 2015 . The focus was on education, industry, and government .

The objective was to gather information about what the 2015 landscape will look like, so chemical scientists might better prepare for those changes and take appro-priate action . The full report, which is based on a year-long series of discussions and

symposia , is available at http://chemistry .org/ chemistryenterprise2015 .html .

Following are highlights of the report:

Multidisciplinary activityMultidisciplinary research will be increasingly common in the next ten years . Ultimately, it often will be difficult to identify a project’s dis-ciplinary origin . strength in basic chemistry, however, still will be essential to advances in all of molecular science, and chemists will need to be carefully trained in the science and be able to communicate with other related disciplines .

GlobalizationA greater fraction of chemical manufactur-ing will take place in Asia, but investment returns from the global enterprise will flow back to the U .s . As the standard of living increases in Asia, labour costs will rise and salaries will rise most rapidly for the best and the brightest scientists . This will decrease, but not eliminate, the pressure for U .s . com-panies to shift activities offshore .

Energy and raw materialsBy 2015, at least one new nuclear power facility will be built in the U .s . China will make a significant investment in nuclear energy , which will create more jobs for chemists and other scientists .

Research and innovationBy 2015, barring new emergencies, the research portfolio will include a return to more long-term research . Funding will remain the major challenge for research and development . Chemistry is unlikely to aban-don the single-investigator model, but the multidisciplinary aspect and the expense of research will drive many individual investi-gators toward collaborative work at centres where they can obtain access to expensive yet essential infrastructure .

Education and institutional structureBy 2015, university faculties will be more representative of the U .s . population in terms of gender and ethnicity . Graduate-student enrolment will lead to greater use of undergraduate teaching assistants and peer-led teaching . In some cases the number and duration of lower-level laboratory classes may be reduced .

WorkforceThere will be increased representation at all levels for women and minorities on both technical and managerial tracks . Chemists will still work primarily in industry, although perhaps in smaller companies and in a wider variety of careers rather than just in the field of chemistry .

Government research fundingInvestment in science, technology, and edu-cation will need to compete with spending on national security and social programs . To maintain strong support for science, chem-ists must show the value that science and educated practitioners can provide and dem-onstrate that federal research dollars are a strong economic investment .

Read the full “Chemistry—disciplinary struc-ture” segment of “The Chemistry Enterprise in 2015” on p . 12 .




Extracts from Antioxidants Antioxidants have been shown to have im-mense human health benefits—particularly against carcinogens . But can they be used to their full potential?

david Kitts of The University of British Columbia (UBC) and his team of researchers are looking at the benefits of antioxidants—specifically, phytochemicals, the plant-pro-duced chemicals believed to provide health benefits—to see how effective they are in triggering reactions and tolerance to oxi-dative stress . Kitts believes they could be modified into an extract for functional foods . Other researchers involved in this project are Tito scaiano, FCIC, of the University of Ottawa , Tim durance of UBC, and Feral Temelli of the University of Alberta .

“Although the phytochemicals we’re looking at aren’t considered nutrients on their own, we want to understand the health and wellness they may actually provide to a consumer,” he says . “Researchers have extracted extra-nutri-tional value from many fruits and herbs that

represent constituents for formulated func-tional foods, which is where our collabora-tion with the Advanced Foods and Materials Network (AFMNet) is so helpful . We can work with them, and they can work with us .”

Oxidation is a normal and vital metabolic process in cells, but it has potentially toxic by-products if not removed . Cells differ in their relative ability to tolerate or remove those by-products . That’s where antioxi-dants come in . They help cells deal with the stress brought on by these toxins .

Kitts is looking at two specific chemicals with high-antioxidant behaviours—antho-cyanin, a pigment found in plants called a flavonoid, and a mixture of ginsenocides, representing bioactive agents in the ginseng plant . He’s looking at how the chemicals neutralize free radicals products of oxida-tion . He’s also studying whether these ac-tivities carry over to people who have con-sumed these modified extracts . studies are being conducted on both chemicals .

Anthocyanins are associated with soft root fruits like blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries, giving the fruits colour . They contain a protective mechanism against light and autoxidation lipid reactions . Kitts wants to know how different cells tolerate oxida-tive stress and the efficiency of these phyto-chemicals in reducing oxidative stress .

Photo by Chrissi Nerantzi

Ginsenocides in North American ginseng differ from Asian ginsenocides in composi-tion . He and his team are studying ways to provide a process that may tailor or modify ginsenocide content from the standpoint of bioactive properties that will reduce cell stress and enhance tolerance and manage-ment of oxidative stress through designated avenues of cell communication .

With this information, the team can cre-ate a nutritional extract for functional foods . Using high-pressure liquid chromatography and cell culture techniques, Kitts is bringing together analytical quantitative composition information to blend with specific biologi-cal responses . This will help in designing a fingerprint for each standardized extract of each herb .

“It’s very important that we understand the principles underlying the bioactive prop-erties of these components,” he says . “Once we understand these many different and di-verse activities, we may be able to predict with confidence how these bioactive proper-ties will function in formulated food systems that contain them .”

This research is funded by the AFMNet .

Alicia Roberts, AdVANCE


ETL Joins ALS Laboratory GroupThe Enviro-Test laboratory Group (ETl Chem-spec) has signed an agreement to join the Als laboratory Group . The two companies, highly regarded as leaders in their respective fields, will combine to form one of the largest and most diverse laboratory networks in Canada .

The Als laboratory Group is an interna-tional company comprised of 49 laboratories operating in 21 countries . They offer a wide range of analytical testing services in the areas of environmental, minerals, electronics, food, and oil analysis . In fiscal year 2005, the Als Group processed more than five million samples resulting in approximately 100 mil-lion analytical determinations . The company is committed to further developing their geo-graphical reach and capabilities through strate-gic acquisitions, growth of existing operations, and diversification of services . The ultimate goal of the Als laboratoryGroup is to become one of the best distributed and most successful laboratory groups in the world .

Enviro-Test laboratories (ETl), already one of the largest laboratory groups in Canada, commands a significant position in the Cana-dian marketplace for organic and inorganic en-vironmental testing as well as testing services related to pesticides, herbicides, industrial hy-giene, air toxics, agricultural soils, food, and livestock feed . Based in Edmonton, AB, ETl has a broad footprint in the Canadian market with 11 locations including those in Alberta, British Columbia, saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario .

After the acquisition of ETL by ALS, meetings were held to plan for a smooth transition into a single business entity. Senior managers are shown left to right: Jeff Pike, Tony Ciarla, MCIC, Ken Plumb, MCIC, Bruce McDonald, Greg Kilmister, henk Blok, Chris Collins, Karen Tilley, Rob Deverall, MCIC, and Gordon Nelson.

Energy Info for CanadiansThe National Energy Board (NEB), an independent federal agency that regu-lates several aspects of Canada’s energy industry, has launched a consumer-focused section within the NEB Web site that provides information on the main energy commodities (oil, natural gas, propane, and electricity) . This information focuses primarily on pric-ing and factors affecting pricing . In addition to explaining the current high energy price environment, the information also includes a discussion on how each energy market in Canada works, with a summary of each industryinCanada;thecurrentmarketenvi-ronment and frequently asked questions . The NEB offers accessible energy information to Canadians through a section of close to 100 “Helpful links” on its Web site . For more in-formation, visit www .neb-one .gcv .ca/energy/ EnergyPricing/index_e .htm .


New National Centre of Biomedical InnovationA large portion of the $80 million in federal research funding for the National Research Council Canada (NRC) will help launch the National Centre for Biomedical Innovation (NCBI) . The NCBI is a University of Toronto (U of T)-NRC partnership that has been under discussion for almost two years . Based at the medical and related sciences complex (MaRs), the facility will be designed to accelerate the practical application of biomedical discover-ies made in Canadian university and teaching

Bruce Mcdonald, Als laboratory Group vice-president–North America stated, “By combining the expertise, reputation, and range of service locations of ETl with those of Als, the new group will be positioned to give both larger, nationally distributed clients and local-regional clients ready access to excellent ser-vices and support no matter where they might be in Canada or abroad .”

The Als laboratory Group is very excited about the potential of future business opportu-nities . This step towards increased growth and diversity in the company’s range of capabilities will undoubtedly solidify the Als laboratory Group’s position as a world leader in the provi-sion of analytical testing services .

Enviro-Test Laboratories

hospital laboratories, thereby improving the lives of Canadians and creating new economic opportunities . The centre will emphasize areas of strength at U of T and in the U of T-affiliated hospitals such as chemical biology, computa-tional biology, imaging, nano-biotechnology, personalized medicine, and regenerative med-icine . However, the NCBI will consider for development promising breakthroughs brought to it direct by Canadian scientists or sourced through the NRC network of laboratories . The proposal was supported by the Hospital for sick Children, Mount sinai Hospital, Uni-versity Health Network sites, st . Michael’s Hospital and sunnybrook and Women’s Col-lege Health sciences Centre, among others .

“Toronto is a natural location for such a facility, given the world-class research al-ready taking place in the region’s universi-ties and hospitals . This is a way to ensure that Canadians reap bigger and faster ben-efits from publicly funded research,” said U of T president david Naylor . The proposed centre would employ at least 250 staff in-cluding scientists, technicians, and technol-ogy transfer specialists .

University of Toronto Bulletin


ChemFUSIOnKevin Trudeau is the king of info-mercials . He is a man who has shamelessly hawked dozens of

questionable products on TV programs that are cleverly disguised to look like documen-taries . No matter how many times he is fined or reprimanded, the man who spent two years in federal prison for credit card fraud just keeps popping up again and again to dupe the public and annoy scientists . sometimes he plays the skeptical reporter interviewing some expert about the latest miracle breakthrough . sometimes he himself is the “expert .” One of his classic infomer-cials featured the Mega Memory course designed by “Kevin Trudeau, memory ex-pert” and founder of the “America Memory Institute .” Well, I have my suspicions about the effectiveness of this course, seeing that the “memory expert” seems to have trouble remembering legal proceedings that have been brought against him .

In 1998, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in the U .s ., which looks after consum-ers’ welfare, charged that Trudeau made false and unsubstantiated claims on behalf of vari-ous products on his infomercials . The charges were settled when Trudeau agreed to pay a fine of half a million dollars and promised to abstain from making false claims . But it seems the lure of huge profits was too much, because in 2003 proceedings were again brought against Trudeau by the FTC after one of his programs featuring “expert guest Robert Barefoot” claimed that “Coral Cal-cium” was a cure for a wide array of human ailments . In a separate infomercial, Trudeau falsely insinuated that a strip of “Biotape” applied to the body could provide permanent relief from severe pain . This time, to settle the charges, the prolific marketer agreed to a fine of $2 million and a permanent ban from appearing in, producing, or disseminating future infomercials that advertise a product, service, or program that cannot be backed up scientifically .

since the FTC certainly has no desire to curtail the freedom of speech, infomercials for books or newsletters were exempted from the judgment . And that was just the open-ing Kevin Trudeau needed to launch another profit-making venture—one that is even more disturbing than his other schemes . This time he is pushing his book, Natural Cures “They” Don’t Want You To Know About . The “They” of course refers to the FTC, the Food and drug

Administration, associations like the American Cancer society, and of course, pharmaceutical companies, all of whom, according to Trudeau, want to undermine the health of the public for their own greedy motives . In fact, it is this nonsensical work that may undermine health . It certainly sent my blood pressure soaring!

Trudeau is not one for understatement . He boldly declares at the outset his contention that there are all-natural cures for virtually every disease and ailment . Of course, these cures are suppressed by the medical estab-lishment, lest they cut into their profits . To back up his claim, Trudeau regales us with the saga of the maverick (unnamed) scien-tist who found an herbal cure for diabetes but was paid $30 million by a pharmaceutical company not to market it . Oh yeah? Where? When? We’re also told that the American Cancer society has swept information under the carpet about a plant that cures cancer in one week . Really? What is that plant? Well, you won’t find that information in Trudeau’s book, since he claims he is not allowed to talk about specific products because the FTC may then prosecute him and burn his books . Nonsense! But this clever man suggests that he has found a way around government ha-rassment by directing people who want the specific information to his Web site . don’t expect to find out about the miraculous can-cer healing plant just like that, though . You’ll have to register and pay a fee . since I was unwilling to contribute to Trudeau’s already copious coffers, I’m afraid I will remain in the dark about this cancer cure .

The drug companies, Trudeau maintains, design medications with side effects so they can then sell you more drugs to treat the new problems that arise . The food industry knowingly puts additives into food that will make people hungry, fat, addicted, and de-pressed . Pharmaceutical companies, which supply some of these additives, can then sell their antidepressants, which of course have side effects that have to be treated … and so on and on it goes . This is just silly stuff . But then there are Trudeau’s scientific absurdi-ties . like that animals in the wild do not get sick . Nonsense . Or that every single person who has cancer has a pH that is too acidic . Nonsense . Pasteurization kills all living natu-ral enzymes . More nonsense . Enzymes are not alive . How about this gem? If you eat an apple, it has one fifth the nutrition of an apple of fifty years ago . Even more nonsense .

Irradiation changes the energetic frequency of a food, giving the food a frequency that is no longer life sustaining . Thinking the correct thoughts actually changes a person’s dNA . Mind-numbing nonsense .

Then comes the advice for good health in a chapter blatantly entitled “How To Never Get sick Again .” That made me sick with suggestions like “rebalance your body with frequency generators” (“these machines neu-tralize the frequency of the disease”) . Get a water cooler that adds oxygen to the water . Use magnetic toe rings . stay away from elec-tric tumble dryers (“produce positive ions that suppress the immune system”) . Get 15 colonics in 30 days . (This may not be a bad idea for Mr . Trudeau himself—some elimina-tion seems appropriate .)

Popular science writer, Joe Schwarcz, MCIC, is

a chemistry professor and the director of McGill

University’s Office for Science and Society.

He hosts the Dr. Joe Show every Sunday from

3:00 to 4:00 p.m. on Montréal ’s radio station

CJAD and on CFRB in Toronto. The broadcast

is available on the Web at www.CJAD.com.

Joe Schwarcz, MCIC

To what extent do fraudulent claims sully science’s reputation?

Sully Stuff


Economists like to speak of incentives and contingencies—attach enough of the right sort of consequence to a mar-

ket or work situation, and in most cases you will control the outcome . Operations research and human resource specialists apply this principle to managing performance when they advise businesses to quantify and track the im-portant aspects of production, cautioning that we “manage what we measure .” Accountants are wont to apply standard and accepted mea-surement practices to conduct assessments of value and changes in value . The parts of a business that cannot be described in standard ways are regarded as off-balance-sheet, and generally given less weight .

Reassuring as these discipline-based approaches may be on the surface, they too often miss the target entirely . The problem with applying such “folk wisdom” is that in complex situations involving people, politics , and markets, the most important factors influencing outcomes and behaviour are often beyond easy apprehension and description . This creates a rather significant dilemma—what might be called the “measurement para-dox .” should you ignore or disqualify “fuzzy” but important data and measure what can be measured directly with precision and reliabil-ity, or should you base decisions and findings on terribly flawed, approximate, or subjective observations?

As with many dilemmas of this kind where one is seemingly faced with two incomplete and often unsavoury options (think of poor Abraham’s choice—to sacrifice his son Isaac

or to disobey God), the answer lies in some-how transcending given limitations and constraints to find a more suitable alternative at a higher logical level . systems thinkers sometimes describe this as both-and rather than either-or thinking, wherein elements of paradoxically opposed factors find a way to co-exist, and in so doing enrich rather than detract from understanding .

As scientists and serious researchers we want to apply the best tools of our trade in a rigorous and conscientious manner . But what do you do when the method misses the objec-tive—when what you’re measuring isn’t what really matters the most? Kurt lewin, author in 1951 of Field Theory in Social Science, and the original management consultant, made the sobering observation that the “the map is not the territory .” Translate this as, your tools may indeed be sharp, but are they the right tools to reflect what is really going on?

Go back in time a mere few thousand years, and science and philosophy were one . In a fashion, Clem Bowman takes us to where the two disciplines usefully intersect, and offers methods that cut the Gordian Knot . With Gregory Bateson, he enjoins us to ponder ques-tions of category rather than content, asking not only about how much of “x” is present, but how much more or less of it would constitute a difference that matters . To answer this, we need to address issues of meaning and relationship that create the context for measurement . In the words of one of my early mentors, Mathew B . Miles, author of Qualitative Data, an Attractive Nuisance, Bowman is a “soft-nosed positivist,”

with one foot planted in the scientific meth-ods and traditions of his training and the other equally firmly rooted in the murkier philosoph-ical questions of meaning .

The outcome of his work—as attested to in the scores of case studies described in this book—is a courageous and practical contribution to decision making . If you buy the premises that often the most important factors in tough evaluations are ignored or misrepresented because they are hard to measure, that in most, possibly all instances of complex decision making there are two overriding criteria that define the issue, and that by modelling these you increase clarity and quality of choice—then Clem and his colleagues at ProGrid are on to something powerful and much needed in a world of increasing complexity .

I wholeheartedly accept these premises as one who regularly works in the margins help-ing business leaders make sense of important but often faint and vague market signals . I appreciate ProGrid’s contribution toward making those essential yet elusive intangibles a little more visible and measurable .

Alex Lowy is an internationally

recognized thought leader specializing in the

creation of innovative work, learning, and

information systems. He has co-authored three

best-selling business books, The Power of the

2x2 Matrix, digital Capital—Harnessing the

Power of Business Webs, and Blueprint

to the digital Economy .

Clem w. Bowman, fCIC, Grafiks Marketing & Communications, ISBN 0-9739-3390-9


Book Review

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Major organizational changes have taken place in McGill’s department of chemistry over the last several years . By presenting this as a case study in realignment, I hope to

highlight some of our thoughts and our response to the opportunities that lie ahead for chemical research and education in Canada . There is by no means a “one-size-fits-all” solution to determining a depart-ment’s priorities . Moreover, it seems that many other universities in Canada, the U .s ., and the U .K . are in the midst of changes similar in style to those we have undertaken . Many of the initiatives we have taken were possible because we are a research and teaching intensive department, with about 150 graduate students and PdFs . We have a popular undergraduate chemistry program, and literally thousands of non-chemists enrolled in our courses . Most importantly, these changes were possible because our faculty—at all career stages—has supported these initiatives and is part of ongoing discussions .

The McGill University department of chemistry has a rich history within both national and international contexts . Many McGill faculty members were distinguished figures of 20th century Canadian science . Frederick soddy won the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his work on isotopes . Otto Maass was a physical chemist known especially for his work with

hydrogen peroxide . Carl Winkler was a gas phase kineticist and Phd supervisor of over 100 Phds . let’s not forget stan Mason, the noted col-loid chemist and specialist in blood flow, or Jack Edward, co-discoverer of the anomeric effect and noted mechanistic organic chemist . Kelvin Ogilvie invented the first “gene machine” and the anti-viral ganciclovir . Medicinal chemist Bernard Belleau created the anti-HIV drug, 3TC, and co-founded BioChemPharma . And of course, the list goes on . Innovative approaches to undergraduate teaching and outreach, from the likes of david Harpp, FCIC, Joe schwarcz, MCIC, Ariel Fenster, MCIC, and oth-ers have been the subject of many awards and citations . The 1,500th Phd from McGill chemistry will be awarded in the near future .

With this history, it would have been easy to sit back and ride the wave . But was the wave headed in the right direction for the department to be effective in teaching and research in say, 2025?

By the mid-1990s, two questions consistently loomed over McGill’s ongoing (formal and informal) discussions about curriculum, gradu-ate education, and research infrastructure . Firstly, what was academic chemistry research going to be doing in 2025? And secondly, who was going to be doing it?

The first question is raised within this issue of ACCN . The ques-tion was also a major part of the very successful 2004 CsC Conference “strong Roots/New Branches” held in london, ON . The many discus-sions in our department concluded that chemistry itself will remain a vig-orous discipline for many years to come but that it also had a leadership role to play while partnering with life sciences, environmental sciences, and materials sciences . such a partnership has been discussed world-wide in the context of interdisciplinarity . Although interdisciplinarity is

McGill University’s chemistry department could rest on its laurels. Instead, it’s been redefined, redesigned, and realigned. why all the drastic changes? Does chemistry as we know it still exist?

Above: Architect Diane Thode’s sketch of the recently constructed integrated laboratory for biological chemistry/chemical biology in the otto Maass Chemistry Building at McGill. Courtesy of Vézina Thode Architectes.

R. Bruce Lennox, MCIC

C h e m i s t r y r e d e f i n e d ?


interpreted in many ways, two types of part-nership between chemistry and other sciences recur . One has chemistry as a facilitator or ser-vice for other areas of research . We have all experienced, and enjoyed, partnerships that began with “Can you make this molecule for me?” “Can you make this measurement?”, etc . This is chemistry as an enabling science, but the problems have been defined by the partner discipline . Our role can be rather passive . The second partnership involves chemistry defin-ing and tackling a problem within the partner discipline . This is an active way of maintaining chemistry as the central science . How does a department position itself to take this on?

We have done so by coupling the who ques-tion with the what answer . like many other departments, by the mid-1990s impending re-tirements presented the possibility of at least a 50 percent turnover in the coming years . In our case, a faculty renewal plan was adopted . Rather than relying on the traditional sub-dis-ciplines of organic, inorganic, etc ., the newly vacated slots were redesigned to target one of three themes—materials, biological chemis-try/chemical biology, and environment/green . The new research activity of the department is thus linked with big problems in science, with

the tools and perspectives remaining explic-itly chemical . Obviously, this changes hiring priorities from undergraduate (i .e . sub-disci-plinary) teaching . Because our undergraduate teaching mission is deeply engrained in the department, we also decided that a teaching topic would be a factor in hiring if and when a string of hirings had led to unmanageable gaps in undergraduate teaching . so far that hasn’t happened .

The 15 new faculty members hired over the last several years bring a new mix of scientific cultures to the department . Many of our re-cent hires used their PdF or previous positions to augment their formal training in chemistry with experience in one of the hiring themes . The department is thus now identified equally with the classic sub-disciplines of chemistry and topics ranging from green chemistry, to atmospheric chemistry, molecular materials, and single molecule spectroscopy in biological systems . This thematic approach opens new doors for research support . Our almost exclu-sive reliance on NsERC has lessened and fund-ing is on the rise from theme-based programs such as Human Frontiers, CIHR (training, team, and individual) grants, Genome Québec , NanoQuébec, the Canadian climate consor-tium, and NGOs like the Alzheimer society and the Wellcome Trust .

last year, we formally realigned the pattern of graduate education in the department so that it more closely corresponds to the changes created by the recent hirings . Graduate students are now members of groups such as materials, analytical/environment, synthesis /catalysis, biological chemistry/chemical

biology , and chemical physics . This provides a more natural mix of seminars, courses, and research oversight for graduate students . Although this phase of the realignment is still in its early stages, it’s already making an im-pact on the graduate student experience . For example, just hours before writing this piece, three research groups that were formerly in dif-ferent sub-disciplines decided to have a shared weekly group meeting . This is certain to be an exciting and challenging environment for grad-uate students . The realignment also shows up in our undergraduate program where courses including atmospheric chemistry, green chem-istry, advanced materials, chemistry of pollut-ants, bio-organic chemistry, and biophysical chemistry are now offered .

These changes are really just a formalization of the evolution of chemical education and re-search . Our graduates at both undergraduate and graduate levels will still have a strong core foundation in chemistry, but by the time they graduate, they will have seen countless ex-amples of “chemistry in context .” They won’t be intimidated to talk to biological, environ-mental, and materials scientists and engineers . Our graduates will be effective at assessing where and how they can be the agent for pre-senting chemistry as the “enabling science .” And they will be able to move ahead with the confidence that chemistry also remains the “central science .”

R. Bruce Lennox, MCIC, is the Tomlinson

Professor of Chemistry and chair of

the department of chemistry at McGill

University. He previously served as chair of

the department curriculum committee, was

director of graduate studies, and chaired

a faculty of science task force on graduate

student education. He is a member and

former director of the FQRNT Centre for

Self-Assembled Chemical Structures (CSACS)

and is a member of the FQRNT Regroupement

québecois sur les matériaux de pointe (RQMP).

He was the recipient of the Leo Yaffe Teaching

Award, McGill, in 1996. Lennox is a member

of the advisory board of the NSERC NanoIP,

and has been a member of the Protein

Engineering Network of Centres of Excellence

(PENCE) and the Canadian Bacterial Diseases

Network Excellence (CBDN), both part of the

Networks of Centres of Excellence (NCE). He

serves on the scientific advisory board

of NanoQuébec.

These changes are really just a formalization of

the evolution of chemical education and research.


The CheMISTry enTerPrISe In 2015

The modern definition of chemistry is changing. what is chemistry in the 21st century? Could it disappear altogether? Experts from the American Chemical Society share their views in this excerpt from

William F. Carroll, Jr. and Douglas J. Raber

The American Chemical Society (ACS), led by past-president william f. Carroll, Jr., undertook a major analysis of the present and future of the chemical enterprise. Carroll presented the preliminary findings of the project at the CIC Chair’s Event at the May 2005 CSC Saskatoon conference and then again at the october 2005 CSChE Toronto conference. The following excerpt from the final report highlights the changes to which chemistry—as a core science—must adapt and the challenges it must meet, if it is to remain relevant in a dynamic global environment.


Chemistry—disciplinary structure

The nature of our discipline is changing . Many of the longstanding fundamen-tal questions in chemistry have been

addressed and are well understood . Chemists now can work on applications that previously were beyond our capabilities and might not have even been considered chemistry as little as a decade ago . Today’s studies are lead-ing to new fundamental discoveries and an expansion of the boundaries of molecular science . This in turn leads to a bewildering increase in scope and the resulting need to comprehend ever more information from increasingly diverse disciplines .

The notion of chemistry as a central science is widespread, and scientists and en-gineers in many disciplines now work at the molecular level . This centrality leads biology , geology, astronomy, and other disciplines to add chemistry instruction to their basic courses, and in some cases to devise chem-istry courses that will be taught “their way,” thereby clouding the mission of chemistry departments . While chemistry education in

the U .s . is strong, it is increasingly taught as a service for pre-med students by “chemis-try and biochemistry” departments . some have suggested that chemistry is just a tool for use in their canonical disciplines or that chemistry as a distinct discipline will disap-pear in the coming years . All this leads to an important question: In the 21st century, what is chemistry? Or, for that matter, what is not?

The overlap between chemistry and bi-ology has increased dramatically, and the boundaries between chemistry and materials science have dissolved . The inherent multi-disciplinary aspects of these areas, together

with new technologies such as high-through-put screening, are generating advances at an accelerating pace, and the needed expertise often requires multi-field collaborative work . These trends may produce an “identity crisis” for the chemists working across boundaries . Who will be their peer group, and who will evaluate their work?• From announced capacity expansions

to development of new markets, the chemistry enterprise will show strong growth as we move toward 2015 . Inevi-tably, this growth will be accompanied by change . The field—both intellectually and economically—will be different from the way we know it today, just as it is different today from what we knew in previous decades . We must be willing to identify opportunities as we adapt to new challenges .

• Themost dramatic advanceswill occurat the boundaries—where the frontiers of knowledge always are found—but there will be many opportunities to so-lidify and strengthen the core . Exciting questions remain in analytical methods, catalysis, small-molecule synthesis, and computational chemistry, to name only a few . The physical sciences stand on their own as they simultaneously provide the foundation for advances in the biological sciences . The chemistry enterprise will remain an intellectually vibrant area that generates new ideas, fundamental sci-ence, and products .

•Multidisciplinary research—collaborationby scientists in different disciplines who bring a depth of expertise and an inter-est in the periphery—will be increasingly common . Ultimately it may be difficult to identify a project’s disciplinary origin, and the question will seem irrelevant . strength in core chemistry will remain the essential platform for advances in all of molecular science .

• The success of the chemistry enterprisein the framework of multidisciplinarity will require that our scientists be deeply trained in the core of chemistry but also be able to communicate and col-laborate with those in related disciplines . Ironically, by expanding at the borders, chemistry is returning to its roots . As in the original meaning of organic chemistry, the field has long been driven by a desire to understand the underlying science of

life . Advances in molecular manipulation, in combination with the power of modern computing, are allowing us to understand the individual chemical reactions and in-teractions of life processes .

download the full report at http://chemistry .org/ chemistryenterprise2015 .html .

Altogether, this document represents a synthe-

sis of views from across the chemical enterprise,

but does not necessarily represent the views

of the ACS. Occasional redundancies and po-

tentially controversial statements have been

retained in an effort to convey the breadth of

the input from our colleagues.

William F. Carroll, Jr., immediate

past-president of the American Chemical

Society, is vice-president of chlorovinyl

issues at Occidental Chemical Corporation.

Douglas J. Raber is a science policy consultant

with GreenPoint Science.

“The biggest difference in 2015 will be that

chemistry will no longer be limited to only the

properties of pure substances. Instead it will be refocused largely onto

the properties of self-organized multi-molecular

systems that have interesting and useful


ronald Breslow, chemistry professor,Columbia University

The notion of chemistry as a central science is

widespread, and scientists and engineers in many disciplines now work at

the molecular level.


First-year chemistry at Carleton University has changed . Over a ten-year period, it’s transformed from a course of blackboard lectures to one incorporating many technological devices to

present the material and communicate with students . These changes have occurred due to an increasing student-to-teacher ratio, due to the possibilities afforded by constantly improving technology, and because the students embrace and even demand them .

Currently, the following tools are put to use:• theinstructor,ofcourse;• PowerPoint;• threecamerasrecordingthematerial;• in-classchemicaldemonstrations;• specializedsoftwarefor3Dimagingofmolecules;• mandatoryandextensiveWebsite;• MSNtocommunicatewithstudentsduringtheirstudytime.

The lectures and tutorials are recorded (live in front of perhaps 300 students), digitized, and made available to students in four

The future is now. first-year chemistry moves out of the classroom and into the pocket PC. Robert Burk, MCIC

Chemistry on the GO

Above: A pocket-sized view of the author giving a chemistry demonstration


ways—broadcast on a local cable channel, delivered to their homes on dVds, streamed over the Internet, and lately, downloaded via iTunes* to an iPod, sONY™ PsP, or even some cell phones .

We are all aware of the popularity of porta-ble music-playing devices . The iPod, with its ability to store and catalogue huge amounts of music has become a “must-have” gadget among the younger generation . Recently, Apple introduced the video iPod, which can store up to 150 hours of video as well as audio, allowing users to download video material from the Internet and watch at their leisure . since chemistry is a very visual sub-ject, the video iPod is an ideal medium for lectures involving in-class demonstrations, complex diagrams, animated representa-tions of phenomena at the molecular level, and so on . Unlike a live or streamed lecture, those stored on such a device can be played any number of times, paused, rewound, and fast-forwarded .

According to the students, viewing lec-tures on portable devices allows them to make better use of their time . Many report watching the lectures on the bus on the way to or from campus . some students have course conflicts, so viewing recorded lec-tures is necessary . some students, especially those with children, have non-standard work times, and so being able to watch lectures any time anywhere simply makes it possible for them to participate . Recording the lec-tures has also led us to record instructional videos on the proper use of some laboratory equipment, for instance . It is not uncommon to see some students reviewing how to use a particular piece of equipment on their iPods just before entering the teaching lab .

The initial reaction of many who hear of these alternative modes of delivery is “stu-dents will never come to class!” However, nothing could be further from the truth . The classroom is still full, and an annual survey

of students to determine what features of the course they make use of reveals that the “average student” watches approximately 120 percent of the lectures using some com-bination of live, streamed, and downloaded lectures . The most common combination of these is attending all live lectures, and reviewing 20 percent of them at home on a computer, television, or portable device, but some students view most or all lectures outside of the classroom . All students must still come to campus to do the laboratory experiments and to write exams, so students are actually better connected to the campus than in the past .

It is surprising how many people who are not registered in the course have an interest in chemistry and are watching the podcasts . There appears to be some unfulfilled need out there for scientific lectures . I receive many e-mails from around the world thank-ing us for making the podcasts available and asking for more! Of particular interest to the general public are recordings of chemical demonstrations that are available separately from the lectures . But many lectures are also downloaded by non-students . Users of the technology report that they have not taken a chemistry course for years, and are “catching up,” or that they worked with many chemical substances over the years and only now have the time to delve into the chemistry of these materials . In some cases, they say they are augmenting their course work at another institution with these lectures . There is no doubt that podcasts of lectures in other scientific disciplines would be well received .

Copyright issues present a problem when making lectures available to the public . The instructor may have his or her own copy-righted material in the lecture, and not be willing to release it to the general public . More often, however, the instructor must arrange permission to use copyrighted ma-terial, and this permission does not extend to having it made available on the Inter-net, since current copyright law allows use of such material only within the physical

classroom . A second issue is that not all students have, or can afford, a video iPod, so this cannot be the only mode of delivery of lectures . The iTunes service, however, simply provides access to content, so lectures can be downloaded and viewed on other devices, including personal computers, which the vast majority of students have .

In our experience, there is a demand for recorded lectures, especially in portable for-mats . The demand will no doubt increase, and the technology is evolving rapidly . We expect there to be many new developments in this area in the near future .

*iTunes and iPod are trademarks of Apple computer,

Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries.

Robert Burk, MCIC, teaches undergraduate

chemistry at Carleton University in Ottawa,

ON. He does research in analytical/

environmental chemistry.

I receive many e-mails from around the world thanking us for making the podcasts available

and asking for more!

students are … better connected to the campus

than in the past


Although there has always been a significant flow of Canadian talent to the U .s ., there is enough evidence that this flow may be increasing in such critical areas as entrepreneurs

and highly skilled professionals to be a cause of concern . To a large extent this flow is driven by the growing gap between Canadian and U .s . incomes—a gap that can only be narrowed if Canadian productivity grows faster than American . Unfortunately, the reverse has been the case over most of the lifetime of the new “knowledge driven economy” that has been a reality at least since the 1980s . The Martin government had been evolving some initiatives directed at this problem and we must hope that the Harper government will not cast these aside and start at the bottom of its own learning curve, thus wasting time that we can ill afford .

Canadians have always accepted higher taxes than Americans because they feel they get more valuable government services in return . Currently our health care system is in crisis, a crisis apparently seen by all of our governments as a purely domestic matter . But if the crisis is not resolved, potential “brain drainers” may come to feel that they pay more taxes and get less health care than they would in the U .s . All Canadians would suffer as a result of the greatly increased brain drain that would then ensue .

Canadian governments need to accept the present—and the poten-tially much larger future—brain drain as one of the country’s most serious problems . If we do not grapple successfully with its many causes, we risk entering an accelerating downward spiral in which the widening Canada–U .s . income gap increases the brain drain, which in turn increases the income gap yet further .

Richard G. Lipsey FRSC, OC, is currently professor emeritus of economics

at Simon Fraser University. Until recently he was a Fellow of the Canadian

Institute for Advanced Research where he was the first director of their

large-scale, international research project on Economic Growth and Policy.

He is an officer of the Order of Canada, a fellow of the Royal Society of

Canada and the Econometric Society, and a past-president of the Canadian

Economic Society and the Atlantic Economic Society. He also holds

honorary doctorates from the Universities of McMaster, Victoria, Carleton,

Queen’s, Toronto, Guelph, Western Ontario, Essex, (England) , and UBC.

He has held a chair in economics at the London School of Economics and

was chair of the department of economics and dean of the faculty of social

science at the new University of Essex, England from 1964 to 1970. He

has held visiting appointments at seven universities in the U.K., the U.S.,

and Canada. From 1970 to 1986, he was Sir Edward Peaco*ck professor

of economics, Queen’s University in Kingston, ON. He has served as an

independent policy advisor to many national organizations in both the

U.K. and Canada. He is a frequent commentator on economic policy

issues in Canada. From 1983, until January 1989, he was senior economic

advisor for the C. D. Howe Institute where he coauthored monographs on

Canada’s Trade Options and on the Canada–U.S. Free Trade Agreement

and wrote over a dozen journal articles and pamphlets on various

aspects of the free-trade debate. Lipsey has authored several textbooks in

economics that are used widely in North America and the U.K.

Are Canada’s best brains washing down the drain? Can we count on the Canadian government to slow the flow?

Richard G. Lipsey

The Brain Drain

Photo by Ross Brown


Until recently, the biological role of ribonucleic acid (RNA) was largely underestimated . Most textbooks

describe RNA simply as the intermediary that allows dNA to be copied into protein . However, as simon Fraser University’s Peter Unrau, MCIC, notes, “discoveries over the past five to seven years suggest that RNA plays a very important role in what previ-ously was thought to be a protein-dominated world .” One of the most interesting types of RNA identified recently is the small RNA, or smRNA . In a process called gene silenc-ing, smRNAs are able to control not only the amount of protein produced from a gene, but also where and when the protein is made .

“This regulation uses short pieces of RNA to target the actions of particular cellular processes with exquisite accuracy,” explains Unrau . such fine control over a gene is criti-cal to many activities in the cell, including development and defence against viruses .

In a recent paper in the prominent journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences , Unrau’s group, working together with Australian plant biologist Ming-Bo Wang, showed that silencing-associated plant smRNAs are quite different from ani-mal smRNAs . Using tobacco plants, the researchers discovered that plant smRNAs carry a unique chemical modification at their end . “The results help to explain the differences that have been observed for some time between plant and animal RNA silencing,” says Unrau .

The team is currently working on a paper describing the modified small RNAs in greater detail, including their hypothesis as to the origin of the modification in plants . “We hope that through this work, we may ultimately be able to trace the evolution of this highly important form of gene regula-tion,” says Unrau . “We understand so little about the biochemistry of this process in plants and animals .”

RNA—Marvellous, Multi-Tasking MoleculesJennifer Gardy

Graduate student Alex Ebhardt, MCIC (left), and Peter Unrau, MCIC, assistant professor of molecular biology and biochemistry, are making discoveries about the biological modification of small RNAs in tobacco plants.

Photo by Diane Luckow

Ongoing work in Unrau’s lab is also focused on understanding RNA’s role in the origins of life .

“A number of clues suggest that RNA and not protein was once the dominant bio-logical catalyst,” he says . If this RNA world hypothesis is true, RNA must necessarily be a versatile molecule, capable of carrying out all of the metabolic functions necessary to sustain the earliest life forms .

“Our findings do suggest the chemical dexterity of RNA,” Unrau notes . What is certain, however, is that Unrau’s continued exploration of the RNA world will shed even more light onto this marvellous multi-tasker of a molecule .

Jennifer Gardy is a graduate student working

on her PhD at Simon Fraser University

in Burnaby, BC. Her project involves the

computational prediction and analysis of sub-

cellular localization of bacterial proteins.


Environmental chemist, scott Mabury, MCIC, shrugs at the suggestion that he has achieved the kind of interna-

tional influence to which most scientists only aspire . His team’s research was influential in a decision by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the U .s . to call a halt on the production of PFOA—a suspected carcino-gen used in the making of Teflon™ and other non-stick and non-stain coatings .

“I’m very pleased,” said Mabury, chair of the department of chemistry at the University of Toronto . “It’s good science fuelling good public policy . It’s what we scientists always hope for .”

Quite recently, the scientific community was faced with the alarming news that nearly all humans and animals on the planet are contaminated with a family of chemicals known as perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA . Mabury’s studies have provided important data suggesting that the sources of PFOA are largely household products like stain-repel-lents and non-stick chemicals .

On January 25, 2006, the EPA suddenly asked eight manufacturers to reduce PFOA emissions by 95 percent by 2010 and to stop emitting it altogether by 2015 . The call is a sur-prisingly sudden victory for environmentalists and consumer groups, who, armed with data like Mabury’s, have long been petitioning the EPA to act . Richard Wiles of the Environmen-tal Working Group is quoted in USA Today as stating that if the EPA is successful in getting the chemicals phased out, it will be “the single biggest action the agency has ever taken .”

Perfluorooctane sulfonate, or PFOs, was one of the perfluorinated compounds origi-nally observed in the environment in the late 1990s, Mabury explained . It was identified as a breakdown product of the key ingredient in 3M’s scotchgard™ . 3M took a proactive step and voluntarily phased out PFOs when faced with the evidence of its accumulation in the environment and its potential toxicity . Atten-tion has now turned to PFOA, a relative of PFOs, which has been detected in people and animals around the world, and particularly in alarmingly high levels in Arctic animals .

Mabury would like to see companies and chemists work together to make sustainable products that can be used without harmful effects . “We need to construct molecules that deliver the properties we like, like the enhancing benefits of drugs, for example,

Chemist’s work behind U.S. decision to ban PfoA Sonnet L’Abbé

Good science leads to good public policy—

sounds simple

Photo by Mike Andrechuk

science that sticks

without architectures that cause chemical pollution problems .”

Good science leading to good public pol-icy—sounds simple . But many researchers know it can often be decades before even the most conclusive scientific data overcome red tape, controversy and simple ideological resistance and persuade policy makers to get out their pens . But Mabury has achieved extraordinary results here, too . In the case of PFOA contamination, it took only about five years for his team and other scientists to look at the chemical pollution problem, identify it, characterize it, make recommen-dations that will significantly contribute to solving the problem and see a major regula-tory move to address the issue .

“Think of all the other environmental problems,” Mabury said . “We’re still talk-ing about ddT and PCB contaminations and these things were banned three decades ago . It would be most rewarding, ultimately rewarding , if we were able to solve a chemical pollution problem before most people even knew about it .”

Sonnet L’Abbé writes for public affairs and

teaches in continuing studies at the University

of Toronto. She is the author of A strange

Relief (McClelland and Stewart, 2001).

Scott Mabury, MCIC (right), stands with PhD student Joyce Dinglasen-Panulio.


Few would disagree that physicians, lawyers, accountants, and engineers are considered to be professionals . Are chemists?

I have chemist colleagues who are physicians, lawyers, engineers, and yes, even one who is an accountant . I know many chemists who are professionals, a great many consultants, patent agents, technical writers and communicators, researchers, educa-tors, policy and regulatory advisors, and another who is a police officer and a real CsI™! They each have degrees in chemistry and apply their chemical knowledge, skills, and experience to their work . some wear lab coats and safety glasses at work, while others wear suits, coveralls, or a uniform and a badge . They are dedicated and competent—each taking ethical and legal responsibility for his or her work . They are recognized by their colleagues, clients, and in their communities as professionals .

To practise chemistry in Quebec, you are required to be licensed by a provincially recognized organization—as are many professionals . In Alberta and Ontario, those who meet rigorous educational and work experience criteria and agree to be bound by a legally enforceable code of behaviour and ethics, are entitled to call themselves Professional or Chartered Chemists . We hope this will soon be the case in Nova scotia and British Columbia with other parts of Canada following as well . The creation and recognition of these professional organiza-tions is due to the work of some very dedicated chemists . How and why they came about may vary somewhat, but a central motiva-tion includes, unfortunately, the need to address the limitations or threatened limitations of an individual’s ability to pursue his or her chemical careers . In some parts of Canada, many of these challenges remain today .

The Canadian society for Chemistry board of directors recently approved an initiative to work with the existing and developing provincial professional associations to increase awareness and recognition of the practice of chemistry as a profession in Canada . The initial focus will be on chemists and then expand to other professions , regulators, and society . The entire board of directors and national office staff are committed to this undertaking and we

Aren’t They? Dave Schwass, MCIC

have even created a new board portfolio—professional affairs held by Ray Clement, FCIC . This initiative is a specific area of focus for my term of office, as well .

As you can imagine, changing perception is a long-term undertaking and a natural extension of our existing outreach and communication programs . stay tuned for additional information from Clement , and others on how you—as a professional chemist—can participate . We look forward to input, feedback, and assistance from each of you in this important initiative .

Professional Awareness Project in Action

• Apaneldiscussioninvolvingseveralprovincialassociationsrepresenting chemists in Canada will take place May 30, 2006, as part of the science Policy Forum at the 89th Canadian ChemistryConferenceandExhibitioninHalifax,NS;

• TheCSCsteeringcommitteetaskedwiththeprojectiscomposed of dave schwass, MCIC, CsC vice-president, Ray Clement, FCIC, CsC director of professional affairs, Roland Andersson, MCIC, CIC executive director, lucie Frigon, CICcommunicationsandmarketingmanager;

• VisittheCSCWebsiteatwww.chemistry.caforinformationabout the project as it progresses .

The following groups are associated with this project:• AssociationoftheChemicalProfessionofOntario(ACPO), www.acpo.on.ca;

• AssociationoftheChemicalProfessionofAlberta(ACPA), www.pchem.ca;

• OrdredeschimisteduQuébec,www.ocq.qc.ca;• NovaScotiaChemists’Society, http://nscs.chebucto.org/Main.htm;

• PaulWest,FCIC,[emailprotected] in British Columbia .

Professionals,Chemists Are



Alfred Bader, HFCIC, co-founder of the Aldrich Chemical Company, received an honorary degree from simon Fraser University (sFU) on October

5, 2005 . As part of the celebration, Bader was the keynote speaker at a special sFU/Vancouver CIC local section dinner and lecture, which was attended by approximately 80 CIC members and sFU luminaries, including Mario Pinto, FCIC, FRsC, sFU vice-president of research . After an excellent meal at the sFU diamond Alumni Club, Bader outlined his remarkable lifetime achievements, focusing on the “History of the Aldrich Chemical Company .” Many personal anecdotes about the business, interactions with organic chemistry giants, and the intersection of his in-terest in fine art and chemistry were all detailed to the evident enjoyment of the audience .

The following day, Bader gave a second, slightly more chemistry-focused lecture at sFU on “Richard Anschütz , Archibald scott Couper and Josef loschmidt —A detective at Work,” walking the audience through the evidence supporting the need to recognize these unheralded but important figures in the history of chemistry . This seminar, of a lighter tone than the usual research-intensive lecture in a chemistry departmental setting, was extremely well-attended and thoroughly enjoyed by all . Reproductions of artwork featured on the Aldrich chemical catalogue brought by Bader were eagerly snapped up at both events .

Daniel Leznoff, MCIC

Local Section chair

Vancouver, BC

SfU president Michael Stevenson, Alfred Bader, hfCIC, SfU Chancellor Brandt Louie, and SfU vice-president, research Mario Pinto, fCIC, fRSC

Alfred Bader: Chemical and Corporate history

In MemoriamThe CIC extends its condolences to the families of:

Ronald G. Micetich, MCICRobert s. shelley, MCIC

It is with great sadness that we mark the passing of Beryl Deuel, FCIC, an active member of the Vancouver CIC local section . deuel was a second generation chemist . Her father, Ronald Jones, Fellow of the Institute of Chemistry of Great Brit-ain and Ireland, served as Chief Chemist at the Mond Nickel Company in Clydach, Wales . deuel was an honours graduate in chemistry from the University of Wales, swansea . she worked as a research chem-ist for shellMax in london and Chester, England for three years, and then taught

chemistry at Taskers school in Wales . she emigrated to Vancouver, BC, in 1953 andwassweptoffherfeetatadancebyFredDeuelinFebruary,1957;theymarried that december .

deuel taught chemistry at Crofton House school in Vancouver for 39 years . Her dedicated efforts led to a very high level of chemistry instruction, with emphasis on both theoretical and practical aspects . she coordinated the design and construction of modern laboratory facilities so that all sciences could be taught more effectively . A great teacher, she left the school with a strong legacy of excellence in science . deuel received the CIC’s domtar Award in 1990 for excellence in teaching high school chemistry—the first British Columbian to win this award—and was named by first-year students at The University of British Columbia, in three successive years (1989–1991), as the teacher who had especially influenced their scientific careers . several of her students have performed exceptionally and have gone on to successful careers in a number of science-related professions . At the Geoffrey lau science Centre at Crofton House, she was honoured by being depicted in one of the “Women in science” murals featuring women in science through the ages .

From the mid-1980s, deuel gave unselfishly of her time to the promote activities of the Vancouver local section, her particular specialty being the coordination of the annual high school Crystal Growing Competition in the lower Mainland . she participated actively in the annual National Chemistry Week activities, and ensured that the chemistry faculty also participated . For her distinguished 50-year career as a chemistry teacher, mentor, and ambassador of chemical education, deuel was elected as a Fellow of the CIC in 1998 .

she will be remembered fondly for her poise, her fun attitude to life, her skill in teaching chemistry to generations of students, her mentorship, her infectious enthusiasm, and for reminding university professors of their social responsibil-ity to come down from the ivory towers and engage the broader community in matters of science .

B. Mario Pinto, FCICVice-president, researchSimon Fraser University




National Chemistry WeekThe CIC’s National Chemistry week (NCw) has once again sparked an interest in chemistry in children’s minds across the country. Thanks to hundreds of volunteers, these children were made aware of the different exciting, and rewarding chemical sciences, engineering, and technology professions. The CIC carries out year-round outreach through its Public Understanding of Chemistry program. National Chemistry week is one segment of this program.

National Crystal Growing Competition 2005The National Crystal Growing Competition, sponsored by Anachemia science and BAsF and organized by The Chemical Institute of Canada, took place during the Fall of 2005 . This year’s crystal was copper(II) sulfate pentahydrate, CusO4 .H2O . Crystals were grown during the five-week period after the teacher received the materials in september . students participated in two categories, and teachers participated in a third one . Here are the national winners:

Best overall Crystal

The crystals in the Best overall category (the coin is a dime).

First placeJoanie Gagnon of Polyvalente des Abénaquis, saint-Prosper, QC, received a 68 .1 percent rating .

second placeAlaina Elke of Brocklehurst secondary school, Kamloops, BC, received a 53 .1 percent rating .

Third placeEdmond Tse of Fellowes High school, Pembroke, ON, received a 50 .5 percent rating .

Best quality Crystal

Best quality category winner

First placeAkashdeep Aujla, Cody lin, and Michael Winkelman of southridge Independent school of surrey, BC won in this category . Although their crystal weighed only 0 .033 g, it was of very high quality, receiving a score of 90 .6 percent .

Best Teacher CategoryPeter Bloch from Toronto, oN, placed first in the teacher’s category.

First placePeter Bloch of Northern secondary school, Toronto, ON, received a score of 53 percent .

Prizes included pens and certificates for the individual winners and cheques for the school towards its science program .

The national coordinator for the 2005 competition was denis Bussières from the Université du Québec à Chicoutimi . This is his first year as national coordinator, however Bussières has coordinated the local competition since the competition began .


“Name the Mascot” ContestThe Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC) launched a three- year outreach campaign aimed at elementary school students and their teachers. This campaign was sponsored by the CIC Chemical Education Fund. The goal is to ignite children’s interest in chemistry, invite them to experience the fun side of it, and make them aware of the different exciting and rewarding chemical sciences, engineering, and technology professions through our fun experiments, articles , and trivia.

The campaign’s first activity was the “Name the Mascot” contest . Teachers at12,500 elementary schools in Canada were asked to invite their students to submit suggestions to name the CIC’s Public Understanding of Chemistry program ’s little blue mascot. The contest opened January 1, 2006, and entries have come in from across the country. The mascot has become a part of the CIC’s outreach and will appear on promotional material, the Web site, and at local events. Watch for the winning name in a future issue of ACCN.

If you have suggestions on how we can promote chem-istry to students and their teachers, we would love to hear from you. Send your comments and suggestions to [emailprotected].

Visit the Outreach section of our Web site at www.cheminst.ca/outreach and get involved!

Public Understanding of Chemistry would like to thank all the sponsors for 2005

Le programme sensibilisation du public à la chimie aimerait remercier tous les commanditaires de 2005

Gold / or BAsFCIC Chemical Education Funddow Chemical Canada Inc .Merck Frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research

Silver / Argent Anachemia scienceBoehringer Ingelheim (Canada) ltd .Cognis Canada CorporationH . l . Blachford ltd .l . V . lomas ltd .Rhodia CanadaRohm and Haas Canada Inc .syncrude Canada ltd .

Bronze / Bronze Arkema Canada Inc .Canadian Chemical Producers’ Associationdiagnostic Chemicals ltd .Imperial Oil ltd .John Wiley & sons Canada, ltd .Mds sciexRecochem Inc .seastar Chemicals Inc .


Are Curious?OUYwant to know more about activities that took place during National Chemistry week 2005?

Do you want to get involved in your local outreach ?

Visit www.cheminst.ca/ncw/2005_ncwactivities.html for a list of the events and contacts.


TheoryPolystyrene is a thermoplastic formed by addition polymerization of the monomer vinylbenzene, a .k .a . styrene, C6H5CH=CH2 . The vari-ous techniques available for converting raw polystyrene polymer into a finished product provide a wide range of useful properties for the resulting plastic . For instance, inexpensive, clear, rigid drinking glasses are made of polystyrene . In a variation known as high-impact polysty-rene, the plastic is used to make furniture, inexpensive tableware, and stereo, television, and computer cabinets . solid, lightweight polysty-rene foams are good thermal insulators and shock absorbers, useful for making picnic coolers, egg cartons, disposable cups for keeping drinks hot or cold, and small polystyrene nuggets used as packing material . These foams, some of which are sold under the name styrofoam™, are made by using a gas to generate a foam of liquid polystyrene and allowing the frothy mass to cool . Chlorofluorocarbons (a .k .a . freons) were once used to generate the froth, but they have been replaced by other gases, including low-boiling alkanes . Today, well over half of all the polystyrene produced goes into inexpensive household products .

Unlike metal, discarded plastics don’t corrode and decay . Unlike paper and cloth, plastic bags, wrappings, and most synthetic poly-mers aren’t biodegradable . That is, they are not degraded by the weather or by the action of microorganisms of the soil to the simpler substances that form our natural environment .

One very promising approach to solving the problem of persistent waste plastic in the environment is applied recycling . Currently, other materials such as paper, glass, and metal wastes are recast and recy-cled into new products . However, plastics possess their own particular characteristics that suit them to a limited set of specific applications . The problem thus becomes one of separating plastics into individual types (an expensive process!) with each type of plastic having a given category of properties . Tossing all plastic materials together into a sin-gle batch may lower the cost of recycling, but produces a much lower grade product . such recycled material is generally a satisfactory sub-stitute for some simpler uses, but, in general, is not suitable for more specialized applications . Another difficulty is that some synthetic poly-meric products do not lend themselves to collection for recycling—for example, the plastic liners of baby diapers .

In this experiment, you will recycle polystyrene by converting one form of polystyrene, polystyrene foam, into a second form, polysty-rene film . The film formed is chemically similar to commercial cello-phane, mainly transparent, waterproof, and capable of being shaped to cover virtually any form . The film, however, is still not biodegrad-able—this can only be achieved if a suitable biodegradable enzyme is added to the mix at the time of film preparation .

Experimental procedurestep one describes the preparation of the styrene monomer solution . since this is both the “cost-determining” and “rate-determining” steps in the experiment, the solution should be prepared beforehand and made available to each student as needed .1 . Add 15 ml of methylene chloride, CH2Cl2, for each 1 .0 g of sty-

rofoam in a suitably sized beaker . Prepare a uniform solution by stirring the mixture with a glass stirring rod .

2 . Thoroughly clean a 10 cm square glass plate with soap and water . Rinse in distilled water and dry .

3 . Use the dropper provided with the bottle to cover approximately two-thirds to three-quarters of the surface area of the plate with the solution . Remember—the more uniform, thin, and bubble-free the film, the better the results!

4 . Carefully (so as not to disturb the solution) place the glass plate aside on the bench and leave to dry undisturbed for about 20 to 30 minutes .

5 . After the film has dried completely, use a spatula and carefully lift the film away from the plate . should the film be firmly held onto the plate, place a small ice cube on the back side of one corner of the plate and cool the corner until the side of the film curls up . If freez-ing the corner does not work, use the spatula to pry the film loose .

6 . Examine the film and record its properties in your lab report .7 . After you have finished, clean the glass plate with soap and water .


feeling Experimental? Try a “Touch of Green” chemistry experiment

A Touch of Green—recycling waste synthetic polymersThis experiment is intended for high school students and was contributed by John R. Krause, MCIC, and Rashmi Venkateswaran

Do You Like to Experiment?send us your simple experiments for elementary and high school students. cIc members can always use new material for outreach programs in the schools. We would like to share your experiments with ACCN readers and on the Public understanding of chemistry Web pages. This year, we are particularly looking for experiments related to green chemistry. Please send your ex-periments to [emailprotected].


The Wonders of Chemistry

Photos courtesy of Paul Ragogna

“They had a heck of a SLIME!”University of Western Ontario students and professors visit the local mall to carry out experiments during NCW 2005 . Children are encouraged to get involved by making slime . send in your photos and reports to [emailprotected] of 2005 NCW activities on the Web .



The student Chapter Merit Awards are offered as a means of recog-nizing and encouraging initiative and originality in student Chapter programming in the areas of chemistry, chemical technology, and chemical engineering . One award is given out per society annually .

DeadlinesApril 1 for the Canadian society for Chemistry April 1 for the Canadian society for Chemical Technology June 1 for the Canadian society for Chemical Engineering

For more information, visit www .cheminst .ca/students/awards/cic_chapter_merit_tor__e .htm .


Student Chapter Merit Awards

les prix du mérite des sections étudiantes sont offerts en vue de reconnaître et d’encourager l’esprit d’initiative et la créativité dans la programmation des activités des sections étudiantes dans les domaines de la chimie, du génie chimique, et de la technologie chimique . Un prix est décerné par chaque société anuellement .

Dates limitesle 1er avril pour la société canadienne de chimiele 1er avril pour la société canadienne de génie chimiquele 1er juin pour la société canadienne de technologie chimique

Pour davantage de renseignements, visitez le www .cheminst .ca/students/awards/cic_chapter_merit_tor__e .htm .

Junior Chemist with one year co-op experience looking for work in the Ottawa region. Graduated in fall 2005. Mature, highly ambitious, organized, and fast learning, interested in all fields of chemistry but would like to specialize in analytical chemistry, material characteriza-tion using analytical and spectroscopic instrumentation, and material science. Résumé available upon request at (613) 440-0013 or [emailprotected].

I have over 10 years of experience (A–Z) in Sales/Import-Export/Marketing/Purchasing of Specialty Chemicals to and from the U.S., Europe, India, China, Russia, and Ukraine. Currently, I am looking for a suitable position in this area. Please contact Chand at 905-424-8428 or [emailprotected].


us are working to encourage new initiatives . The Ontario Chemistry Value Chain Initiative is one such initiative . The existing Eastern Canadian value chain, which currently starts with petroleum or gas and moves through commodity chemicals, to polymers or spe-cialty chemicals , to fabricators to assemblers (such as automotive manufacturers ) must be strengthened . We have to find new, sustainable products and processes to insert into the chain, starting with non-petroleum-based ingredients . One current such initiative is the development of a BioCar—the result of collaboration among Ontario farmers, auto parts and car companies, the government, and limited involvement from the existing chemical industry .

The chemical industry and research centres need to be much more involved because they are as vital to that chain as any other link . There are tremendous opportunities for research, technology development, and entrepreneurial talent in this endeavour .

The Canada of the future will be a knowledge-based economy, with a mixed service and manufacturing component . We have to understand the mix of these that will be needed for the best value generation . Chemistry-based initiatives are a vital part of the manufacturing chain and will be a catalyst in transforming the existing value chains and developing new—as yet unheard of—value chains .

Each of you matter in its development . so let’s get on with it!

Continued from p. 2

The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering (CJChE) publishes original research, new theoretical interpretations and critical reviews in the science or industrial practice of chemical and biochemical engineering or applied chemistry. The CJChE has an eighty-year successful history of producing high-quality, cutting-edge research.

The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering can now accept your manuscript submissions on-line.

Published on a non-profit basis by the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, the CJChE welcomes submissions of original research articles in the broad field of chemical engineering and its applications.

The CJChE publishes six issues per year. Each volume contains fully reviewed articles, notes, or reviews.

From the new on-line submissions site: (a) authors can submit their manuscript electronically (MS Word file, TeX file, or PDF file) and track its status as it goes through the review process; and (b) reviewers should be able to check out the manuscripts for review and then submit their reviews electronically.

www.cjche.ca /submiss ion ins t r uc t ions.h tm

The Canadian Journalof Chemical Engineering

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering

Les prix du mérite des sections étudiantes


The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering (CJChE) publishes original research, new theoretical interpretations and critical reviews in the science or industrial practice of chemical and biochemical engineering or applied chemistry. The CJChE has an eighty-year successful history of producing high-quality, cutting-edge research.

The Canadian Journal of Chemical Engineering can now accept your manuscript submissions on-line.

Published on a non-profit basis by the Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering, the CJChE welcomes submissions of original research articles in the broad field of chemical engineering and its applications.

The CJChE publishes six issues per year. Each volume contains fully reviewed articles, notes, or reviews.

From the new on-line submissions site: (a) authors can submit their manuscript electronically (MS Word file, TeX file, or PDF file) and track its status as it goes through the review process; and (b) reviewers should be able to check out the manuscripts for review and then submit their reviews electronically.

www.cjche.ca /submiss ion ins t r uc t ions.h tm

The Canadian Journalof Chemical Engineering

Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering


Dalhousie UniversityFaculty of Science

Chemistry InstructorA detailed description may be found at:

http://chemistry .dal .ca/ news-cheminstr .html


Position in Chemical Engineering

The School of Engineering offers graduate programs (PhD, MASc, MEng) in Natural Resources Engineering and Mineral Resources Engi-neering, and undergraduate degree programs in Mining and Chemical Engineering. The School also offers two-year programs in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and is currently planning to expand Mechanical Engineering into a degree program with options in Automation and Mechatronics. The School invites applications for the following tenure-track position in Chemical Engineering at the Assistant Professor level with a start date of July 1, 2006 or as soon as possible thereafter. In accordance with Canadian immigration requirements, priority will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents.


Candidates are expected to have a strong commitment to excellence in teaching and research. Industrial experience, especially one related to mining or natural resources engineering, would be an asset. All can-didates will be requested to apply for professional registration with the Professional Engineers of Ontario at the appropriate time.

Applicants should send their full curriculum vitae, and the names of three references to: Dr. Anis Farah, Director, School of Engineering , Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6. E-mail: [emailprotected]


Positions in Mechanical Engineering

The School of Engineering offers graduate programs (PhD, MASc, MEng.) in Natural Resources Engineering and Mineral Resources Engi-neering, and undergraduate degree programs in Mining and Chemical Engineering. The School also offers two-year programs in Mechanical and Civil Engineering, and is currently planning to expand Mechanical Engineering into a degree program with options in Automation and Mechatronics. The School invites applications for the following two ten-ure-track positions in Mechanical Engineering with a start date of July 1, 2006 or as soon as possible thereafter.


Candidates are expected to have a strong commitment to excellence in teaching and research. Industrial experience, especially one related to mining or natural resources engineering, would be an asset. All candidates will be requested to apply for professional registration with the Professional Engineers of Ontario at the appropriate time.

Applicants should send their full curriculum vitae, and the names of three references to: Dr. Anis Farah, Director, School of Engineering , Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, P3E 2C6. E-mail: [emailprotected]


CSChE Scholarship DeadlineThe CsChE Chemical Engineering local section scholarships (formerly the Edmonton and sarnia scholarships) deadline is May 1, 2006 . For details about the scholarships, visit


Alfred Bader Scholarship DeadlineThe CsC Alfred Bader scholarship deadline is May 30, 2006 . For details about this scholarship, visit


Upcoming Scholarship Deadlines




CanadaConferencesMay 9–12, 2006. Climate Change Conference, Ottawa, ON, www .ccc2006 .ca

May 15–17, 2006 . EnviroAnalysis 2006—sixth Biennial Conference on Monitoring and Measurement of the Environment, Toronto, ON, www .enviroanalysis .ca

May 25–27, 2006 . College Chemistry Canada (C3), Niagara-on-the-lake, ON, www .c3 .douglas .bc .ca

May 27–31, 2006 . 89th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition, Halifax, Ns, www .csc2006 .ca

July 12–14, 2006 . World Congress on Industrial Biotechnology and Bioprocessing, Toronto, ON, www .bio .org/worldcongress .

July 23–28, 2006 . 23rd International Carbohydrate symposium, Whistler,BC,www.ics2006.org,[emailprotected]

october 15–18, 2006 . 56th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference , sherbrooke, QC, www .csche2006 .ca

May 26–30, 2007 . 90th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition,Winnipeg, MB, www .chimiste .ca/conferences/ cic_calendar__e .htm

october 28–31, 2007 . 57th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference , Edmonton, AB, www .chemeng .ca/conferences/ csche_annual__e .htm

october 19–22, 2008 . 58th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference , Ottawa, ON, www .chemeng .ca/conferences/ csche_annual__e .htm

August 23–29, 2009 . 8th World Congress of Chemical Engineering and 59th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference, Montréal, QC, www .wcce8 .org

U.S. and overseasMarch 26–30, 2006 . 231st ACs National Meeting, Atlanta, GA, www .acs .org

April 23–27, 2006 . AIChE spring National Meeting, Orlando, Fl, www .aiche .org

June 26–29, 2006 . Balticum Organicum syntheticum 2006 (BOs06), Tallinn, Estonia, www .bos06 .ttu .ee, contact Krista Voigt, chemistry department,Queen’sUniversity,[emailprotected]

June 26–29, 2006 . 10th Annual Green Chemistry and Engineering Conference, “designing for a sustainable Future,” Washington, dC, [emailprotected],www.greenchem2006.org

August 27–30, 2006 . 11th APCChE Congress, Asian Pacific Confederation of Chemical Engineering, Kuala lumpur, Malaysia, www .apcche2006 .org

september 24–28, 2006 . INTERACT 2006, Perth, Australia, www .promaco .com/au/conference/2006/raci


Continuing Education for Chemical Professionals

Laboratory SafetyThis two-day course is intended for those whose responsibilities include improving the operational safety of chemical laboratories, managing laboratories, chemical plants or research facilities, conducting safety audits of laboratories and chemical plants. During the course, participants are provided with an integrated overview of current best practices in laboratory safety.

May 29• Introduction• Safety management• Safety policies• Training• Safety Audit• Labelling• Flammable solvents• Corrosive chemicals• Toxic chemicals• Reactive chemicals

May 30• Insidious hazards• Compressed gases• Cryogenic liquids• Fire safety• Storage• Waste disposal• Personal protective equipment• Electrical hazards• Fume hoods• Radiation hazards

InstructorEric Mead, FCIC, has been an educator with the chemical technology program at SIAST, Kelsey Campus since 1973. Mead has taught and practised laboratory workplace safety for over 30 years.

“The chemical field and profession are

built on a foundation of trust with society .

An integral part of that trust is the safe

operation of facilities including laboratories ,

whether industrial , academic or government.

The education of engineers , scientists and

technologists must reflect that level of trust.

We all share in the responsibility for safe

and ethical research , chemical processing

and analysis. ”

Eric Mead, FCICFormer Chair

The Chemical Institute of Canada

The Chemical Institute of Canada and the Canadian Society for Chemical Technology are presenting a two-day course designed to enhance the knowledge and working experience of chemical technologists and industrial chemists. All course participants receive the CIC’s Laboratory Health and Safety Guidelines, 4th edition.

The Chemical Institute of Canada

Canadian Society for Chemical Technology

May 29–30, 2006

Delta Halifax HotelM cNab Room1990 Barrington StreetHalifax, NS B3J 1P2Tel. 902-425-6700Toll-free1-877-814-7706

Registration fees

$550 CIC members$750 non-members$75 students

Registration form and hotel information


Professional Development

ADverTIsem*nT –For information/comments please see www.chem.ucalgary.ca/csc2000/milestones.htm

Continuing Education for Chemical Professionals

Risk Assessment and Management for Continuous Improvement

This two-day course is geared to those whose responsibilities include risk assessments, development of management systems, and providing advice to decision makers. The learning objective is to reach a thorough understanding of integrated risk assessment and management principles and techniques. During the course, participants are provided with a broad overview of the technical tools available to assess risk in industrial environments as well as how these tools fit in the bigger picture of the broader risk management systems to control risk.

Elements of the course• Introduction• Major Historical Accidents in Process Industries• Risk Concepts, How to Estimate Risk and

Evaluate its Acceptability• Integrated Risk Management: Success Factors

for High Performance• The Risk Management Process• Techniques for Risk Analysis• Qualitative Techniques: Hazard Identification

(Screening Level, What-if, HAZOP, FMEA) with hands-on application examples

• Practical Hazard Awareness in Operating Plants• Index Methods• Frequency Analysis Techniques (Fault and Event

Trees), SVA, LOPA • Consequence Analysis Methods for Hazards

Associated with Hazardous Materials (with reference to US EPA Risk Management Program Rule)

• Applications to Plant Layout Design• Elements of Process Safety Management

(with reference to US OSHA PSM Regulations)

• Emergency Management (with reference to Environment Canada and other Canadian Legislation)

• Summary and Conclusions

Recommended forIndustry and government personnel who have responsibilities in:• Safety, Health and Environment• Worksite safety• Asset Management• Operations Management • Process Safety and Loss Prevention• Risk Management • Security and Emergency Response

Course leadersErtugrul Alp, PhD, PEng, MCIC, Principal, Alp & Associates Incorporated, has over 20 years' experience in assessment and management of risks to environment, health, safety, property and reputation. His experience covers a number of industrial sectors, including chemical, energy, pulp and paper, mining, steel, and transportation, and government sectors such as labour, environment, health, natural resources, and municipal planning.

Norman Nibber, PhD, Director, Independent Risk Control Inc., has 20 years' experience in energy industries including: chemicals production, chemical process development and design, process safety and risk consulting. His experience covers a number of industrial sectors including heavy and conventional oil production, refining, gas production and processing, straddle and fractionation plants, LPG, olefins, polyolefins, styrene, polystyrene, methanol, pulp and paper, chloro-alkali, vinyl monomer, and ethylene oxide.

The Chemical Institute of Canada (CIC), the CIC Edmonton Local Section, and the Association of the Chemical Profession of Alberta (ACPA) are presenting the following course designed to enhance the knowledge and working experience of safety, environmental and process safety professionals.

May 15–16, 2006

The Westin Edmonton10135 100th StreetEdmonton, AB T5J 0N7

Registration fees

$695 CIC/ACPA members$850 non-members

Registration form and hotel information

www.cheminst.ca/ profdev

Professional Development

The Chemical Institute of Canada

Continuing Education for Chemical Professionals


2007 AwARDSThe Chemical Institute of Canada

Important ... Submission deadline is July 3, 2006

The Chemical Institute of Canada Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution to the science of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada . sponsored by The Chemical Institute of Canada . Award: A medal and travel expenses .

The Montréal Medal is presented as a mark of distinction and honour to a resident in Canada who has shown significant leadership in or has made an outstanding contribution to the profession of chemistry or chemical engineering in Canada . In determining the eligibility for nominations for the award, administrative contributions within The Chemical Institute of Canada and other professional organizations that contribute to the advancement of the professions of chemistry and chemical engineering shall be given due consideration . Contributions to the sciences of chemistry and chemical engineering are not to be considered . sponsored by the Montréal CIC local section .

Award: A medal and travel expenses up to $300 .

The Environmental Improvement Award is presented to a Canadian company, individual , team, or organization for a significant achievement in pollution prevention , treatment, or remediation . sponsored by the Environment division . Award: A plaque and travel assistance up to $500 .

The Macromolecular Science and Engineering Award is presented to an individual who, while resident in Canada, has made a distinguished contribution to macromolecular science or engineering . sponsored by NOVA Chemicals ltd . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $1,500, and travel expenses .

The CIC Award for Chemical Education (formerly the Union Carbide Award) is presented as a mark of recognition to a person who has made an outstanding contribution in Canada to education at the post-secondary level in the field

of chemistry or chemical engineering . sponsored by the CIC Chemical Education Fund .Award: A framed scroll, $1,500 cash prize .

DeadlinesThe deadline for all CiC awards is July 3, 2006 for the 2007 selection .

nomination ProcedurePlease submit your nominations to: Awards Manager The Chemical Institute of Canada 130 slater street, suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel .: 613-232-6252, ext . 223 Fax: 613-232-5862 [emailprotected] Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for these awards are available at www .cheminst .ca/awards/ cic_index_e .html .

The Canadian Society for Chemistry

The Alcan Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguishing contribution in the fields of inorganic chemistry or electrochemistry while working in Canada . sponsored by Alcan International ltd . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $2,000, and travel expenses up to $1,000 .

The Alfred Bader Award is presented as a mark of distinction and recognition for excellence in research in organic chemistry carried out in Canada . sponsored by Alfred Bader, HFCIC .Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $3,000, and travel expenses up to $500 .

The Award for Pure or Applied Inorganic Chemistry is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant who has made an outstanding contribution to inorganic chemistry while working in Canada, and who is within ten years of his or her first professional appointment as an independent researcher in an academic, government , or industrial sector . sponsored by the Inorganic Chemistry division . Award: A framed scroll, travel expenses for a lecture tour .

The Boehringer Ingelheim Award is presented to a Canadian citizen or landed immigrant whose Phd thesis in the field of organic or bioorganic chemistry was formally accepted by a Canadian university in the 12-month period preceding the nomination deadline of July 3 and whose doctoral research is judged to be of outstanding quality . sponsored by Boehringer Ingelheim (Canada) ltd . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $2,000, and travel expenses .

The Clara Benson Award is presented in recognition of a distinguished contribution to chemistry by a woman while working in Canada . sponsored by the Canadian Council

of University Chemistry Chairs (CCUCC) . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $1,000, and travel expenses up to $500 .

The Maxxam Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution in the field of analytical chemistry while working in Canada . sponsored by Maxxam Analytics Inc . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $1,000, and travel expenses up to $1,000 .

The R. U. Lemieux Award is presented to an organic chemist who has made a distinguished contribution to any area of organic chemistry while working in Canada . sponsored by the Organic Chemistry division . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $1,000, and travel expenses up to $1,000 .

The Merck frosst Centre for Therapeutic Research Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada, who shall not have reached the age of 40 years by April 1 of the year of nomination and who has made a distinguished contribution in the fields of organic chemistry or biochemistry while working in Canada . sponsored by Merck Frosst Canada ltd . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $2,000, and travel expenses .

The Bernard Belleau Award is presented to a scientist residing in Canada who has made a distinguished contribution to the field of medicinal chemistry through research involving biochemical or organic chemical mechanisms . sponsored by Bristol Myers squibb Canada Co .Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize of $2,000 .

The fred Beamish Award is presented to an individual who demonstrates innovation in research in the field of analytical chemistry, where the research is anticipated to have significant potential for practical applications .

The award is open to new faculty members at a Canadian university and they must be recent graduates with four years of appointment . sponsored by Eli lilly Canada Inc . Award: A framed scroll, a cash prize of $1,000, and travel expenses .

The Keith Laidler Award (formerly the Noranda Award) is presented to a scientist who has made a distinguished contribution in the field of physical chemistry while working in Canada . The award recognizes early achievement in the awardee’s independent research career . sponsored by systems for Research .Award: A framed scroll and a cash prize of $1,500 . The w. A. E. McBryde Medal is presented to a young scientist working in Canada who has made a significant achievement in pure or applied analytical chemistry . sponsored by sciex Inc ., division of Mds Health Group .Award: A medal and a cash prize of $2,000 .

DeadlineThe deadline for all CsC awards is July 3, 2006 for the 2007 selection .

nomination Procedure Please submit your nominations to: Awards Manager The Canadian society for Chemistry 130 slater street, suite 550 Ottawa, ON K1P 6E2 Tel .: 613-232-6252, ext . 223Fax: 613-232-5862 [emailprotected]

Nomination forms and the full Terms of Reference for these awards are available at-www .chemistry .ca/awards/ csc_index_e .html .

2007 AwARDS

Important ... Submission deadline is July 3, 2006

56e Congrès canadien de génie chimique

Société canadienne de génie chimique • www.csche2006.ca

du 15 au 18 octobre 2006

Demande de communicationsle 1er mars 2006 – début des soumissions de résumés en ligne

le 1er mai 2006 – date limite pour remettre les résumés

Delta Sherbrooke Hôtel et Centre des congrès, Sherbrooke (Québec) Canada

The Canadian Society for Chemistry


Canadian Society for Chemical Engineering • www.csche2006.ca

56th Canadian Chemical Engineering Conference

October 15–18, 2006

Call for PapersMarch 1, 2006 – On-line abstract submissions begin

May 1, 2006 – Deadline for abstract submissions

Delta Sherbrooke Hotel and Conference Centre, Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada

l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news - 03... · l’actualité chimique canadienne canadian chemical news ... L’Actualité chimique canadienne/Canadian Chemical - [PDF Document] (2024)


Does Canada have chemical plants? ›

With regard to concentration of chemical operations, Ontario is home to Canada's largest chemical manufacturing sector, with operations from 9 out of the world's largest 15 chemical firms located there.

How big is the chemical industry in Canada? ›

Chemistry Industry at a Glance

Chemical industry2 shipments in Canada in 2022 were $72.7 billion, exports were $52.8 billion, and imports totaled $89.6 billion. The industry employed 90,800 workers in 2022 which constituted six per cent of all manufacturing jobs in Canada.

How many chemicals are banned in Canada? ›

Only 500 cosmetic ingredients are banned in Canada vs. 1,300 in Europe. The European Union has banned more than 1,300 ingredients from being used in personal care products, while Canada's lists around 500 ingredients as either prohibited or restricted.

What US state has the most chemical plants? ›

Which States have the highest number of businesses in the Chemical Product Manufacturing industry in the United States? California (490 businesses), Texas (453 businesses) and Ohio (277 businesses) are the States with the most number of Chemical Product Manufacturing businesses in the US.

What is the number 1 industry in Canada? ›

Its largest industries are real estate, mining, and manufacturing, and it is home to some of the largest mining companies in the world. A large portion of its GDP comes from international trade, with its largest trading partners being the U.S., China, and the U.K.

What is the richest chemical company in the world? ›

Largest chemical companies by market cap
#NameM. Cap
1Linde 1LIN$209.42 B
2Air Liquide 2AI.PA$102.47 B
3Merck KGaA 3MRK.DE$78.58 B
4Shin-Etsu Chemical 44063.T$75.58 B
57 more rows

Which country is no 1 in chemical industry? ›

USA: The United States of America is the world's leading country in the production of chemical products. It produces nearly 30 to 35 per cent nitric acid, soda ash and caustic soda of the world and also ranks second in the production of sulphuric acid.

Does Canada have chemical weapons? ›

Canada has not officially maintained and possessed weapons of mass destruction since 1984 and, as of 1998, has signed treaties repudiating possession of them.

Does Canada allow chemicals in food? ›

There are roughly 500 food additives that have been permitted by Health Canada over the years. From aspartame-based sweeteners in soda to sodium nitrites in cold cuts, potentially harmful chemical additives and dyes can be found in every aisle of your local grocery store.

Where does Canada import chemicals from? ›

In 2021, the top partner countries from which Canada Imports Chemicals include United States, Germany, Switzerland, China and Ireland.


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