Safeguarding the central science
Spring 2017
Key figures in the field reflect­ the past and the future of chemistry that, as McGill University vice-chancellor Suzanne­ Fortier says, will surely be amazing.

At the time of confederation in 1867, chemistry was already well on its way to becoming a mature and powerful scientific discipline that would usher in profound changes in our world, from life-saving medicines and food production technologies to the kaleidoscope of materials that underlie the electronic...

New Perscription
Spring 2017
Canada first became a player on the international pharmaceutical stage when Frederick­ Banting and Charles Best developed insulin for diabetics in the 1920s.

Humanity’s search for medicinal agents undoubtedly extends into our prehistoric past. Only since the 19th century, however, has this endeavour taken on the full trappings of scientific investigation. While plenty of diseases continue to afflict us, a huge portion of the world’s population now enjoys an unprecedented quality of life in terms of health, for which drugs often deserve a...

Responsible Care
Spring 2017
Responsible Care, which was developed by the Canadian­ chemistry industry and subsequently adopted­ by 60 nations­, brought about international­ standards­ related­ to manufacturing­ practices­, environmental­ safety­ and industrial­ disaster­ preparednes

Between November 1995 and June 1996, 109 Haitian children inexplicably developed acute renal failure, hepatitis and pancreatitis, leading to coma and death. Of the 87 youngsters who...

Green Chemistry
Spring 2017
Chemists who can incorporate inherently safer­ design into every step of innovation — the essence­ of green chemistry — are the future

Ask most people in the chemistry community and they'll tell you green chemistry seems to be everywhere these days. Depending on the context, this is either mentioned with pride...

John C. Polanyi, HFCIC, in his University of Toronto laboratory in 1986, the same year he won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for research into chemical kinetics.
Spring 2017
John C. Polyani of the University of Toronto says that our nation’s “generous welcome to immigrants” plays a part in this nation’s illustrious Nobel Prize in Chemistry history

In chemistry, as in every branch of science, major breakthroughs happen rarely. Knowledge creation more typically comes from the incremental advances of diligent scientists toiling in obscurity.

Sparks of Genius
Spring 2017
Canadian universities have nurtured home-grown research­ that changed the world of chemistry forever

Chemistry research in Canada pre-dates Canada itself. In the 1840s, decades before confederation, British ex-pat Henry Holmes Croft became the first chemistry professor at the University of King’s College, the precursor to the University of Toronto. Croft developed a method of removing sulphur from Sarnia oil wells, making the oil safe for household lamps. He was a pioneer in forensic chemistry...