Centennial celebration for Joel Hildebrand

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  • ACS News

    COMMENT Richard M. Lemmon Director, Region VI, and

    Chairman, Hildebrand Centennial Committee

    Joel Henry Hildebranda century of progress Below you will find an announcement of an occasion unique in the history of the American Chemical Society. Members of the society will gather in Oakland, Calif., on Sunday, Nov. 22, to celebrate the 100th birthday of a distinguished and beloved past-president, Joel Hilde-brand.

    President of ACS in 1955, and chair-man of its California Section in 1917, Joel Hildebrand has led an amazing life. He was born in Camden, N.J., and is an alumnus of the University of Pennsyl-vania. After postdoctoral research with Nernst and Van't Hoff at the University of Berlin, he returned to the University of Pennsylvania where he taught chemistry until 1913. In that year, at Gilbert Newton Lewis' invitation, he joined the chemistry department at Berkeley. Since that time he has accomplished, among many other things, the following:

    Authored or coauthored numerous texts in chemistry, including "Principles of Chemistry," "Reference Book of In-organic Chemistry," "Regular and Re-lated Solutions," and "Introduction to Molecular Kinetic Theory."

    Authored or coauthored about 300 scientific papers. The latest, "A History of Theory of Solutions," will appear in Annual Review of Physical Chemistry on or about his 100th birthday.

    Was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1929.

    Won an extraordinarily long list of

    honors, including ACS's Priestley Medal in 1962.

    Was honored by the Berkeley campus in 1966 by having one of the chemistry buildings, Hildebrand Hall, named for him.

    Married a wonderful woman, Emilywho, at age 95, is still at his sideand raised an exemplary family.

    Served as president of the Sierra Club.

    Was manager of the U.S. Olympic ski team in 1936.

    Has coauthored books on ski

    mountaineering, backpacking, and camp cooking.

    Was a leader in the successful campaign to establish Kings Canyon National Park in California's High Sierra.

    The above list is but cursory. Shouldn't we say something about the Hildebrand oxygen-helium mixture to minimize "bends" in deep-sea divers, his having taught freshman chemistry to 40,000 students, his excellent photog-raphy, his editorships of journals, con-tributions to methods of science (and general) education, etc.? The accom-plishments border on endless.

    This coming November will be the first time that a past-president of ACS has reached the remarkable age of 100, and the board of directors has taken steps to see that the occasion is rec-ognized suitably. Joel Hildebrand's ACS friends hold him in the highest esteem, knowing that much of the society's successes in the world of chemistry are due to his leadership. We all look for-ward to the society's formal expressions of honor and affection on the occasion of his centennial.

    If you cannot be present at the soci-ety's luncheon banquet in Oakland, and if you are a friend, former student, col-league, etc. of Joel's, please send him a letter of appreciation. His address is 500 Coventry Rd., Kensington, Calif. 94707.

    Centennial celebration for Joel Hildebrand Joel H. Hildebrand, president of the American Chemical Society in 1955 and professor emeritus at the Uni-versity of California, Berkeley, will reach the remarkable age of 100 on Nov. 16, 1981. Last year the ACS Board of Directors formed a Hilde-brand Centennial Committee to make plans to celebrate this unique occa-sion. The committee, chaired by Re-gion VI director Richard M. Lemmon, has announced that Hildebrand will be honored at a special meeting of the society on Sunday, Nov. 22, in Oak-land, Calif. At that meeting, a lun-cheon banquet, Hildebrand and his wife, Emily, will receive greetings

    from distinguished representatives of academe (University of California chancellor Ira Heyman), the chemical community (Nobel Laureate and ACS past-president Glenn T. Seaborg), and ACS (executive direc-tor Raymond P. Mariella).

    At the meeting the society will an-nounce establishment of a new ACS national award, the Joel Henry Hil-debrand Award in the Theoretical and Experimental Chemistry of Liq-uids, sponsored by Shell Companies Foundation, with Hildebrand himself as the first recipient. The society also will announce establishment of a new Chevron Joel H. Hildebrand Chair in

    Chemistry at the university's Berke-ley campus.

    The celebration also will include the unveiling of two works of art by northern California artists commis-sioned in Hildebrand's honor; these will be presented to the College of Chemistry at Berkeley. The first is a bronze bust of Hildebrand, and the second is a tapestry that depicts many facets of his career.

    All ACS members and their spouses and friends are invited to attend the Nov. 22 luncheon meeting in Oakland. The event will be held at Goodman's Restaurant, 10 Jack London Square, beginning at 11:30 AM. Price for the luncheon (choice of

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    Sept. 14, 1981 C&EN 55

  • Continued from page 55 roast beef or chicken breast) is $12.50 per person, including tax and gratui-ties. Tickets and further information are available from Eileen Reilley at ACS headquarters, 115516th St., N.W., Washington, D.C. 20036. Make checks payable to ACS.

    Persons wishing to be seated at the same table with friends should send ticket orders together or provide names of those to be seated together. Table capacity is 10.

    Letters

    Continued from page 4

    U.S. Interagency Toxic Substances Data Com-mittee (ITSDC), and at meetings of its CSIN and Public Liaison Subcommittees. To scope out the complexity of tasks associated with identifying the quality of data, Network Administration has invited experts from the Office of Standard Reference Data of the National Bureau of Standards and the Federation of American So-cieties for Experimental Biology to discuss problems associated with establishing the quality of chemical and biological data with the CSIN Subcommittee. A similar discussion is planned for the next ITSDC meeting in October.

    Even these preliminary efforts have made it apparent that identifying the quality of data is a time-consuming, costly, and complex operation. Through its involvement on issues concerning data quality, Network Administration is encour-aging the use of existing "mechanisms of re-view," as well as identifying the need for new or complementary review activities and, as ap-propriate, seeking the advice of owners of in-formation resources both in the public and pri-vate sector. The problem is best addressed through joint or cooperative efforts of many communities.

    It is also appropriate to mention that while the Office of Network Administration presently re-sides in the Environmental Protection Agency, CSIN is a project that requires and does solicit involvement from interested communities in industry, academe, and government (federal and state).

    Sidney Siegel Administrator, Chemical Substances Information

    Network, Office of Toxics Integration, EPA

    Cancer and consensus SIR: Some observations by John Higginson of the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ("Cancer Research Priorities," C&EN, June 29, page 2) need clarification.

    He distinguishes between (1) "causal factors that have been identified with considerable certainty," and (2) whether "environmental eti-ology could only be inferred as the most ratio-nal" epidemiological interpretation. Epidemio-logical studies usually are based on statistical associations. Does Higginson imply that any "most rational" functional interpretation of an association is factual, unbiased, and scientifi-cally valid? If so, it is questionable, since it is a

    basic principle of statistics that functional cau-sality cannot be inferred from statistical asso-ciation alone. Properly used, statistics can reject a hypothesis to the extent that it is incompatible with observed data; but statistics can never es-tablish that a hypothesis is certainly true [Fisher, R. A., "Statistiscal Tests," Nature, 136, 474 (1935); see also Hickey, R. J., and colleagues, "Chemicals and Cancer," C&EN, June 22, page

    4-] A confirmed statistical association in an ep-

    idemiological study requires setting forth test-able alternative functional (biological, bio-chemical) hypotheses for experimental confir-mation or rejection. Some popular causal beliefs have been based on statistical associations and subjective judgment, with allegations that the association has been adequately "explained."

    An example of an epidemiological association for which functional causality has been dem-onstrated involved human occupational expo-sure to certain chloromethyl ethers, particularly bis(chloromethyl) ether [Figueroa, W. G., Raz-kowski, R., Weiss, W., "Lung Cancer in Chlo-romethyl Ether Workers," New Engl. J. Med., 288, 1096 (1973)]. Subsequently, animal studies [Kuschner, M., Laskin, S., Drew, R. T., Cappiello, V., Nelson, N., "Inhalation Carcinogenicity of Alpha Halo Ethers. III. Lifetime and Limited Pe-riod Inhalation Studies with Bis(Chloromethyl) Ether at 0.1 PPM," Arch. Environ. Health, 30, 73 (1975)] demonstrated that bis(chloromethyl) ether is in fact a rapidly acting carcinogen that can induce lung cancer. In this case, regulatory action apparently was warranted. However, there are associations of unclear, obscure, and unproven etiologies.

    It is curious that Higginson asserts that "there is no evidence that the vast majority of tumors [cancers?] are related to diffuse chemical pollution in the ambient environment...." This is the same error of fact encountered by John A. Todhunter in his letter (C&EN, Feb. 23, page 4), to which we responded (see above, C&EN, June 22, page 4). Other studies also have reported statistically significant, multiregional epidemi-ological results involving "diffuse," multi-chemical data [(a) Hickey, R. J., "Air Pollution," Chapter 9, page 189, in "Environment: Re-sources, Pollution & Society," W. W. Murdoch, editor, Sinauer Associates Inc., Stamford, Conn., 1971], and also involving low-level, ambient, ionizing radiation in addition to air pollutant chemicals [(b) Hickey, R. J., Bowers, E. J., Spence, D. E., Zemel, B. S., Clelland, A. B., Clelland, R. C, "Low-Level Ionizing Radiation and Human Mortality: Multi-Regional Epidemio-logical Studies. A Preliminary Report," Health Phys., 40, 625(1981)].

    The finding of significant negative associa-tions between ecologically realistic, ambient radiation levels and mortality rates for several classifications of cancer, including cancer of the respiratory organs, is contrary to many con-ventional causal claims and beliefs. However, claims that any and all levels of ionizing radition are carcinogenic or otherwise hazardous are based largely on linear or other monotonic ex-trapolation of dose-response data obtained at ecologically unrealistic, very high doses, or dose rates, downward toward zero exposure, through the ecologically realistic, low-level exposure

    Continued on page 75

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    Sept. 14, 1981 C&EN 65

    Centennial celebration for Joel Hildebrand