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University of Wisconsin--Madison. ; Dept. of Chemistry / Badger chemist : a newsletter from the Department of Chemistry--University of Wisconsin--Madison
Newsletter 30 (November 1983)

Niederhauser serves as ACS president-elect,   p. [1]

Page [1]

A Newsletter from the Department of Chemistry-University of Wisconsin-Madison
Newsletter 30
November 1983
Warren D. Niederhauser, PhD '43,
was successful last year in his candidacy
for the position of President-Elect of the
ACS. He will take over the presidency on
January 1, 1984 after completing a year
in his present position. The election last
fall was unique in ACS history since
Warren's opponent, F. Albert Cotton,
Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at
Texas A&M, sent a letter to a selected
list of ACS members seeking their support.
According to CEN for 11-22-82, "...the
letter described Niederhauser in less than
complimentary terms, questioning his
leadership capability and belittling the
grassroots group allegedly supporting
him." According to Science, 11-29-83,
"Part of Cotton's strategy was to play
upon differences between academic and
industrial members of ACS, suggesting
that Niederhauser was more interested in
parochial concerns such as chemists' work-
ing conditions than in substantial scien-
tific issues." Cotton later apologized to
Niederhauser, retracting his earlier state-
ments. When the ballots were counted,
Niederhauser tallied 21,993 votes or 59f70,
6,438 more than Cotton. It is unknown
how much effect the Cotton letter had on
the election results. The ACS failed to
comment on it until the election was over.
Niederhauser has long been known as a
chemist with a strong position on profes-
sionalism, that the ACS "must be con-
cerned with the professional interests and
economic status of chemists." In his offi-
cial campaign statement he declared,
"ACS is well known for its scientific and
educational activities. It must establish
the same reputation for professional prog-
ress," (CEN, 11-22-82, p. 4). We have a
copy of his "Report of the President-
Elect" in which he makes apparent his
deep concern for the professional welfare
of chemists, a concern reflected during
his entire career.
Warren Dexter Niederhauser was born
in Akron on January 2, 1918. He attended
Oberlin College, taking his AB in chemis-
try in 1939. Thereupon he entered grad-
uate school at Wisconsin where he was a
student of Homer Adkins and served as a
Research Assistant. He ultimately became
involved in defense research and when he
received his PhD in '43 the Commence-
ment Register failed to report the title of
his thesis, merely stating that the title is
withheld for national security reasons.
Upon graduation, Dr. Niederhauser
joined Rohm & Haas as head of the sur-
factant group. In '51 he joined the chem-
istry section of the Redstone Division in
Huntsville, AL, in '55 he became research
supervisor, and in '59 was named Asst.
Director of Research, and in '73 became
Director of Pioneering Research.
The list of ACS offices he has held is
lengthy, including councilor positions in
the North Alabama and Philadelphia
Sections as well as in the Fluorine Divi-
sion; Director of Region III (Northeastern);
Executive Committee; Comm. on Profes-
sional and Member Relations; Publica-
tions; History of Chemistry Task Force;
Task Force on Chemistry and Public
Affairs; Task Force on Agricultural Re-
search, Congressional Science Counselor,
Committee on Professional Relations,
Employment Aids, and Patent Matters
and Related Legislation. He now serves as
President-Elect, will become President on
January 1, 1984, and will serve another
year as Immediate Past President.
Warren Niederhauser comes of a scien-
tific family. His name in American Men
of Science (II th ed., 1965) is surrounded
by those of Wendall S., Donald 0. and
John S. Wendall S. is an uncle who took a
PhD in chemistry at Princeton in '28 who
entered industry after 8 years of teaching
at Brown and Williams College. He retired
from Rohm & Haas in '66. Donald O., an
older brother, has a Michigan PhD in
chemistry, '47. He has been with Du Pont
Professor Bassam Z. Shakhashiri is
general author of the first volume of a
set of books dealing with lecture demon-
strations in chemistry. The publication of
volume one was observed by a christen-
ing held in the Alumni Lounge last May.
(Scenes taken at the party appear else-
where in this newsletter.) Work on the set
continues and it is hoped that successive
volumes will appear annually. Present
plans look toward a total of five or six
volumes when the project is completed. A
review of volume I follows.
Chemical Demonstrations: A Handbook
for Teachers of Chemistry, Volume 1,
University of Wisconsin Press, Madi-
son, 1983, xiv + 343 pp., $25.00.
Since the Chemistry Department at
Wisconsin has been noted since the nine-
teenth century for the use of lecture
demonstrations as an aid in clarifying
chemical principles (as well as scaring hell
out of inattentive students), it is not sur-
prising that the UW Press should be the
publisher of the projected set of books on
chemical demonstrations, and that Shak-
hashiri-Director of the General Chemis-
try Program since 1970, should be prin-
cipal author. However, this is a collabora-
tive venture and the list of contributors
for volume one includes the following
Badger Chemists (degree holders as well
(Continued on page 6, col. 1)
since then, holding a series of responsible
research positions in the area of polymer
problems. John S., a cousin, shunned the
chemistry field, taking a PhD at Cornell
in plant pathology in '43. He taught briefly
at Cornell, then held a succession of pro-
fessional positions with the Rockefeller
Foundation where he became director of
the International Potato Program in '61.
Wendell, Warren, and Donald all were
undergrads at Oberlin College during the
period when Harry N. Holmes was head
of the chemistry department.
As Badger Chemists we join in wishing
Warren a harmonious and successful
presidency as he deals with the numerous
professional problems facing the profes-

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