Thursday, November 10, 2011

The Rowland papers: UC Irvine Special Collections

The Rowland papers

UCI Libraries Special Collections & Archives unveil Nobel laureate's research archives
Deep in the dusty basement at Rowland Hall, more than 300 cartons filled with papers, photos, videos, transparencies, slides, cartoons, audio tapes, books and more lay in disarray that belied the meticulous scientific precision of their owner – F. Sherwood Rowland.

When the Nobel laureate in chemistry donated it all to UC Irvine Libraries’ Department of Special Collections & Archives in 2009, archivists began a kind of archaeological dig. They sorted, labeled, and cataloged scientific research and personal correspondence, and what has emerged is a portrait of a man internationally recognized not only for his work in the laboratory, but also for his efforts to inform other scientists, the public, and policymakers about threats posed by chemical pollutants to Earth’s atmosphere.

 Mitchell Brown, exhibit curator and research librarian for Chemistry, Earth System Science and Russian Studies, says the collection is available to researchers who want to peruse the hand-written notes, lab cards and more. The only thing missing, he says, is the actual notebook in which the CFC discovery is noted. That notebook belongs to Molina.
Calling Rowland the "Galileo story of his time," Brown says much of the correspondence shows the atmospheric chemist as "calm, reasonable and thoughtful in the face of critics who weren't." Rowland saved editorial cartoons critical of his findings, and many of the originals hang in his home. He saved celebratory messages as well, including an answering machine message from "Al" (that would be Al Gore) congratulating him on his Nobel Prize.


The Partners of the UCI Libraries Present
The Opening of our Fall Exhibit
Discovery of a Lifetime: F. Sherwood Rowland and the Ozone Layer

Featuring a talk by

Ralph J. Cicerone
President of the National Academy of Sciences and
Chancellor Emeritus, UC Irvine

A special evening with F. Sherwood Rowland
With remarks by UC Irvine Chancellor Michael V. Drake, M.D.

Friday, November 18, 2011
6:00 pm
Langson Library, UC Irvine


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