University of Saskatchewan Opens New Chemistry Building.

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  • October. 1924 I N D U S T R I A L A N D ENGINEERING CHEMISTRY 1085

    University of Saskatchewan Opens New Chemistry Building

    N August 22 the University of Saskatchewan, a t Sas- katoon, opened a magnificent new chemistry building 0 under distinguished auspices and favorable conditions.

    The opening was one of the attractions for transcontinental trav- elers of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, about four hundred of whom were in attendance in addition to residents of the Dominion. Among the chemists in the party were :

    Margaret Allen, Liverpool I. M. Atkinson, Finsbury Technical

    J. T . Burt-Gerrans, Toronto E. C. C. Baly, Liverpool Mrs. Burford Hooke, Bristol J. C. Davies, South Africa M. H. Donald, Blundell, Spence &

    John Gurrey, Oxford A. Hopwood, Carlisle Technical

    J. C. Irvine, St. Andrews A. A . Irving, City London School for

    W. M. Lewin, Tonbridge J. W. McBtrin. Bristol H. Masters. Kings College, London M. Maughan, Kings College, London T. S. Moore. Ladies College, School

    Sir Robert Robertson, Government


    Co., Hull



    of Medicine, Holloway

    Chemist, London

    Miss Semmens, Bedford College:

    N. V. Sidgwick, Oxford Et t ie Steele. St. Andrews Ellen Walker, Dundee H. E. Watson, Bangalore, India L. E. Westman, Toronto F. R. C. Wilson, Charter House,

    F . G. Donnan, London M. E. Laing, Bristol J. W. Mellor, Stoke-on-Trent A. C. Chibnall, London F. W. Clarke, Geological Survey,

    Washington Isadore Greenwald, Harriman Re-

    search Laboratory, New York W. D. Bancroft, Cornell University E. E. Slosson, Science Service H. E. Howe, Industrial and Engi-



    neering Chemistry

    After presentation of the building to the university by the Premier of Saskatchewan and acceptance by the chancellor of the university, the building was inspected and the scientific meet- ings were held.

    Section B has had no better discussion than the one on photo- synthesis a t Saskatoon. The pleasant lecture room was well filled when Sir Robert Robertson, the president of the section, opened the meeting, introducing E. C. C. Baly, of Liverpool, who described his notable work on photosynthesis. His obser- vations of the changes which take place in the quartz test tubes exposed to ultra-violet light, and in the lamps themselves when operated at low voltage or kept a t low temperatures, are especially

    important as possibly explaining the failure of other workers to check his results.

    J. C. Irvine, of St. Andrews, then gave the results of his exami- nation of Balys photosynthetic sugars. C. W. Porter, of the University of California, followed with a clear presentation of his researches in which he has so far been unable to check the results observed by Professor Baly. He found formaldehyde only in cases where the carbon dioxide and water had come into con- tact with such organic substances as are usually found in ap- paratus such as rubber tubing, stopcock grease, wax, and the like. He failed to obtain any trace of formaldehyde in all-glass appara- tus and when working with especially purified carbon dioxide and conductivity water. As brought out in discussion by W. D. Bancroft, Professor Baly, and others, plants do not use conduc- tivity water, and it is possible that catalytic action depends upon some unidentified impurity. Certain differences in procedure, apparatus, duration of exposure to ultra-violet light, etc., indi- cate lines upon which further work is to be done, Professor Porter announcing his intention of repeating his work with some modi- fications, especially using a limited region of the spectrum. This may be attended with difficulties, especially as low intensity must be expected and some hold that a, certain intensity must be attained to insure any reaction. J. H. Priestley, the botanist of the University of Leeds, then discussed the first sugar formed on the polymerization of formaldehyde, pointing out first of all that the chemical researches under discussion could have nothing to do with what actually takes place in the plant. No plant could tolerate amounts of formaldehyde which could be de- tected, and, besides, the reactions in plants from carbon dioxide and water to the ultimate storage products such as starch, sugar, and cellulose go on a t high speed. Therefore, intermediate products are not accumulated. His illuminating discussion was amplified by Principal Irvine. Abstracts of Professor Balys and Principal Irvines papers appear on pages 1016 to 1020.

    The chemical building is an attractive, substantial work house, costing about $500,000 and well designed for the needs of the university. There are no metal drains, down spouts, or sinks, ceramic ware being used throughout. Enameled brick are used in a unique system of flues to carry vapors away from


    water baths, and the laboratory desks are equipped with fume ducts. Ample stoneware hoods are provided. Lecture rooms have facilities for suspending paper charts beside the blackboards, a part of which are lined similar to standard cross-section paper. The two large students laboratories are on the ground floor. A high sawtooth roof affords ample light and air. These labo- ratories are served by a common balance room.

    The building is of native stone construction, the three stories of the main section and the first of two wings serving to screen the student laboratory building, which is connected by a wide

    passage, making it in reality a projection of the building proper. Special and private research laboratories, recitation rooms, library, and administration offices occupy the main building. The large lecture room is over the entrance. When needed the second wing can be erected along the roadway.

    It is something of a surprise to find so fine a chemical building and so promising a university after hundreds and hundreds of miles of travel over relatively new country. It speaks well for the future of Saskatchewan that so early in its development i t has made such a permanent investment in a fundamental science.

    The Ithaca Meeting NY doubts as to the possibility of holding a successful meet- ing of the AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY in an essentially academic center were removed by the experience in Ithaca

    where, with a registration approaching 1100, the sixty-eigth meeting of the SOCIETY has just been held.

    The arrangements of the local committee proved very success- ful. It is evident that the authorities and staff of Cornel1 Uni- versity worked in whole-hearted cooperation with our local sec- tion. Those in charge of dormitories and dining halls overcame difficulties attendant to carrying on that type of work with a staff especially organized for the occasion, and many detailed arrange- ments appreciated only by those who have been responsible for annual meetings were demonstrated to be well in hand. Not only was Baker Laboratory fully up to expectations as a pleasant place in which t o do important work, but visitors were especially im- pressed with the exhibits made by the members of the chemical staff. That of physical chemistry competed with the display of microchemistry for favor. The latter was particularly unique and displayed equipment probably not equaled in America for the application of microchemical methods to both qualitative and quantitative analysis.

    The many opportunities for informal group gatherings afforded by the university campus drew comment from our distinguished for- eign guests-of whom there was an unusually largenumber, thanks to the previous meeting of the British Association for the Advance- ment of Science in Toronto-that meetings of the AMERICAN CHEMICAL SOCIETY were marked by comiadeship worthy of note.

    Sir Max Muspratt, in his general address upon Chemistry and Civilization, stressed the fact that chemists think in atoms and achieve in tons, and it seemed especially fitting that the problems of industrial chemistry as well as those of research should be sub- ject to discussion in the atmosphere of a great university. Chem- istry of all sorts was discussed in those small groups which found the comfortable dormitory a welcome relief from the stereotyped hotel, and the historic camRus a refreshing change from the plant and office building.

    The meetings of the divisions again demonstrated the im- portance of symposia, for which papers may be especially invited and in which those concerned are certain to hear, say, a half dozen papers of sure interest. When compared with a general program with its variety of papers there seems no doubt of the advan- tage of a t least one symposium in each of our divisional pro- grams. Indeed, it might well be argued that the whole meet- ing would be improved if such a symposium could be placed a t the conclusion rather than a t the beginning of a divisional program. The experiment of the Division of Chemical Education of divid- ing its program on the basis of half days, thus allowing time for members to take advantage of interesting discussions else- where, was a notable siiccess.

    The editors of local section publications were brought together informally for the first time for an exchange of experience, idea.;, and questions incident to rendering the utmost service possible through such activities. It is expected that this will become a

    A feature of our future meetings, and the experience of this first brief session indicates its potential value. The groups of local section and division chairmen and secre- taries again held successful meetings, which indicate that through them many projects designed further to improve SOCIETY activi- ties can be initiated and carried out. The growing number of divisions, each with its formidable list of meeting papers, will soon call for closer cooperation and a recognition of the fact that those subjects which may be classified as on the border line, or perhaps those which deal principally with the application of the theories and methods of one group to the work of another, form a basis for the most valuable discussion.

    The meeting of the local section officers properly gave ex- tended consideration to the Chemical Warfare Service and the ways in which the local sections can cooperate. It was agreed that a committee of three should be appointed in each local section to assist in coordinating the military work pertaining to chemistry in whichever of the nine army corps areas they may be located. The desirability of carefully considering all applicants for membership in the Officers Reserve Corps of the Chemical Warfare Service was stressed. This in itself might properly engage much of the local section committees time until a waiting list for admissions has been established. The follow- ing re;;olution was passed and telegraphed to General Amos A. Fries, chief of the Chemical Warfare Service:

    WHEREAS, American chemists recognize the national importance of Defense Day and are in hearty accord with its purposes and, whereas chem- istry in its research and industrial activities is essential a t all times t o the public welfare;

    Therefore, we the officers of the local sections of the AMERICAN CHEM- ICAL SOCIETY assembled in Ithaca, N. Y., Defense Day, September 12, 1924, resolve to initiate plans for coliperation with the Chemical Warfare Service especially with reference t o the Reserve Officers Corps, the promulgation of correct information regarding the Chemical Warfare Service, t o act as civilian defenders of the Constitution, and to cooperate with other local branches of the military establishment.

    Those who were unable to attend the Ithaca meeting cannot fail to be impressed with the publicity which the daily press gave the various addresses and papers presented, resolutions passed, and the editorial comment made. The display of the A. C. S. News Service, showing typical clippings arranged by subjects and geographical distribution, being samples of publicity ob- tained since the Washington meeting, carried conviction as to the value of this service, while its ability to obtain extended notice of the meeting, although the distribution of news day by day from Ithaca presented difficulties hard to overcome, was notable.

    As announced in the News Edition of September 10, the next meeting will be in Baltimore during Easter week of 1925, and the annual meeting of 1925 in Los Angeles, beginning with the Council meeting on Monday, August 3. Full details vi11 be given from time to time and those who were compelled to forego the pleasures and advantages of the Ithaca meeting can look forward to the 1925 and other future meetings of the SOCIETY.