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Interview with Fred C. Anson

Anson, Fred (2011) Interview with Fred C. Anson. [Oral History]

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An interview in two sessions, February 1997, with Fred C. Anson, Elizabeth W. Gilloon Professor of Chemistry, in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Professor Anson received his BS in chemistry in 1954 from Caltech and his PhD from Harvard in 1957. That year, he returned to Caltech as an instructor in the chemistry division, becoming an assistant professor in 1958, an associate professor in 1962, full professor in 1968, and holder of the Gilloon chair in 1995. In this interview, he recalls his early education in South San Gabriel, his undergraduate years on a Los Angeles Times scholarship, and his graduate years at Harvard. He describes the state of the chemistry division in the late fifties and early sixties and his experiences as executive officer and then chairman of the division (1984-1994). He discusses his role as chairman of the presidential search committee resulting in the selection of Marvin L. (Murph) Goldberger, 1978. Recalls conflict over establishing an army research center (the Arroyo Center) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the early eighties. Comments on his relationship with provost R. E. Vogt during his division chairmanship. He discusses working with the electrochemists Lucien Gierst (Brussels, 1964) and Heinz Gerischer (Berlin, 1984). Recalls establishment of the Beckman Institute. Comments on the growth of Caltech and its divisions and the consequent increased pressure on the faculty and decline in collegiality. Recalls his various awards, including receiving an honorary doctorate from the Sorbonne in 1993.

Item Type:Oral History
Record Number:CaltechOH:OH_Anson_F
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Anson, Fred C. Interview by Shirley K. Cohen. Pasadena, California, February 12 and 26, 1997. Oral History Project, California Institute of Technology Archives. Retrieved [supply date of retrieval] from the World Wide Web:
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
Subjects:All Records
Subjects > Chemistry
ID Code:193
Deposited By: Oral Histories Administrator
Deposited On:22 Nov 2011 00:22
Last Modified:04 Oct 2019 15:23

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