Paying Tribute to “Doc”
Harold McNair is the 2016 recipient of the ACS Award in Chromatography. A few of his past students – Kevin Schug, Nick Snow, Chris Palmer, Vince Remcho, and Lee Polite – try to sum up (in too few words) why McNair is such an outstanding analytical chemist and special gentleman. They also share the lifelong lessons they have learned from him – and why the award is long overdue.
Kevin Schug, Nicholas Snow, Vince Remcho, Chris Palmer, Lee Polite |
Nicholas Snow, Professor, Seton Hall University.
I cannot begin to enumerate the impact that Harold McNair has had on my own career and that of so many other scientists. In short, I owe everything to him. I started in his group with no knowledge of chromatography. He took me under his wing, even taking the time to personally teach me how to manually inject and how to pack, install and evaluate a column. He loves students and he loves the fundamentals.
My first read in chromatography was his book, Basic Gas Chromatography, first published in 1964 at Varian (four editions, two follow up editions with Wiley, 130,000 English copies sold and published in seven other languages) which represents the single most important contribution to gas chromatography (and chromatography in general) becoming a widely used technique. Basic GC advanced chromatography from the realm of the specialists and made it accessible to practitioners. Numerous authors later attempted and published similar texts for various chromatographic techniques, though none have been as successful, effective or as widely read. How many other instrumental techniques would have benefitted from a Basic GC-like book during their early development?
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