University of Leicester eBulletin

Distinguished Scientist and Art Collector to Present Three Lectures at University of Leicester

November 2003

A refugee from Nazi terror and genocide who became a distinguished scientist and art collector is to present three lectures at the University of Leicester on subjects ranging from Chemistry to Rembrandt.

Dr Alfred Bader, founder of what is now one of the largest chemical companies in the world, will present three lectures at the University of Leicester on Thursday 20 November (two lectures) and Friday 21 November 2003.

Born in Vienna of Jewish parents, Dr Bader was sent to England in 1938, at the age of 14, to escape Nazi persecution. When the war began a year later he was deported as an enemy alien to Canada, where he was interned. In 1941, he was released to study engineering chemistry at Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario. After graduating in 1945, he went on to a research fellowship in organic chemistry at Harvard, where he earned his PhD in 1950.

It was at the Pittsburgh Plate Glass company as a research chemist in the paint division that Bader made a breakthrough. In 1954, he devised and patented a method of preparing bis-phenolic acid for which PPG received $1 million from Johnson Wax - a rare stroke of good fortune for the reputation of a young research chemist.

Dr Bader started up the Aldrich Chemical Company and he established a collection of samples of rare chemicals culled from the laboratories of research chemists. The Alfred Bader Chemical Library was catalogued and from it he supplied small quantities of rare chemicals at nominal cost.

Dr Bader is former President and Chairman of the Sigma-Aldrich Corporation and he and his wife Isabel have established significant endowments to support Science and Arts in the US, Canada and the UK.

Dr Bader will give the following lectures:

Richard Anschütz, Archibald Scott Couper and
Josef Loschmidt: A Detective at Work
Thursday, 20 November at 3.30pm
in Lecture Theatre B, George Porter Building
History of the Aldrich Chemical Company
Thursday, 20 November at 5.30pm
in Lecture Theatre 3, Ken Edwards Building
Rembrandt Research Project and the Collector
Friday, 21 November at 10.30am
in Lecture Theatre 2, Medical Sciences Building


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Last updated: November 2003
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