Issue Date: December 16, 2013
As a longtime ACS member and an avid reader of C&EN, I looked forward to the 90th anniversary issue (Sept. 9). I enjoyed it except for the pullout poster, in which I found the following historical error and omissions: Omission: 1971, Ronald Cape and Peter Farley set up the world’s first biotechnology company, Cetus. Error: 1976, Herbert W. Boyer and Robert A. Swanson set up the second biotech company, Genentech. Omission: 1985, Kary B. Mullis discovers PCR at Cetus, the only biotech company to have an employee who wins a Nobel Prize.
Arnold L. Demain
C&EN’s 90-year timeline of major chemically related discoveries does not mention the development of the catalytic converter, first introduced in the U.S. in 1974 to meet the requirements of the Clean Air Act. The catalytic converter was the result of a massive scientific and engineering effort that proved to be a huge technical success, reducing automobile tailpipe emissions all over the world, beyond limits which, 40 years ago, would have appeared unimaginable.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
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