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Jean-Claude Bradley

by Britt E. Erickson
June 2, 2014 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 92, ISSUE 22

Credit: Drexel
Credit: Drexel

Jean-Claude Bradley, 45, an associate professor of chemistry at Drexel University, died on May 12.

Bradley earned a B.S. in chemistry from Laurentian University, in Ontario, in 1989 and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from the University of Ottawa in 1993. He served as a postdoctoral researcher at Duke University and the College of France in Paris before joining Drexel as an assistant professor in 1996.

Well-known for coining the phrase “open notebook science,” Bradley was an advocate for making all research data publicly available online as they are generated. In 2005, he began making all of his work on novel antimalarial compounds freely available on a wiki called UsefulChem.

Bradley was also a champion for developing new methods of teaching and learning. In 2004, he was named e-learning coordinator for the College of Arts & Sciences at Drexel. In that role, he led Drexel to buy an island in the virtual three-dimensional world of Second Life, where students and faculty could experiment with novel ways of teaching. He also created an archive to make the content of his undergraduate chemistry courses freely available to the public.

During an interview with C&EN in 2009, Bradley acknowledged that he didn’t start out his career openly reporting raw data. In fact, he kept his data secret and obtained several patents. But after about a decade at Drexel, his philosophy changed. He wanted his work to have a bigger impact and believed that transparency was critical for achieving that goal. Last year, he was invited to the White House to share his views about the benefits of open science. Bradley was a member of ACS from 1992 until 2010.

He is survived by his wife, Shanthi, and his parents, Francois and Monique.

Obituary notices of no more than 300 words may be sent to Susan J. Ainsworth at and should include an educational and professional history.



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