Researcher To Lead American Chemical Society Tells Peers About Government
By Kathryn Barry
April 2, 2001
Can a chemist find happiness in a
government lab? Can a government scientist run the world's largest scientific
organization? Attila Pavlath, an emeritus chemist with the
Agricultural Research Service, said
yes to both questions as he discussed employment opportunities with
the federal government at a symposium today at the
American Chemical Society's (ACS) 221st
ARS researchers from laboratories nationwide are presenting 45 scientific
papers at the meeting, held April 1-5 in San Diego, Calif.
While U.S. Department of Agriculture
scientists have served as ACS presidents as far back as Harvey W. Wiley in
1893, Pavlath is the first to be elected since ARS was formed in 1953 as
USDAs chief scientific research organization. The ACS was organized in
1876 and Congressionally chartered in 1937. Today it has 165,000 members.
Pavlath began his ARS career in 1967 at the
Western Regional Research Center in
Albany, Calif. He was one of the early pioneers of fluorine chemistry. Other
accomplishments include shrink- and soil-proofing of wool, use of glow
discharge in chemistry, novel coatings to protect cut produce and development
of nonfood and energy uses for agricultural products. He is an internationally
recognized expert in these areas with numerous awards, 120 scientific papers,
three books, 25 patents and more than 300 lectures worldwide.
In his talk, Pavlath cited cooperative research and development with
industry--and subsequent practical application of the work--as a key benefit of
working in a federal laboratory. His most recent cooperative research
agreement--on the extension of the shelf life of lightly processed fruits--has
led to a commercial product of fresh-cut apples that is just hitting the
Pavlath still collaborates with the ARS laboratory in Albany while presiding
over the American Chemical Society.
Scientific contact: Attila Pavlath, ARS Western Regional Research
Chemistry and Engineering Research Unit, Albany, Calif., phone (510)
559-5620, fax (510) 559-5818, firstname.lastname@example.org. At the ACS
meeting, phone (619) 696-9800.