Bryce Crawford, Jr.

University of Minnesota

November 27, 1914 - September 16, 2011

Scientific Discipline: Chemistry
Membership Type:
Emeritus (elected 1956)

Chemist Bryce Crawford Jr. developed new experimental techniques within the field of molecular spectroscopy. He created a methodology for the evaluation of intensity measurements within the infrared spectrum and used that to observe force constants within complex molecules. During World War II he researched the reaction kinetics of various flames using infrared equipment that he had developed. This research lead to the production of solid propellants for rockets.

Crawford earned his undergraduate degrees and PhD from Stanford University. He worked briefly at Harvard and Yale universities until he joined the University of Minnesota faculty in 1940. There he chaired the chemistry department from 1955 to 1960 and was dean of the graduate school from 1960 to 1972. As home secretary of the National Academy of Sciences and chairman of the National Academy of Sciences’ report review committee, he was responsible for the oversight of scientific findings and reports released through the NAS. A member of the American Chemical Society, he was awarded their Priestley Medal in 1982 for a lifetime of contributions to science. Crawford also served as a member and chairman of the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science.

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