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M. Christine King

Toronto, University of Toronto Press, 1989.243pp, cloth, $35.00
ISBN 0-8020-2667-2. CIP

Post-secondary / Adult
Reviewed by Ingrid vonHausen.

Volume 17 Number 5
1989 September

The late Dr. King has a doctorate in chemical physics and in the history and philosophy of science. Her interest in the broad field of the history of science led her from England to Canada where the National Research Council asked her to undertake a biography of Steacie, whose life was closely bound with that of science in Canada and more specifically, with the development of the National Research Council.

Steacie (1900-1962) started out as a researcher and teacher at McGill and then became director of chemistry at the National Research Council in 1939. He was appointed president of that august institution in 1952, a post he held until his death.

This carefully researched, scholarly account focuses on the public person and on the development of the NRC. Almost nothing of a personal nature is allowed to intrude. We know only the bare facts of his life; we are not even allowed to know what kind of cancer killed Steacie in the end.

This book is of interest to post-secondary readers, especially those whose interest is in science in Canada. The exceptional senior high school student might find material for individual study in these sober pages.

Ingrid vonHausen, Preston High School, Cambridge, Ont.
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