Gary Christian

Contributor II
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Gary D. Christian received his B.S. degree in 1959 from the University of Oregon and Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland in 1964. He was a research analytical chemist at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research from 1961 to 1967. He joined the University of Kentucky in 1967 and in 1972 moved to the University of Washington as Professor of Chemistry. He was Divisional Dean of Sciences in the College of Arts and Sciences, 1993-2001. He is the author of over 300 papers and has authored books on: Analytical Chemistry (6 editions); Instrumental Analysis (2 editions); Problem Solving in Analytical Chemistry; Quantitative Calculations in Pharmaceutical Practice and Research; Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; and Trace Analysis. His honors include the ACS Division of Analytical Chemistry Award for Excellence in Teaching and the ACS Fisher Award in Analytical Chemistry. He was Chairman of the Division of Analytical Chemistry, 1989-90. He has been Editor-in-Chief of Talanta since 1989.


A Brief History of Analytical Chemistry: From the beginnings to modern analytical science

The teaching and practice of analytical chemistry reflects the evolution of measurement science over time. Qualitative and quantitative measurements can be traced to pre-biblical times, and have been important throughout the history of humans, and today are key to the functioning of a modern society. The perceived value of gold and silver was the first incentive to acquire analytical knowledge. The chemical balance is recorded in the earliest documents found. I will trace the development of analytical science, presenting some of the pioneers through the eons, up to those who formed the basis for many of our modern techniques, and also early textbook authors and how books evolved. Gravimetry emerged in the 17th century, and titrimetry, along with stoichiometric concepts, in the 18th and 19th centuries. Quantitative analysis textbooks, and hence the teaching of analytical chemistry as a discipline, appeared in the 19th century. The past century saw the development of instrumental techniques, and we now possess incredible capabilities for measurements. Further Reading: 1. F. Szabadvary, History of Analytical Chemistry, Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1966. 2. H. A. Laitinen and G. W. Ewing, eds., A History of Analytical Chemistry, American Chemical Society, Division of Analytical Chemistry, Printed by The Maple Press Co., York, Pennsylvania, 1977. 3. H. M. N. H. Irving, in Essays on Analytical Chemistry, W. Wanninen, ed., Pergamon Press, Oxford, 1977, pp. 591-600. 4. G. D. Christian, ∟Evolution and Revolution in Quantitative Analysis,↔ Anal. Chem., 67, 532A (1995). 5. C. A. Lucy, ∟Analytical Chemistry: A Literary Approach↔, J. Chem. Ed., 77, 459 (2000).

The Ethics of Scientific Writing: How to Write and How Not to Write a Paper

Scientific writing for peer-reviewed journals is how scientists communicate their work to the world. It is important to tell a clear and compelling story, beginning with justification for the work, placing it in the context of prior work, and its significance in advancing the field, i.e., what problem is being addressed? Manuscripts are submitted to peer-review by experts, selected by the editor. Only a select number will be published, depending on novelty, significance to the field, demonstrated applicability, appropriateness for the journal, and so forth. Peer-review is for the benefit of the author as well as for the editor, and helps improve the quality and impact of the paper. Ethics in publication is of paramount importance, and has become more of an issue for editors in recent years, particularly with the advent of the electronic age. I will relay my experiences as an Editor-in-Chief for Talanta over some twenty years, providing guidance on how to structure and present a paper so editors, reviewers and readers will have a good understanding of your accomplishments, and pitfalls to avoid. Real-world examples of manuscripts that do not follow established and ethical guidelines will be given, along with cases of outright scientific fraud in the chemical literature. And hints will be given of how authors can use peer review to their advantage.

The Physiology and Chemistry of Breath Alcohol Measurement. Or, Are You Too Drunk to Drive?

Driving under the influence of alcohol is a serious offense in all states. In most states, a blood alcohol concentration of 0.08% (w/w) is by law deemed to indicate being under the influence. Normally, the blood alcohol level is determined by measuring the percent breath alcohol, assuming a partition ratio between blood and breath of 2100:1. The legal consequences of being convicted of driving while under the influence will be presented, along with the physiology of alcohol absorption and metabolism, the physiological effects as a function of alcohol, and ways to estimate your blood alcohol level. The principles, chemistry, and operations of breath alcohol measuring instruments will be described.


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