Shades of Scientific Activism: John Froines and Ralph Spitzer
In 1959, a young physical chemist by the name of Ralph Spitzer left Oregon State University, then Oregon State College. Eleven years later, in 1970, another young chemist, John Froines, left the University of Oregon. Both men were deeply involved in left-wing politics, and both lost their positions for political reasons. But more than the passage of time separates these two men. Spitzer was fired from his position; Froines resigned. Between them was a philosophical gulf regarding the practice of science, the practice of politics, and how the two should be linked.