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Mon, 12.11.1939

John Macklin, Chemist, and Environmentalist born

John W. Macklin

*John W. Macklin was born on this date in 1939. He is a Black analytical chemist, environmental justice advocate, and educator.

From Fort Worth, Texas, his father died when he was young, and spent some of his early life living with his grandmother. At age seven, he joined his mother, stepfather, and younger sister in Seattle, WA. He earned his Bachelors's Degree in 1962 from Linfield College in McKminnville, Oregon. In 1968 he received his Doctor of Philosophy degree from Cornell University. Macklin refined the technique of Raman spectrometry to test very small sample sizes. Raman spectroscopy, named after its Indian inventor, uses a laser beam passed through a material sample to determine the atoms' identity in its molecules and how they combine.

In the 1980s, Macklin collaborated with NASA scientists to analyze meteorites and cosmic dust particles, looking for complex carbon-based molecules to elucidate the evolution of Earth's carbon-based life. He showed that tiny crystals in clay could adsorb carbon molecules and facilitate the action of the sun's energy to combine them into larger ones. Macklin has also extended Raman spectrometry to study environmental pollution. He is currently teaching at the University of Washington.

To become a Chemist


Department of Chemistry,
The University of Washington,
Box 351700, Seattle,
Washington, 98195-1700,
Voice: (206) 543-1610, FAX: (206) 685-8665

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