The different hats of Chancellor Tom George, but especially the science one

UMSL Chancellor Tom George

In this file photo, UMSL Chancellor Tom George lectures students about carbon nanotubes. He was recently the subject of an episode of the podcast “People Behind the Science.”  (Photo by August Jennewein)

People know the name Tom George as chancellor of the University of Missouri–St. Louis. But he does so many other things in addition to presiding over UMSL, as “People Behind the Science” host Marie McNeely unearthed in a recent interview with him.

One such role at UMSL is George as a professor of chemistry and physics and a researcher in laser nanophysics, including nanomedicine. He attributes his pursuit of science to his father.

“My father was a chemical engineer,” he said in the podcast interview. “And he worked at Sun Oil Company. He also taught in the evenings at Drexel University [in Philadelphia]. It was kind of like a part of the family. He actually developed a mathematical chart that got sold for a number of years in college bookstores. It was a slide rule on paper. It eventually got replaced by hand calculators, but it was kind of a way of life for me. We would talk science, and it’s fair to say that his being a chemical engineer is why I became one myself.”

McNeely also touches on George’s research, his love of jazz piano and all the foreign countries where science has taken the chancellor.

Click here to listen to the full interview and hear all about George’s personal and professional philosophies, his struggles and successes in science, and just how he got started playing that piano.

The UMSL Experience


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