Szell, G., Hungarian-born


Canada, following my escape from Hungary in 1956, I found no opportunity to continue my academic career. Around 1960, I had a brief visiting professorship at the University of Toronto, to which Alexander Todd had previously recommended me through Charles Best. Some interest was expressed in me, but nothing developed. Years later, quite unexpectedly, I received a letter from George Wright, a senior organic faculty member at Toronto, expressing his regret that he had strongly opposed the appointment of a young Hungarian refugee chemist with no proper credentials and school ties, who he believed did not have much to offer. Belatedly, he wanted to tell me that he had been wrong. I appreciated his letter, but, as with many other things in life, one never knows what will eventually turn out to be beneficial for the future. The failure to obtain an academic appointment certainly worked out this way in my case. I still have friends and even some family in Canada (sons of my late cousin live in Toronto). Our younger son, Ron, was born there in 1959, and we have only pleasant memories of our Canadian years. After I received my Nobel Prize I was evidently rediscovered in Canada for example, the Royal Society of Canada elected me as a Foreign Fellow, which I appreciate.  [c.84]


A life of magic chemistry (2001) -- [ c.0 ]