John William Tranter Spinks
1908 - 1997

by R.J. Woods (plus additional information), The Canadian Encyclopedia, Edited by M. Hurtig, 1985

Spinks, John William Tranter, chemist, educator (Born in Norfolk, England January 1 1908. Died March 26 1997 in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan).   He moved to Canada in 1930 to join the staff of the University of Saskatchewan and has since earned an international reputation as a teacher and researcher.   While on leave in Germany in 1933 he worked with Gerhard Herzberg, and he was instrumental in bringing him to Canada.   He married Mary Strelioff in June 1939.   During WWII Spinks developed search-and-rescue operations for the RCAF and took part in the early work on atomic energy.   Later he pioneered the use of radioactive isotopes in research, coauthored with R.J. Woods the first textbook on the chemical effects of high-energy radiation, and represented Canada at meetings on the peaceful uses of atomic energy.   Appointed dean of graduate studies at the University of Saskatchewan in 1949 and president in 1959, he has been a member of many national and international groups concerned with university education.   He is the author of more than 250 scientific and other works and has been honoured by universities and governments alike.   He is companion of the Order of Canada.

Reading: John Spinks, Two Blades of Grass: An Autobiography (1980).

Additional information is available at the Citation for Dr. John William Tranter Spinks, University of Saskatchewan Fall Convocation, 1990.

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