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February 22, 2005

Chemistry Professor John Stock Dies At 94

John Stock, professor emeritus of chemistry, died Feb. 6 after a short illness. He was 94.

A longtime Connecticut resident who divided his time between Storrs and London, Stock joined the University in 1956 and taught for 23 years. He was a productive scholar and earned a reputation for innovation and dedication to research and teaching.

Stock made significant contributions both to research in analytical chemistry and to promoting awareness of the history of chemistry. Steven Suib, the Yuji Hayashi Distinguished Chair in Plasma Chemistry, remembers Stock as a “kind, caring, extremely intelligent, wonderful guy. He was upbeat and interested in other people’s research.”

Suib says Stock paid great attention to teaching the methods of research and to collecting and preserving the tools of chemical instrumentation, which he used to instruct students in the basic principles of analytical chemistry and the scientific method. Stock encouraged an appreciation of history, and strove to remind students of the rudiments of instrumentation in the face of ever-advancing technology.

Born in Margate, England, Stock received a Ph.D. in analytical chemistry and a D.Sc. in analytical and electrochemistry, both from London University. After spending the early portion of his career in industry and with the British Ministry of Supply, Stock taught chemistry at Norwood Technical College (now South London College). He won the Robert Blair Award for overseas studies, the first chemist to earn the grant in a competition dominated by engineers.

Following a period of research at the University of Minnesota, Stock undertook a series of academic speaking engagements across the United States, which led to a position at the University of Connecticut.

In addition to publishing widely in his field, with a number of books, monographs, and hundreds of articles to his credit, Stock was an outstanding educator. He received the UConn Alumni Association’s Award for Excellence in Teaching in 1977.

After retiring from the University in 1979, Stock continued to work and instruct students as an emeritus professor, publishing books on an array of subjects including electrochemistry and the history of chemical instrumentation. In 1992, he was awarded the American Chemistry Society’s Dexter Award for Outstanding Achievement in the History of Chemistry.

In addition to his professional duties at the University, Stock was a Fellow of the London Science Museum, where he most recently worked on a chronological display of chemical instrumentation.

Stock is survived by his wife, Eileen Stock, a daughter, and two grandchildren.