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SCC Annual Scientific Meeting and Technology Showcase Report
By: Katie Schaefer
Posted: December 16, 2008
page 8 of 12
Des Goddard, who passed away in December 2007, was a pioneer in the cosmetics and personal care industry. Born in South Africa in 1926, he attended Queen’s College as an undergraduate and began his research work at Rhodes University, leading to his masters of science degree on conductimetric chemistry, which he earned in 1948. From there, “Des,” as he became known, moved on to Downing College in Cambridge, working initially with A.E. Alexander in what was then the Department of Colloid Science.
Brian Pethica, PhD, senior scientist of the department of chemical engineering at Princeton, wrote in the 2008 SCC meeting proceedings book that Des “expanded out from that early effort in the broad field of polymer/surfactant interactions, particularly as they related to skin and hair properties. He became an acknowledged leader and contributor to the science of cosmetics and leading member of the society meeting here today.” Pethica added that Des built up a leading body of high quality papers on these leading systems relevant to the aspects of surface and colloid science in and beyond cosmetology.
From Cambridge, Des went to Unilever Research near Liverpool, where he met and married his wife, Norah. Together they moved to Canada, where Des first worked at the National Research Council in Ottawa, and then with Canadian Industries. Des then moved to New Jersey to renew his association with Unilever Research at the Edgewater facility, where he continued his scientific work, producing leading papers on surfaces, colloids and polymer solution chemistry. From Edgewater, Des moved to Tarrytown to begin work with the Union Carbide Research Laboratory, continuing to publish his work.
Pethica’s writing in the proceedings continued: “Many taking part in this conference could give better account of the contributions Des made to our knowledge of hair and skin,” which each speaker did throughout the day, recounting tales and experiences they had with Des personally, or in continuing his work. “His contribution and enthusiasm for science and technology did not end with his retirement in 1992,” Pethica continues. “Among other leading contributions, I note the widely read book co-authored by K.P. Ananth, PhD, of Unilever R&D, Interactions of Surfactants with Polymers and Proteins in 1993, and the volume he co-authored with James Gruber, PhD, director of R&D at Arch Personal Care, Principles of Polymer Science and Technology in Cosmetics and Personal Care in 1999.
Pethica ended, “In reflecting on these contributions to science, let us also celebrate the contribution to human health and well-being through the improvements to personal care brought to a countless multitude by the insights, scientific skills, teamwork and achievements of our late colleague, Desmond Goddard. For these, we thank him, and will recall him often in the years to come.”