John William Tranter Spinks

John William Tranter Spinks, CC, chemist, educator (born 1 January 1908 in Norfolk, England; died 27 March 1997 in Saskatoon, SK). He moved to Canada in 1930 to join the staff of the University of Saskatchewan, where he earned an international reputation as a teacher and researcher.

John William Tranter Spinks, CC, chemist, educator (born 1 January 1908 in Norfolk, England; died 27 March 1997 in Saskatoon, SK). He moved to Canada in 1930 to join the staff of the University of Saskatchewan, where he 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. 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, co-authored 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, he was president from 1959 to 1975 and a member of many national and international groups concerned with university education. He was the author of more than 250 scientific and other works and has been honoured by universities and governments alike. He was made a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1970.


Further Reading

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