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AAAS member Dorothy Plack Smith Dead at 88

Dorothy Plack Smith, 88, died on July 13, 2014, at her home in Washington D.C., from congestive heart disease. Born on November 1, 1925 in Hagerstown, Md., Smith attended Hagerstown High School, followed by Goucher College in Towson, Md. (Phi Beta Kappa), where she graduated in 1947 with a degree in Chemistry and Microbiology. She continued her education at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Conn., where she earned a MA in Chemistry in 1949.

She married fellow Wesleyan alumnus and WWII veteran Harold E. Smith (deceased 1968) of Springfield, Mass. in 1950 and moved to NYC (Brooklyn). She taught chemistry from 1961-1966 at Western High School in D.C., including honors and advanced placement classes, and was chairwoman of the science department from 1964-1966. Smith became an NIH predoctoral fellow in 1966-1968, and a research associate in inorganic chemistry at Georgetown University in 1969, and received her doctorate in 1975.

She was manager of the news service of the American Chemical Society (1972-1980), where she was responsible for organizing press conferences, presenting results, and finding new information in chemistry that could be readily interpreted and communicated to the public. She initially brought the story about the destruction of the ozone layer by chlorofluorocarbons to the attention of the public.

In 1980, Smith became an editor (Associate, later Scientific) at the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, where she remained until retirement in 1996.

She was a member of the American Chemical Society, the National Association of Science Writers, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).