media release

Chemist conference tests for Group of Seven painting

May 30, 2014

Daniel Leznoff, chemistry, 778.782.4887;
Diane Mar-Nicolle, 778.782.9586;
Marianne Meadahl, PAMR, 778.782.3210;


More than 2,500 chemists from around the world, including several from Simon Fraser University will be in Vancouver June 1-5 to attend Canada’s largest annual event devoted to the science and practice of chemistry.

The 97th Canadian Chemistry Conference and Exhibition is being held at the Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre. SFU President Andrew Petter will officially open the conference and welcome plenary speaker Shankar Balasubramanian, of Cambridge University, United Kingdom, and Klaus Müllen of the Max Planck Institute, Germany.

Dr. Balasubramanian is a recognized world leader in the field of nucleic acids and is best known as the co-inventor of Solexa sequencing, which has made accurate and low-cost sequencing of human genomes a reality.

SFU Chair of Chemistry Steve Holdcroft says: “This conference is the premier event in Canada that collectively showcases our nation’s breadth of research talent in the chemical sciences. It promises to be an unparalleled event that will strengthen scientific exchange between continents and expose students to state-of-the art research and innovation in science and technology.”

During the conference, ProSpect Scientific has arranged for an examination of two Canadian oil paintings; one is an original Lawren Harris (Group of Seven) titled “Hurdy Gurdy” while the other is a painting called "Autumn Harbour" that bears many of Harris’s painting techniques. It was found in Bala, Ontario, an area that was known to have been frequented by Harris.

Using Raman Spectroscopy equipment manufactured by Renishaw (Canada), Dr. Richard Bormett will determine whether the paint from both works of art was painted from the same tube of paint.

Other lectures and presentations will focus on environmental chemistry related to the oil sands, medicinal chemistry, fuel cells, medical isotopes, glycoscience (the science of sugars) and environmental chemistry.

Simon Fraser University is consistently ranked among Canada's top comprehensive universities and is one of the top 50 universities in the world under 50 years old. With campuses in Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey, B.C., SFU engages actively with the community in its research and teaching, delivers almost 150 programs to more than 30,000 students, and has more than 125,000 alumni in 130 countries.


Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.

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