The Man Who Taught So Much

November 1, 2017
Laura Bush
Special Issues

Volume 35, Issue 11

Page Number: 8

After 34 years, LCGC prepares to say goodbye to John Dolan with this special supplement.

 

Recently, I heard some financial experts discussing the fact that large numbers of people feel confused about the basics of investing for retirement. Maybe the problem is that the field of finance doesn’t have a John Dolan. 

Because John Dolan can make even the most complex of topics understandable. And for 34 years, over 390 installments of the “LC Troubleshooting” column, that is exactly what he has been doing for our readers. He has regularly explained how to tackle a wide range of problems in a systematic, step-by-step fashion. He has also prepared readers to do their own troubleshooting through installments that explain the underlying fundamentals of liquid chromatography (LC) and how LC instruments work. Just as importantly, or perhaps more so, he has taught readers a series of best practices that can help them avoid problems in the first place. 

As it happens, it’s a question of retirement-John Dolan’s retirement-that brings us to this supplement. As you might expect, this event brings us a mix of emotions. First and foremost, we are happy for him. At the same time, though, we are sad to say goodbye. 

So we decided that the best way to say “farewell” to John would be to bring you this special supplement. It starts with a new piece, “What LC Troubleshooting Has Taught Me,” that summarizes John’s most important lessons. It then continues with a small selection-his selection-of his best work. On the first page of each article, John explains why that article has remained one of his favorites. 

What you will see as you read these articles is a wonderful distillation of the key lessons that John hopes you received over the years. Bringing this collection together is important in several ways.

First, even though a few of these articles date back many years-one is from 1988-the lessons remain valuable today. That is true even if you read that article when it was first published, and have been practicing LC ever since. 

Second, as any good teacher knows-and John is one of the best-a lesson is often not grasped the first time around. Or sometimes even the second or third time. 

Third, even for lessons we have indeed learned, we often need reminders, as well as constant ongoing training and practice. Any professional musician or athlete knows that. 

For all these reasons, I suggest that once you have finished reading this special issue, you store your copy in a protected spot. Then once in a while, perhaps once a year, pull it out and re-read it. You most certainly won’t regret it.  

In the meantime, as we present this farewell and retrospective, we take our hats off to John. We will all miss seeing his work in the pages of LCGC. Most of all, we will long remember him for helping practicing chromatographers around the world solve their toughest problems.

I hope you will join me in thanking John for all of his years of serving the separation science community and for teaching us so much. We wish him all the best!