Talk:Stephanie Kwolek

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"Polish-American"[edit]

I am not entirely comfortable with identifying her as "Polish American" in the first sentence. She is famous for her work as an industrial chemist; of what conceivable relevance is the country where her parents (or grandparents, or great-grandparents) were born? Uucp 17:34, 15 August 2005 (UTC)

My thought is that if someone wanted to bother, they could research whether she has any known identification with Poland in the familial/ethnic sense, and go from there as to whether to note her family's origin in Poland. --P.MacUidhir (t) (c) 19:52, 20 November 2005 (UTC)

Per WP:MOSBIO trying to use only American for true Americans. Ethnicity should be discussed further into article unless it is specifically what makes them notable. --Tom 14:03, 22 May 2006 (UTC)


Spinneret[edit]

A spinneret is not as was previously stated "a machine for testing the fiber strength". See footnote #2 ((was already) in the article). It's just a device for spinning synthetic fibers. "When the cloudy solution was "spun" — forced through the tiny holes of a device called a spinneret"

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 91.178.146.110 (talk) 12:08, 1 June 2009 (UTC) 
Ah, I see. Thank you for correcting that; I hadn't known it before. NW (Talk) (How am I doing?) 18:07, 1 June 2009 (UTC)


I hope that you have noticed and you have not yet fixed it, Charles Smullen did not persuade Stephanie Kwolek to run her fiber it was the other way around. Smullen thought that the liquid crystals were solid and would clog up the microscopic holes in the spinneret.--Zaka159 (talk) 23:04, 16 May 2010 (UTC)

Sentence for deletion[edit]

I would like to propose the sentence "However, Kwolek was not very involved in developing the applications of Kevlar" as a candidate for deletion. The source for the sentence is Kevlar's inventor herself, who when asked by an interviewer "Were you involved in finding those applications?" replied "I was not much involved."

First, isn't it a violation of NPOV to source a product's inventor on matters such as role?

Second, given the vast range of applications of Kevlar, how could she have answered differently?

Third, in the interview she went on to calibrate "not much" as follows. "At the very beginning of the project I did supply a small amount of fiber to one of our scientists who was experimenting with materials for bullet-resistant vests. He wove some fabric from this fiber and subjected it to fired bullets. The results of the preliminary tests were very favorable and gave us immediate hope."

This sounds like a reasonably modest way of saying she was a founding member of the team that developed the Kevlar bullet-proof vest (note the "us" at the end). In particular she did not say "One of the bullet-resistant vest scientists suggested this application to me," and if, as seems likely under the circumstances, she had been the one taking the initiative in seeking out that scientist, it would be very unfair to imply that she wasn't "involved in developing those applications," which is how the statement comes across in the article. Even the USPTO would take this as prima facie evidence of the inventor finding an application for Kevlar (and one that is still important today). --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 05:20, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Just noticed another detail: the "those" in the interviewer's question "Were you involved in finding those applications?" was in reference to Kwolek's immediately preceding statement, "So we expanded our research for new end-use applications, and we now have more than 200 end-use applications for Kevlar." Of course she wasn't "much involved," to have said otherwise would be like the Wright brothers claiming they were "much involved" in the development of all the applications of the airplane, an impossibility. --Vaughan Pratt (talk) 05:33, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

NPOV refers to your (or the editors to be exact) POV, not those of the person being written about. Views of the subject may be vitally important and featured in the article. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s views on civil rights are clearly important in any article on the man. Your opinion of Mr. King's views on civil rights are, on the other hand, NPOV if included in the article.
The second is speculation. She could have answered an infinity of different ways. She could have taken credit for everything. Or she could have denied it - which she did.
The last statement is simply an invention of your own. In my reading of the statement, "us" refers to "DuPont". The addition follows the same pattern, you're reading a lot into the words, "us" and "we".
Generally the claims you make are what are known as SYN. That is, you are taking the words someone wrote (spoke, etc.) and using them to construct a position that those words do not actually state. The sources in this case actually state that she was not involved in the practical developments. Period. If you want to include the claim that she was directly involved in the development of the bulletproof vest, you're going to have to find an RS that states she was directly involved in the development of the bulletproof vest. You can't infer things, the wiki isn't a debating society.
One can often spot SYN by looking for weasel words and rhetorical questions. "how could she have answered differently?" is a classic example, as is "This sounds like". Another common approach is to make statements of fact that aren't facts. An example would be to make an imaginary claim about the USPTO to support a statement, when the opposite is easy to demonstrate.
"Just the facts, ma'am".
Maury Markowitz (talk) 12:55, 27 December 2012 (UTC)