Cornell University: McMurry makes bestselling chemistry text free in memory of son

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The kindness of his deceased son Peter inspired John McMurry, chemistry professor emeritus in the College of Arts and Sciences, to offer the 10th edition of his bestselling organic chemistry textbook as a free open educational resource (OER) through OpenStax, an educational technology initiative of Rice University.


“If Peter were still alive, I have no doubt that he would want me to work on this 10th edition with a publisher that made the book free to students,” McMurry said. “Our family has therefore decided to honor Peter in a unique way: by changing the way textbooks are created and distributed, potentially reducing textbook costs for everyone.”

Peter McMurry died in 2019 at age 51 after a long struggle with cystic fibrosis.

The 10th edition of “Organic Chemistry” will be available online for the Fall 2023 semester in web and PDF formats alongside additional resources and courseware.

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