Alan David Adler (1931-2000) was a chemist. When he died in 2000, he was Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at Western Connecticut State University. He had retired in 1992, but continued to teach and work actively with students. Previously he had taught at the University of Pennsylvania and was an associated professor at the New England Institute for Medical Research in Ridgefield, Connecticut. Over the years, Alan published hundreds of papers on various arguments of chemistry and biochemistry, particularly about the chemistry of the porphyrins, describing their synthetic, analytical, chemical-physical and biological aspects.
He was one of the original members of STURP.
As his son, Chris, wrote in his obituary:
. . . Dr. Adler became involved in the research of the Shroud of Turin, a length of linen housed in the Cathedral of St. John in Turin, Italy which is alleged to have been the burial cloth of Jesus of Nazareth. What was meant to be a weekend's worth of analysis on a piece of tape holding a few fibers of cloth in 1977 turned into over 20 years of continuing research, lectures, symposiums, and trips around the world as a member of Shroud of Turin Research Project, Inc. (STURP), an international group of scientists dedicated to researching the cloth. Dr. Adler's research proved that the image on the cloth was composed of human blood rather than pigment, a discovery which conflicted with the common assumption that the cloth was a painting created during the Middle Ages. This caused Dr. Adler to become a figure of some controversy and debate among scientists and the media. For over a decade, he traveled across the country to universities, churches, and various civic organizations, describing the history of the Shroud's travels through Ancient and Medieval Europe and explaining in layman's language the often scientifically complex research on the cloth.
Dr. Adler published several papers on the subject in The New York Academy of Sciences and other scientific journals, including "A Chemical Investigation of the Shroud of Turin," "Concerning the Side Strip on the Shroud of Turin" with Alan and Mary Wanger, and "Conservation of the Shroud of Turin" with Larry A. Schwalbe (www.shroud.com/papers.htm). Over the years, he was interviewed hundreds of times by international, national, and local press regarding his work, most recently by Time Magazine in April 1998.
. . . A longtime member of the American Chemical Society and numerous other scientific organizations, he became more involved in the regional branch of the ACS upon retirement. A former boy scout in his youth, Dr. Adler was an active scout leader in Troop 15 during the 1970s. . . .
Papers by Alan D. Adler at shroud.com:
- Concerning the Side Strip on the Shroud of Turin
- Conservation of the Shroud of Turin
- The Nature of the Body Images on the Shroud of Turin