Samuel Conway

Dr. Samuel C. Conway

Dr. Conway at Anthrocon 2008
Born June 4, 1965 (1965-06-04) (age 46)
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Residence United States
Citizenship American
Fields Organic chemistry
Institutions Food and Drug Administration
Alma mater Ursinus College
Dartmouth College
Doctoral advisor Gordon W. Gribble[1]

Samuel C. Conway (born June 4, 1965 in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania[2]) is an American researcher in the pharmaceutical, biomedical and agrochemical fields of organic chemistry. He has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Dartmouth College.

Outside the scientific community, Conway is better known as Uncle Kage (play /ˈkɑːɡ/) and is chairman and chief organizer of Anthrocon, the largest furry convention in the world.[3][4][5] He is also a volunteer entertainer, auctioneer and a published author.


Academic and scientific activities

A graduate of Ursinus College, Pennsylvania in 1986, Conway subsequently studied at the Burke Chemical Laboratories of Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, where he obtained his Ph.D. in 1991.[2][6][7] His thesis concerned the attempted generation of indolyne (an aromatic compound related to indole).[8]

After college, Conway took a postdoctoral appointment in Chicago, later working as a contractor for the Food and Drug Administration, a researcher for Bionetics, a medicinal chemist for Avid Therapeutics (March 1995–August 1997) and researcher for Message Pharmaceuticals (August 1997–April 1999).[9] He spent two years in organ distribution at the National Disease Research Interchange, and was subsequently employed by crop protection company Cerexagri as a regulatory chemist from May 2001 to June 2007, when he became a principal chemist for West Pharmaceutical Services.[2][9]

Conway has authored eleven professional publications and two patents.[2] One patent covers compounds intended to treat hepatitis B in synergy with lamivudine;[10][11] another relates to recyclable packaging material.[12][13] His work has been published in Heterocycles,[8][14] Synthetic Communications,[15][16][17] Organic Preparations and Procedures International,[18] Water Research,[19] Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry,[20] Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy,[11] Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters[21] and Current Organic Chemistry.[22]

Fandom activities

Conway was introduced to furry fandom at Noreascon 3 (the 1989 Worldcon),[23] and has been involved in fan activities from the early 1990s to the present day.

Convention chairman

Kage and the staff at Anthrocon 2007

Conway became the chairman of Anthrocon in 1999, after his invitation as a guest of honor in 1998.[24] Under his leadership, Anthrocon was incorporated and moved to Philadelphia. The convention's attendance grew from 842 to 2,489 over the period from 1999 to 2006, necessitating a further move to Pittsburgh; 3,390 attended in 2008.[25][26] Conway is the public face of Anthrocon, responsible for public relations, negotiating hotel contracts, managing finances, damage control and other activities before, during and after the convention. He also talks to fans about presenting furry fandom to the public.[27][28][29]

Media dealings

Conway talks to KDKA-TV reporters outside Anthrocon 2006

Conway dissuades members of the fandom, and Anthrocon membership in particular, from responding to the mass media and news media, due in part to sensationalist coverage like the 2001 Vanity Fair article in which he was quoted.[30] In 2003 he said his standard response to the media was: "Anthrocon is a private event held on private property. Its membership is not interested in being the subject of your documentary."[31]

However, Conway relaxed this stance with Anthrocon's move to Pittsburgh in 2006. While no television, magazine or tabloid representatives were present, several newspapers were invited to attend, and did, including the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review,[32] the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,[33] and the Pittsburgh City Paper, which printed both a preview and an extensive review.[34][35] When local television station KDKA-TV showed up, Conway gave a short television interview outside the convention hotel.[36] In November 2006 he gave a radio interview to Dublin's 98FM.[37] Anthrocon still retains tight control over media access, not only to the convention grounds but to the membership, and has official policy[38] that forbids unmonitored dealings with unauthorized members of the media.


Conway styles himself "Furrydom's Storyteller", making annual appearances at Anthrocon in what has come to be known as Uncle Kage's Story Hour. The entertainment typically consists of four or five extended personal anecdotes. His stage name resulted from his first storytelling experience at ConFurence in 1994, and derives from his fandom name Kagemushi Goro (Shadow Bug Goro), a reference to Kagemusha.[24]

Conway is regularly invited to tell his stories at other fan conventions, including I-CON,[39][40] Eurofurence,[41][42] ConClave,[43] and Camp Feral!.[44] Gross sales from recordings of his Story Hours were over US$2600 in 2004; no profit was realized, as the intention was to increase membership and awareness of Anthrocon.[45][46]


In 2006, Uncle Kage auctioned the "last brick" of Anthrocon's old venue (the Adam's Mark Hotel) for US$200[47]

Conway's first auction was at Albany Anthrocon 1997.[48] Since then, he has presided over auctions which have raised over US$66,000 for a variety of local wildlife charities at Anthrocon alone.[49] He has performed similar services at other fan conventions, including Midwest FurFest.[50] Conway says his techniques are influenced by Phil Foglio and Joe Mayhew; they include humor and appeals to pity, novelty and scarcity.[30]


While known within the fandom for his spoken storytelling, Conway is also the author of several short stories published in various works by Sofawolf Press.[24]

In May 1998, Conway was invited to write a story based on his interest in birds of prey, particularly the Red-tailed Hawk.[24] The result was "Tweaked in the Head", published December 1999 in Flights of Fantasy.[51][52] He next contributed to the first issue of HistoriMorphs, a fanzine mixing historical fiction with interaction between humans and anthropomorphic animals.[24] "The Secret of Wollknäul" took place in Nazi Germany at the end of World War II, and was published in June 2001.[53] He went on to write "The Good Bird of Nanking" and "It Takes A Fox" for subsequent issues of the series.[54][55]

For Anthrolations #5 — a magazine of dramatic fiction — Conway submitted "Six", a previously-written work "based on a true story" involving wildlife rehabilitation from his days as a Red Cross volunteer.[24][56] The story, illustrated by Synnabar, was nominated for "Best Anthropomorphic Short Story" in the 2002 Ursa Major Awards.[57] Also nominated that year was Breaking the Ice: Stories from New Tibet, a collection set in and around a subarctic mining colony; Conway's contribution, "Dead End", features a bartending vulture who provides an introduction to the harsh, dystopic world.[58]

Other activities

While in college, Conway was a member of the Ursinius Meistersingers vocal music group, and the performing arts honor society Pi Nu Epsilon.[9] He became a volunteer for the American Red Cross Disaster Service in 1989, but quit in 1998 due to his perception of high-level corruption in the organization. He remains the Emergency Management Coordinator for his home town, Malvern, Pennsylvania.[2][9]

In March 1990, Conway became an experimental bone marrow donor for Mark Stevenson, a 4-year-old suffering from Hunter syndrome.[59][60] The operation – the first of its kind involving an unrelated donor – was a success, allowing Mark to live to 24.[61] Conway became an active volunteer for the National Marrow Donor Program, claiming to have helped add over 500 entries to their donor registry.[59]

Since May 1996, Conway has participated in the MadSci Network, a free questions-and-answers resource organized by the medical school of Washington University in St. Louis.[2][6][62] While most active in the period 1997–2000,[63] he remains a member as of 2009.[64][65]


  1. ^ "Graduate Degrees Awarded with Gordon W. Gribble". Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Conway, Samuel C.. "Uncle Kage - The Man". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  3. ^ Carpenter, Mackenzie (2007-07-07). "Anthrocons convention turns city into 'real zoo'". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  4. ^ "Anthrocon Is Back, And Pittsburgh's Feeling Furry Again". WTAE-TV. 2008-06-28. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  5. ^ "Anthrocon 2007 draws thousands to Pittsburgh for furry weekend". Wikinews. 2007-07-17. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  6. ^ a b "Mad Scientist Network Hall of Fame - Samual C. Conway". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  7. ^ Conway, Samuel C.. "unclekage - User Info". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  8. ^ a b Conway, S.C.; Gribble, G.W. (1992). Approaches to the Generation of 2,3-Indolyne. Heterocycles Vol. 34, No. 11, pp. 2095-2108. 
  9. ^ a b c d "Samuel Conway". LinkedIn. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  10. ^ Perni, Robert B.; Conway, Samuel C. (1998-08-06) WO patent 98/33501, "2-Benzoylamino-3-phenylpropenamide derivatives and methods of using the same", filed 1998-01-29, U.S. pri date 1997-01-3, Avid Therapeutics
  11. ^ a b King, Robert W.; Ladner, Stephanie K.; Miller, Thomas J.; Zaifert, Katie; Perni, Robert B.; Conway, Samuel C.; Otto, Michael J. (1998-06-22). Inhibition of Human Hepatitis B Virus Replication by AT-61, a Phenylpropenamide Derivative, Alone and in Combination with (−)β-l-2′,3′-Dideoxy-3′-Thiacytidine. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy Vol. 42, No. 12, pp. 3179–3186. Retrieved 2008-04-08. 
  12. ^ Barenberg, Sumner A. et. al. (1993-07-21) U.S. Patent No. 5,362,776 - Recyclable cellulosic packaging material, Packaging Corporation of America
  13. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (2005-03-01). "Ten things I've done". Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  14. ^ Conway, S.C.; Gribble, G.W. (1990-01-01). Synthesis of 1-(Phenylsulfonyl)Indol-3-yl Trifluoromethanesulfonate. Heterocycles Vol. 30, No. 1, 1990, pp. 627-633. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  15. ^ Gribble, G.W.; Conway, S.C. (1992). Palladium-Catalyzed Coupling of 3-Indolyl Triflate. Syntheses of 3-Vinyl and 3-Alkynylindoles (or, Palladium-Catalyzed Alkenylation and Alkynylation of 1-Phenylsulfonyl)indol-3-yl Trifluoromethanesulfonate). Synthetic Communications Vol. 22, No. 15, pp. 2129-2141. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  16. ^ Conway, S.C.; Gribble, G.W. (1992). Studies on the Preparation of 2-Indolyl Triflates and Related Compounds. Synthetic Communications Vol. 22, No. 20, pp. 2987-2995. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  17. ^ Conway, Samuel C.; Perni, Robert B. (1998). An Efficient One-Pot Synthesis of Hippuric Acid Ethyl Ester Derivatives. Synthetic Communications, Vol. 28, No. 9, pp. 1539–1545. doi:10.1080/00397919808006857. 
  18. ^ Gribble, G.W.; Allison, B.D.; Conway, S.C.; Saulnier, M.G. (1992). Syntheses of 2,3-Dihalo-1-(phenylsulfonyl)indoles. Organic Preparations and Procedures International Vol. 24, No. 6, pp. 649-654. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  19. ^ Conte, Eric D.; Conway, Samuel C.; Miller, Dwight W.; Perschbacher, Peter W. (1996-09-01). Determination of methylisoborneol in channel catfish pond water by solid phase extraction followed by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry. Water Research, Vol. 30, No. 9, pp. 2125-2127. doi:10.1016/0043-1354(96)00030-9. 
  20. ^ Holder, C. Lee; Preece, Steve W.; Conway, Samuel C.; Pu, Yu-Ming; Doerge, Daniel R. (1998-12-04). Quantification of heterocyclic amine carcinogens in cooked meats using isotope dilution liquid chromatography/atmospheric pressure chemical ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, Vol. 11, No. 15, pp. 1667-1672. doi:10.1002/(SICI)1097-0231(19971015)11:15<1667::AID-RCM58>3.0.CO;2-N. Retrieved 2006-07-31. 
  21. ^ Perni, Robert B.; Conway, Samuel C.; Ladner, Stephanie K.; Zaifert, Katie; Otto, Michael J.; King, Robert W. (2000-12-04). Phenylpropenamide derivatives as inhibitors of hepatitis B virus replication. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistry Letters, Vol. 10, No. 23, pp. 2687-2690. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  22. ^ Gribble, Gordon W.; Saulnier, Mark G.; Pelkey, Erin T.; Kishbaugh, Tara L.S.;Liu, Jun Jiang Yanbing; Trujillo, Hernando A.; Keavy, Daniel J.;Davis, Deborah A.; Conway, Sam C.; Switzer, Frank L.; Roy, Sujata; Silva, Richard A.; Obaza-Nutaitis, Judy A.; Sibi, Mukund P.; Moskalev, Nikolai V.; Barden, Timothy C.; Chang, Louis; Habeski (née Simon), Wendy M.; Pelcman, Benjamin; Sponholtz, William R., III; Chau, Ryan W.; Allison, Brett D.; Garaas, Sarah D.; Sinha, Michael S.; McGowan, Meredeth A.; Reese Matthew R.; Harpp, Karen S. (2005-10-01). Novel Indole Chemistry in the Synthesis of Heterocycles. Current Organic Chemistry. doi:10.1002/chin.200634284. Retrieved 2009-04-12. 
  23. ^ "The Jim Groat Interview". Furry 101. 2009-03-27. Retrieved 2009-03-27. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f Conway, Samuel C.. "Uncle Kage - The Storyteller". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  25. ^ "About Anthrocon". Anthrocon. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  26. ^ "2008 Registration Totals". Anthrocon. 2008-08-03. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  27. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (2008-01-23). "Comment to new media article from the seattle weekly". Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  28. ^ "Midwest FurFest 2008 programming panel descriptions (p4, Furry and the Media)". Midwest Furry Fandom. Retrieved 2009-04-10. [dead link]
  29. ^ "Furry Weekend Atlanta 2008: Event detail - Presenting Furry Fandom to the Public". Furry Weekend Atlanta. Retrieved 2009-04-10. 
  30. ^ a b Gurley, George (2001-03-01), Pleasures of the Fur, Vanity Fair,, retrieved 2006-08-27 
  31. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (2003-04-29). "Tabloid shows, Confurence, and lay off of Darrell already". (Web link). Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  32. ^ Kurutz, Daveen Rae (2006-06-17). "It's a furry weekend". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  33. ^ Belser, Ann (2006-06-18). "All about 'furry fandom' at confab". Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  34. ^ Meinzer, Melissa (2006-02-02). "Fur Ball In the Works". Pittsburgh City Paper. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 
  35. ^ Meinzer, Melissa (2006-06-29). "Animal Passions". Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Retrieved 2006-11-25. 
  36. ^ "Furries Descend On Pittsburgh". KDKA-TV. 2006-06-16. Retrieved 2009-04-06. [dead link]
  37. ^ Muth, Douglas (2006-11-08). "Radio Interview about Furry Fandom on Dublin 98 FM". Retrieved 2006-12-04.  MP3
  38. ^ "Anthrocon Standards of Conduct". 
  39. ^ "I-CON 22 - Anthropomorphics". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  40. ^ ICON Science Fiction. "I-CON 24 Guests - Dr. Samuel Conway". Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  41. ^ "Eurofurence 8". 2002-06-22. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  42. ^ Conway, Samuel C.. "Uncle Kage - How was Eurofurence 8?". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  43. ^ "Duckon Reference for Fan Gallery". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  44. ^ "Feral! - WikiFur".!. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  45. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (2004-05-15). Anthrocon, Inc. - IRS Form 990 - Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax. 
  46. ^ Conway, Samuel C.. "Uncle Kage's videos". Retrieved 2007-08-28. 
  47. ^ "Anthrocon 2006 Charity Report". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  48. ^ Conway, Samuel C.. "Uncle Kage: The Auctioneer". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  49. ^ "Anthrocon Charity Auction FAQ". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  50. ^ Brady, Tom (2008-09-15). "Midwest FurFest Announces Charity for 2008!". Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  51. ^ Lackey, Mercedes & Greenberg, Martin H. (ed.), ed (1999-12-01). Flights of Fantasy. Daw Book Collectors. ISBN 0-88677-863-8. 
  52. ^ Dobbs, George T. (2000). "The S.F. Site: Flights of Fantasy, a review.". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  53. ^ Fields, Lanny (ed.), ed (2001-07-01). HistoriMorphs I. Sofawolf Press. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  54. ^ HistoriMorphs II. Sofawolf Press. 2004-06-25. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  55. ^ HistoriMorphs III. Sofawolf Press. 2006-05-31. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  56. ^ Our Products. Sofawolf Press. 2002-07-27. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  57. ^ "The Ursa Major Awards - 2002 winners". 2003-04-25. Retrieved 2006-08-28. 
  58. ^ Susman, Tim (ed.), ed (2002-01-01). Breaking the Ice (Stories from New Tibet). Sofawolf Press. ISBN 0-9712670-0-6. Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  59. ^ a b Hardesty, Tom (1995-03-14). "Leighton boy celebrates 5 years after". The Oskaloosa Herald, Vol. 145, No. 163. 
  60. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (2004-09-21). "PSA: Save a life while you sleep!". Retrieved 2009-04-11. 
  61. ^ "Obituary: Mark Stevenson". Pella Chronicle. 2010-03-29. 
  62. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (1996-05-13). "Re: Properties of Solutions". MadSci Network. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  63. ^ "MadSci Search Results for Samuel Conway". Retrieved 2006-08-27. 
  64. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (2008-03-06). "Re: Lifespan of HIV in contact with air?". MadSci Network. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 
  65. ^ Conway, Samuel C. (2009-02-11). "Re: Would inhaling ethanol based gasoline fumes effect a breathalyzer". MadSci Network. Retrieved 2009-04-03. 

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