Raymond Boyer was born to a wealthy family in the early 1900s in Montréal, Québec. He completed a Bachelor of Science in 1930 and a PhD (organic chemistry) in 1935; after some work abroad, Boyer returned to Canada where he joined the Montreal branch of the Canadian Civil Liberties Union and became president of the Canadian Association of Scientific Workers. He was a professor at McGill University when he was detained in 1946. Boyer was recruited by Fred Rose and was accused of passing on information to the Soviets (through Rose) about an explosive called RDX that he was helping develop for the National Research Council. Boyer admitted to the espionage commission that he passed on confidential information but, as with Edward W. Mazerall, argued that he was only providing the Soviets with information that was already available to the public.
Although Boyer and Mazerall's attempts to justify their actions may seem unusual, their arguments reveal a great deal about why these men joined the study groups run by Fred Rose and Gordon Lunan. First, both men shared a belief common to many scientist at this time that scientific knowledge should not be kept secret by governments, but should be available to everyone. Secondly, both Boyer and Mazerall, as with many of their colleagues, often did not take their oaths of secrecy seriously, especially when their research was about to be made available to the public in the near future. Boyer was, nevertheless, found guilty and received a minimum sentence of two years.
Raymond Boyer (with Provincial Police constable) being arraigned in court.