Born in Wolseley, Saskatchewan on June 1, 1915, Schneider received his BSc and MSc degrees from the University of Saskatchewan, and graduated with a PhD from McGill University in 1941. He worked at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, Massachusetts, from 1943 to 1946, and returned to Canada, hired by the National Research Council (NRC), in 1946. He continued his research in pure chemistry, on molecular forces and structure. From 1967 to 1980 Schneider was President of the NRC, where he continued the work of C.J. Mackenzie and E.W.R. Steacie to make the NRC an important force in the international research community. For his efforts, he was made a member of the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Canada, and he received the Order of Canada.