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August 30, 2004 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 82, Issue 35


Nominations Sought For Esselen Award

ACS's Northeastern Section is now seeking nominations for its 2005 Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest. The award is given annually to a chemist whose scientific and technical work has contributed significantly to the public well-being, thereby demonstrating the positive values of the chemical profession. It consists of a bronze medal; a $5,000 cash prize; and travel expenses to the section's April 14, 2005, meeting, where the prize will be officially presented.

Nominations should include the names of two cosponsors, a biography, a description of the nominee's work, and copies of pertinent articles and news features indicative of public interest. The significance of the nominee's work should have become apparent within the past five years. Nominations should be sent to Paul Vouros, c/o Karen Piper, 19 Mill Rd., Harvard, MA 01451, and are due by Oct. 15. More information can be obtained by contacting Vouros at (617) 373-2840 or, by contacting Piper at (978) 456-8622, or by checking online at


ACS Leaders Recognized

ACS Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director Madeleine Jacobs received the American Crystallographic Association's 2004 Public Service Award in Chicago on July 21 at ACA's annual meeting. The award recognizes a noncrystallographer for contributions to science policy, science funding, or communication of crystallography to the general public and is awarded on an irregular basis at the discretion of the ACA Council.

Jacobs was recognized for her "progressive leadership as editor of Chemical & Engineering News," ACA President Frances Jurnak said. "That the covers and pages of Chemical & Engineering News have routinely included crystal structures is only incidental to this recognition by the American Crystallographic Association of the service she has done and continues to do for science, and its communication to scientists and laymen alike." In addition, author and neurologist Oliver Sacks was honored with the ACA Science Writing Award at the same meeting but was unable to attend.

Société Française de Chemie (SFC), the French chemical society, recognized ACS President-Elect William F. Carroll Jr. at CHEMRAWN XV, which took place in Paris in June. Carroll received a plaque inscribed with the phrase "En hommage au President de l'ACS, Dr. W. F. Carroll" from SFC's Armand Lattes.

And during the May 3 general assembly of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, 2001 ACS president Attila E. Pavlath was elected as an external member for his lifelong scientific achievements. Pavlath will journey to Hungary and give his acceptance lecture on Oct. 12.

Science Medal Goes To Cambridge Chemistry Professor

Steven V. Ley, professor of organic chemistry at Cambridge University, was awarded the Society of Chemical Industry's Messel Medal in London during the society's 123rd annual general meeting on July 7. The Messel Medal & Lecture is awarded biennially to someone of high international distinction in the fields of science, literature, industry, or public affairs.

In addition to studying the synthesis of natural products and synthesizing more than 100 target compounds, Ley has worked on the discovery and development of new synthetic methods and their application to biologically active systems. His group is also developing new ways of making complex carbohydrates and working on new strategies for combinatorial chemistry.

Ley's Messel Lecture was titled "Evolution or Revolution: The Challenge to Today's Synthesis Chemist."

Gordon Receives Midwest Award

Mark S. Gordon, distinguished professor of chemistry at Iowa State University (ISU), will receive the 2004 ACS Midwest Award at the 2004 Midwest Regional Meeting in Manhattan, Kan., on Oct 20–22.

Gordon is being recognized for a body of work that includes more than 380 publications in quantum chemistry focusing on potential energy surfaces, reaction paths, activation energies of transition states, and reaction mechanisms. In addition to developing numerous techniques and computer programs for studying these topics, he has made significant contributions to carbon, silicon, organometallic, and transition-metal chemistry. Gordon has made major insights into the small barriers for silylene insertion reactions; the bonds of silicon with itself as well as with carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus, and sulfur; silicon's participation in aromatic systems; the structure and strain of small rings and clusters containing silicon; and the geometric and electronic structures of molecules containing pentavalent silicon.

Gordon received a B.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963 and a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University in 1968 and then completed a postdoc at ISU. In 1970, he joined the chemistry faculty of North Dakota State University, where he eventually became distinguished professor and department chair. He returned to ISU in 1992, where he has also served as associate chemistry department chair and director of the Applied Mathematics Program at the university's Ames Laboratory, a Department of Energy facility.



Chisholm Garners Fred Basolo Medal

Malcolm H. Chisholm, distinguished professor of mathematical and physical sciences at Ohio State University, will receive the 2004 Basolo Medal for recognition of work in inorganic chemistry.

Chisholm has worked on developing a new generation of polymers that employ single-site metal alkoxide catalysts and is currently researching complexes with metal-metal multiple bonds, the use of alkoxide and related -donor ligands in organometallic chemistry, and new routes toward polyesters produced from biomass-derived cyclic esters.


Chisholm has more than 500 publications to his credit; he received the ACS Award for Inorganic Chemistry in 1989.


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