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E. Bright Wilson Award in Spectroscopy: David J. Nesbitt

by Linda Wang
January 2, 2017 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 95, Issue 1

David J. Nesbitt
Credit: Courtesy of David Nesbitt
Photo of David J. Nesbitt.
Credit: Courtesy of David Nesbitt

Sponsor: ACS Division of Physical Chemistry

Citation: For his outstanding contributions to the understanding of molecular structures and reaction dynamics by high resolution and single-particle spectroscopic methods.

Current position: physicist and fellow, National Institute of Standards & Technology; professor of chemistry, biochemistry, and physics, University of Colorado; fellow, Joint Institute for Lab Astrophysics

Education: B.A., chemistry and physics, Harvard University; Ph.D., chemical physics, University of Colorado

Nesbitt on what he hopes to accomplish in the next decade: “I’m just so very grateful that I’ve been able to explore many directions and enjoy doing cool chemical physics/biophysics with my group. The amazing thing is that they even pay me to do it! But if there is a challenge for me in the next decade, it would be to help students of the next generation grow up with sufficient understanding of basic scientific concepts to make reasoned decisions as U.S. citizens. This will likely require pitching in a hand with science education policy at the national level.”

What his colleagues say: “David is unquestionably one of the world’s most prominent molecular spectroscopists. The impact of his work is amplified by his gift for presenting science to the community and the public. The quality of David’s publications is astonishing; many of his papers represent beautiful examples of scientific writing, with clearly defined motivations, masterfully done figures, and clear results. His oral presentations at meetings and seminars are also outstanding; he is one of those people who can ignite the audience with his talk.”—Sergey Nizkorodov, University of California, Irvine



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