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Call for nominations for Citations for Chemical Breakthrough awards

by Linda Wang
February 15, 2020 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 98, Issue 7

The American Chemical Society Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST) seeks nominations for its 2020 Citations for Chemical Breakthrough awards. The awards recognize breakthrough publications, books, and patents worldwide in the field of chemistry. The advances must have been revolutionary in concept, broad in scope, and long-term in impact.

Departments or institutions being recognized will receive a plaque to be hung near the office or laboratory where the breakthrough was achieved.

Nominations must include a full literature citation and a supporting statement of up to 200 words. All nominations must be received by March 16.

The award, now entering its 15th year, has recognized 71 breakthrough achievements in chemistry around the world. The 2019 awardees are CAS, a division of ACS, for the series Chemical Abstracts first published in 1907; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology for Fritz Haber and Robert Le Rossignol’s 1913 paper describing what became the industrial process for synthesizing ammonia from nitrogen gas and hydrogen gas; the University of Manchester for M. G. Evans and Michael Polanyi’s 1935 paper titled “Some Applications of the Transition State Method to the Calculation of Reaction Velocities, Especially in Solution”; and Princeton University for Henry Eyring’s 1935 publication titled “The Activated Complex in Chemical Reactions.”

A full description of the award and previous awardees, including images of all the award plaques and photographs from award ceremonies, can be found at More information and the nomination forms are available at that website or by contacting Jeffrey I. Seeman at



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