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News Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 412003

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John M. Thomas Receives Natta
John Meurig Thomas, Honorary Professor in solid-state chemistry at the Department of Materials Science of the
University of Cambridge and Emeritus
Professor of Chemistry at the Davy
Faraday Research
Laboratory in London,
awarded the Giulio
Natta Gold Medal
of the Italian Chemical Society for his
pioneering work in
pure and applied
J. M. Thomas
this year he was the first European
chemist to be awarded the Linus Pauling
Gold Medal of Stanford University
(California, USA) for his contributions
to the advancement of science. Thomas
is renowned both as a pioneer of solidstate and materials chemistry and for his
wide-ranging studies in the design of
new catalysts[1] and the development of
in situ techniques for their characterization.[2]
Thomas studied chemistry at the
University of Wales, Swansea and completed his PhD in 1958 at Queen Mary
College, London. For 20 years he taught
and carried out research at the University of Wales, Bangor (1958-69) and
Aberystwyth (1969-78), where, as Head
of Chemistry, he established one of the
most active centers of solid-state science
in Europe. He was invited to succeed
J. W. Linnett as Head of the Department
of Physical Chemistry in Cambridge in
1978, where he introduced many new
techniques (such as high-resolution electron microscopy,[3] electron-energy-loss
spectroscopy (EELS) neutron scattering, and magic-angle-spinning (MAS)
NMR spectroscopy) that are now routinely used in condensed-matter chemistry. In recognition of his contributions
to geochemistry, the International Mineralogical Association named a new
mineral “meurigite” in 1995, an honor
rarely bestowed on living scientists.
Thomas succeeded Sir George (later
Lord) Porter as Director of the Royal
Institution of Great Britain and of the
Davy Faraday Laboratory in 1986.
There he extended his research to
open-structure catalysts and devised
synchrotron-based methods of structural elucidation of catalysts under operating conditions. In 1993 he returned to
the University of Cambridge as Master
of its oldest college, Peterhouse, founded in 1284.
Thomas was knighted in 1991 for his
services to chemistry and the popularization of science. He has received
numerous other honors: the Davy Medal of the Royal Society, the Faraday
Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Willard Gibbs Gold Medal of
the American Chemical Society, and the
Semenov Centenary Medal of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Later this
year the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion, a body founded in London
by eminent Welshmen over 250 years
ago, will confer its gold medal upon him
for services to Welsh culture and British
public life. A prolific author, he has also
produced a definitive text (with his
namesake) on heterogeneous catalysis.[4]
He is a founding editor of Advanced
Karl Ziegler Prize to Tobin J. Marks
The Karl Ziegler Prize, one of the most
prestigious German awards for chemistry, is awarded by the Gesellschaft
Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh). The
Prize recognizes diverse contributions
to areas of research in which Ziegler was
active, that is, organic and inorganic
chemistry, catalysis, and polymer chemistry. This broadness of research interests certainly applies to the recipient for
2003, who has been recognized for his
2003 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
preparative work
and mechanistic
studies on new catalyst systems of
the d- and f-block
elements and new
Tobin J. Marks
completed his undergraduate
degree at the Univer- T. J. Marks
sity of Maryland
(USA) and his PhD in 1970 at the
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
(MIT, USA). He then began his career
at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (USA). His research is
focused on catalysis with lanthanoids,
in particular on polymerization catalysis
with metallocenes. In this work Marks
could show that the interaction between
the catalyst and the cocatalyst has a
fundamental influence on the activity of
the catalyst and the stereochemistry of
the reaction. A second focal point of his
research is materials science, for example, materials for nonlinear optics[5] and
molecular electronics, and polymeric
organic semiconductors.[6]
The Prize was presented at the
annual general meeting of the GDCh
on October 7 in Munich. MarksEs lecture
at the presentation ceremony was entitled “Catalysis as a Route to Useful New
Materials. Single- and Multiple-Site
Olefin Polymerization Catalysts”.
[1] J. M. Thomas, Angew. Chem. 1999, 111,
3800; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 1999, 38,
[2] a) J. M. Thomas, G. N. Greaves, Science
1994, 265, 1675; b) J. M. Thomas, Chem.
Eur. J. 1997, 3, 1557.
[3] J. M. Thomas, O. Terasaki, P. L. Gasi, W.
Zhou, J. Gonzalez-Calbet, Acc. Chem.
Res. 2001, 34, 583; J. M. Thomas, W. Zhou,
ChemPhysChem, 2003, 4, 927.
[4] J. M. Thomas, W. J. Thomas, Principles
and Practices of Heterogeneous Catalysis,
Wiley-VCH, Weinheim, 1997.
[5] T. J. Marks, M. A. Ratner, Angew. Chem.
1995, 107, 167; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
Engl. 1995, 34, 155.
[6] A. Facchetti, M.-H. Yoon, C. L. Stern,
H. E. Katz, T. J. Marks, Angew. Chem.
2003, 115, 4030; Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.
2003, 42, 3900.
Angew. Chem. Int. Ed. 2003, 42, 4992
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