Chemical Heritage Foundation to Present 2008 Othmer Gold Medal to Yuan Tseh Lee

Nobel laureate, innovator, educator and leader will be honored at a

full-day ceremony marking the 11th annual presentation of the Othmer Gold


Feb 04, 2008, 00:00 ET from Chemical Heritage Foundation

    PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Chemical Heritage
 Foundation (CHF) has announced that Yuan Tseh Lee, Nobel laureate in
 chemistry (1986), will receive the 2008 Othmer Gold Medal. The award
 ceremony and the annual Othmer Gold Medal luncheon will open the seventh
 annual Heritage Day on Thursday, 15 May 2008. This full day of awards and
 honors marks the 11th annual presentation of the Othmer Gold Medal.
     "Lee was born in 1936 and educated in Taiwan under the shadow of
 Japanese occupation during World War II," said Thomas R. Tritton, president
 and CEO of CHF. "He persevered in education, excelled in research, and
 earned one of humankind's highest honors -- the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
 Following three successful decades in America, he returned to Taiwan,
 taking a leadership role in education reform and better relations with
     Lee received the Nobel Prize in 1986 along with Dudley R. Herschbach
 and John C. Polanyi for their contributions to the study of the dynamics of
 chemical reactions. Their research contributed to the field of reaction
 dynamics by allowing the study of complex reaction mechanisms beyond the
 capability of previous methods.
     About Yuan Lee
     Yuan Tseh Lee was born on 19 November 1936 in Hsinchu, Taiwan. He
 received a B.S. from the National Taiwan University, an M.S. from Tsinghua
 University, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. In
 1967 Lee joined the Harvard University group working on molecular beam
 experiments under Dudley Herschbach. After being appointed assistant
 professor at the University of Chicago in 1968, Lee rapidly made his
 laboratory the North American capital of molecular beam study. Lee returned
 to Berkeley as a full professor in 1974 and significantly expanded his
 research to include, in addition to crossed molecular beams, studies of
 reaction dynamics, investigations of various primary photochemical
 processes, and the spectroscopy of ionic and molecular clusters.
     Lee has received numerous awards and honors, including the 1986 Nobel
 Prize in Chemistry, the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Faraday Medal
 and Prize from the Royal Chemical Society of Great Britain, and the
 Jawaharlal Nehru Birth Centenary Medal from the Indian National Science
 Academy. He has also been awarded the Ernest O. Lawrence Award of the U.S.
 Department of Energy, the Harrison Howe Award, and the Peter Debye Award of
 Physical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society. He is a fellow of
 the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a foreign member of the U.S.
 National Academy of Sciences, the Gottingen Academy of Sciences, the Indian
 Academy of Sciences, the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, the
 Royal Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences, the Japanese Academy, and
 the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. In addition Lee is a member of the
 Academia Sinica in Taiwan, the Academy of Sciences for the Developing
 World, and the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
     In 1994 Lee retired from his position as university professor and
 principal investigator for the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory at the
 University of California, Berkeley, and assumed the position of the
 president of Academia Sinica in Taiwan. In 2006 he became president
 emeritus and distinguished research fellow at the same institution. He has
 more than 30 honorary doctoral degrees from universities around the world.
     About the Othmer Gold Medal
     The Chemical Heritage Foundation established the Othmer Gold Medal in
 1997 to honor outstanding individuals who have made multifaceted
 contributions to our chemical and scientific heritage through outstanding
 activity in such areas as innovation, entrepreneurship, research,
 education, public understanding, legislation, or philanthropy. Previous
 honorees are John D. Baldeschwieler, Arnold O. Beckman, Ronald C. D.
 Breslow, Thomas Cech, Carl Djerassi, Mary Lowe Good, George S. Hammond, Jon
 M. Huntsman, Ralph Landau, Robert S. Langer, Gordon E. Moore, P. Roy
 Vagelos, and James D. Watson.
     The medal is presented annually and cosponsored by CHF and four
 affiliated organizations: the American Chemical Society (ACS), the American
 Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the Chemists' Club, and the
 Societe de Chimie Industrielle (American Section). The medal commemorates
 Donald Othmer (1904-1995), noted researcher, consultant, editor, engineer,
 inventor, philanthropist, professor, and coeditor of the Kirk-Othmer
 Encyclopedia of Chemical Technology.
     About the Chemical Heritage Foundation
     The Chemical Heritage Foundation serves the community of the chemical
 and molecular sciences, and the wider public, by treasuring the past,
 educating the present, and inspiring the future. CHF carries out a program
 of outreach and interpretation in order to advance an understanding of the
 role of the chemical and molecular sciences, technologies, and industries
 in shaping society; maintains a world-class collection of materials that
 document the history and heritage of the chemical and molecular sciences,
 technologies, and industries; and encourages research in its collections.
     CONTACT: Neil Gussman, 215-873-8262, (cell) 717-314-2494,

SOURCE Chemical Heritage Foundation