January 26, 2009--The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF; Philadelphia, PA) and the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie (Paris, France) will honor Robin J. H. Clark with the inaugural Franklin-Lavoisier Prize on January 28, 2009. Clark, the Sir William Ramsay Professor of Chemistry at University College London, pioneered the use of Raman microscopy for pigment identification of art and artifacts.
"Using Raman microscopy to identify pigments in paint has helped document the provenance, age, and authenticity of artifacts ranging from Yale University's Vinland Map to Vermeer's Young Woman Seated at a Virginal, all without damage to the artifacts," said Thomas R. Tritton, president and CEO of CHF. "Curators around the world can breathe more easily knowing whether the Vermeer they have on the wall is authentic or not, and because no samples had to be removed for identification."
Created in 2008, the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize is named for Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and Benjamin Franklin, two of the 18th century's greatest minds. It recognizes unusually meritorious efforts in the preservation or promotion of the entwined scientific heritage of France and the United States. The award will be presented at the Chimie et Art conference at the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie.
Robin J. H. Clark studied at the Universities of Canterbury and Otago and received a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at University College London. His research in inorganic chemistry and spectroscopy -- more recently on metal-metal bonded complexes; mixed-valence chemistry; infrared, Raman and resonance Raman spectroscopy; matrix isolation spectroscopy; spectroelectrochemistry; and pigment studies mainly by Raman microscopy -- has led to the publication of more than 500 scientific papers, 3 books, and 36 edited books.
Clark has held visiting professorships in 11 countries and has lectured at over 350 universities and institutions in 36 countries throughout the world. He has served on many national committees, including the councils of the Royal Society, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, University College London, and the Senate of the University of London. He has chaired the Steering Committee of the International Conferences on Raman Spectroscopy.
In 1989 Clark was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and a member of the Academia Europaea in 1990, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and of University College London in 1992, an Honorary Life Fellow of the Royal Institution of Great Britain in 2004, and a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, in 2007. He received an honorary D.Sc. from the University of Canterbury in 2001 and, in 2004, he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science.
Founded in 1928, the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie had the goal of building and maintaining a central meeting and working space to promote the popularization of science, and was organized for the service of chemists worldwide. To fulfill this mission, the Maison de la Chimie provides a number of services, implementing activities to facilitate cooperation between all those working to promote chemistry as one of the basic disciplines throughout the science and technology.
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
Posted by Barbara G. Goode, [email protected].
For more information, see the announcement on the CHF website.