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Jiri Jonas elected to American Philosophical Society

Jeff Unger, News Bureau
(217) 333-1085;


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Jiri Jonas, an emeritus professor of chemistry at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has been elected to the American Philosophical Society.

Jonas, the director of the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology at Illinois from August 1993 to September 2001, was among 51 scholars and researchers elected April 26 to the learned society based in Philadelphia.

Jonas, an emeritus professor in the Center for Advanced Study at Illinois, is a pioneer in the use of high-pressure nuclear magnetic resonance and Raman spectroscopy to study structure and dynamics in liquids, modern theories of reaction rates in liquids, the behavior of molecules in confined geometries such as porous solids, and the changes of protein conformation with pressure.

The impact of his work covers the vast area from pure chemical physics through materials science to molecular chemistry.

Jonas received the first Joel Hildebrand Award from the American Chemical Society for the study of the liquid state, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Jonas served as the director of the School of Chemical Sciences at Illinois from 1983 to 1993.

Founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin, the American Philosophical Society promotes useful knowledge in the sciences and humanities through scholarly research, professional meetings, publications, library resources and community service.

The society elected 43 resident members and eight foreign members this year, bringing its total membership to 852, including 717 from the United States. Early members of the society included John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and George Washington.

Members elected in the 19th century included John James Audubon, Charles Darwin, Thomas Edison and Louis Pasteur. Members in the 20th century included Albert Einstein, Robert Frost and George Marshall.