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Chancellor, chemist elected to American Academy of Arts and Sciences


Jeff Unger, News Bureau

Richard Herman
Click photo to enlarge
Chancellor Richard Herman
Jeffrey Moore
Click photo to enlarge
Jeffrey Moore
Photos by L. Brian Stauffer

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Richard Herman, the chancellor of the Urbana campus of the University of Illinois, and Jeffrey Moore, the Murchison-Mallory Professor of Chemistry at Illinois, have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the academy announced today.

They and the other 191 newly elected fellows will be honored at the annual Induction Ceremony on Oct. 11 at academy headquarters in Cambridge, Mass.

Other new members this year include U.S. Supreme Court Senior Associate Justice John Paul Stevens, two-time cabinet secretary and former White House Chief of Staff James A. Baker III, Academy Award-winning filmmakers Ethan and Joel Coen and Milos Forman, Emory University Provost and historian Earl Lewis, Darwin biographer Janet Browne, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Edwards P. Jones, and blues guitarist B.B. King.

Herman, a mathematician, has been chancellor at Illinois since April 2005. He came to the U. of I. in 1998 to be provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs – the campus’s chief academic officer. From 1990 to 1998, he was the dean of the College of Computer, Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the University of Maryland, College Park. He was chair of the department of mathematics at Pennsylvania State University from 1986 to 1990.

Herman has been active in shaping national science policy with an emphasis on positioning the sciences to meet the emerging needs of society. His experience in science and education policy includes four years on the National Science Foundation’s Advisory Committee for the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, including two years as its chair. In February 2006, he was named to the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology.

Herman also is chairing a national effort involving the private sector,
K-12 and colleges and universities to increase the number and qualifications of K-12 teachers in science and mathematics.

Moore, who collaborated with two other U. of I. researchers to develop self-healing plastics, most recently worked with them on another invention: a new way of doing chemistry.

Moore and colleagues Nancy Sottos, a professor of materials science and engineering, and Scott White, a professor of aerospace engineering, have found a novel way to manipulate matter and drive chemical reactions along a desired direction. The new technique utilizes mechanical force to alter the course of chemical reactions and yield products not obtainable through conventional conditions.

Potential applications include materials that more readily repair themselves, or clearly indicate when they have been damaged.

“This is a fundamentally new way of doing chemistry,” said Moore, who also is a researcher at the Frederick Seitz Materials Research Laboratory on campus and at the university’s Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology.

Founded in 1780 by John Adams, James Bowdoin, John Hancock and other scholar-patriots, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences has elected as members the finest minds and most influential leaders from each generation, including George Washington and Benjamin Franklin in the eighteenth century, Daniel Webster and Ralph Waldo Emerson in the nineteenth, and Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill in the twentieth. The current membership includes some 200 Nobel laureates and more than 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.