Two Yale Chemists Are Named Inaugural Fellows of the ACS

Two Yale chemists are among the inaugural class of American Chemical Society (ACS) Fellows recognized for their excellence in chemistry and service to ­society.

William Jorgensen and John Tully, both of whom hold the title Sterling Professor of Chemistry, were among the 162 new fellows honored at the society’s meeting in Washington, D.C., last month.

All those honored “share a common set of accomplishments, namely true excellence in their contributions to the chemical enterprise coupled with distinctive service to ACS or to the broader world of chemistry,” according to ACS past-president Bruce Bursten, who was instrumental in creating the fellows program.

For the two Yale chemists, the distinction was welcome recognition of their research as well as their broader contributions. “The ACS is the central organization in the world of chemistry,” Jorgensen says. “I am proud to have been a member of the ACS since 1970, and I feel greatly honored that I have been included in the first group of ACS ­Fellows.”

John Tully attended the ceremony on Aug. 17, where he received a lapel pin and certificate. “The presentation ceremony brought together people who have made a significant impact, not only through their scientific achievements, but also through their service to the chemistry profession,” Tully says. “It was a great honor to be a part of the celebration.”

Fellows were chosen from among the society’s more than 150,000 members, who come from academia, industry, entrepreneurship, government and teaching. The ACS publishes 36 journals and is the world’s largest scientific society, but unlike many professional societies, had not established a fellows program until now.

“It is so nice to see our colleagues honored this way,” says Scott Miller, chair of Yale’s chemistry department. “Both Bill and John are inspirational scientists whose impact on our field, and on so many students, has been outstanding.”

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