ACS President: Theodore W. Richards (1868-1928)
Served as President: 1914
First American scientist to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Many of his 60 papers on thermochemistry contained data that were still listed among the standard values in handbooks as late as 1976.
- Ph.D., 1888, Harvard University, Chemistry
- Director, Wolcott Gibbs Memorial Laboratory, Harvard University, from beginning in 1912 until his death
- Chair, Chemistry Department, Harvard University,1903-11
- Faculty, Harvard University, 1909-28
Best known studies were determinations of the atomic weights of 25 elements.
His atomic weight determinations were so skillfully performed that they were selected by the International Committee on Atomic Weights without question.
As a part of a theoretical study of the behavior of galvanic cells at low temperatures, he developed an adiabatic calorimeter. It made possible his and his students later successes in thermochemistry.
Major Awards and Honors:
- Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1914
Service to Science:
- President, American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1917
- President, American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1919-1921
Did You Know
. . . that his mother felt public education was geared toward the slowest student, so he was home schooled from elementary through secondary years?
. . . that he entered Haverford College in 1883 at the age of 14, receiving his B.S. in 1885?