George Kauffman

2002 Helen M. Free Award Winner

George Kauffman, Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at California State University, Fresno is the 2002 recipient of the Helen M. Free Award for Public Outreach. Over the course of his career, Kauffman has written numerous newspaper and magazine articles explaining science to the lay public; has given lectures and chemical demonstrations in schools and other public venues; reviewed books on science, including children's books; participated in science-related community activities; and appeared widely on radio and television. He has supported the annual proclamation by Fresno mayors of National Chemistry Day and National Chemistry Week, and has helped generate considerable interest in science with his articles in the Fresno Bee, Fresno Neighbors, and other local newspapers.

Over the past two decades, Professor Kauffman has been a regular contributor to Encyclopaedia Britannica, submitting annual articles for the Yearbook of Science and the Future. These articles have given general readers some of the earliest information on superconductors, lithium batteries, fuel cells, photovoltaics, optical fibers, pesticides, cold fusion, and genetic engineering. He was also one of the first writers to inform the public about such new products as soft contact lenses and artificial sweeteners.

Kauffman received his B. A. with Honors in Chemistry in 1951 from the University of Pennsylvania, and his Ph. D. in 1956 from the University of Florida.

Professor Kauffman’s teaching interests include History of Science, Chemical Education, Inorganic Chemistry, Coordination Chemistry, and Inorganic Syntheses. In addition to his teaching experience Kauffman has worked as a researcher in industrial and government laboratories including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Humble Oil and Refining Company, and in the Aircraft Nuclear Propulsion Department at General Electric. He is a contributing editor for more than ten journals and trade magazines that include Journal of College Science Teaching, Polyhedron, Journal of Chemical Education, Chemical Heritage and Chemical Educator.

Kauffman has published 16 books and more than 2,100 papers (148 with 70 student coauthors), reviews, and encyclopedia articles on chemical education, chemistry, and history of science, a number of which have been translated into foreign languages. Science Citation Index designated one of his articles, coauthored with former student Dr. Dwaine O. Cowan, as a "Citation Classic," - one of the most frequently cited works in its field." He has given more than one hundred lectures at local, national, and international meetings and symposia and been awarded 58 research grants. His American Chemical Society service includes serving as the faculty sponsor for the FSC Student Affiliate Chapter, Chairman of the Division of the History of Chemistry, and Tour Speaker. He is the recipient of numerous honors and awards.