English chemist Peter Atkins wins Grady-Stack award for science journalism

WASHINGTON, July 25, 2016 — English chemist and prolific author Peter Atkins, Ph.D., is the 2016 recipient of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS’) Grady-Stack Award. The award recognizes his contributions in interpreting chemistry for the public.

Atkins is the author of more than 70 books, including Galileo’s Finger: The Ten Great Ideas of Science, On Being, The Periodic Kingdom, The Laws of Thermodynamics: A Very Short Introduction and the world-renowned textbook Physical Chemistry. His other textbooks include Organic Chemistry, Chemical Principles and Molecular Quantum Mechanics. He is a fellow of Lincoln College at the University of Oxford and lives in Oxford.

He is known to his colleagues as a “tireless advocate” for science and someone “who has made a substantial, lasting and impressive contribution to the public’s understanding of chemistry.”

In the preface to his book, What is Chemistry?, Atkins sums up his approach to explaining science to the general public this way: “I want to show [the public] the world through a chemist’s eyes, to understand its central concepts, and see how a chemist contributes not only to our material comfort but also to human culture. I want to explain how chemists think and how what they reveal about matter —  all forms of matter, from rocks to humans — adds pleasure to our perception of the world.”

The Grady-Stack Award is named for James T. Grady and James H. Stack, two former managers of the ACS News Service. Established in 1955, the award recognizes and stimulates outstanding reporting that promotes the public’s understanding of chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields. Awardees receive $5,000, a gold medallion and a bronze replica. Atkins will receive the gold medallion at the Society’s national meeting in Philadelphia in August.

The American Chemical Society is a nonprofit organization chartered by the U.S. Congress. With nearly 157,000 members, ACS is the world’s largest scientific society and a global leader in providing access to chemistry-related research through its multiple databases, peer-reviewed journals and scientific conferences. Its main offices are in Washington, D.C., and Columbus, Ohio.

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Peter Atkins, Ph.D.
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