The Alan G. MacDiarmid Medal was introduced to honor the only member of the Penn Chemistry standing faculty to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Alan MacDiarmid was the recipient of the 2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with former Penn professor and director of LRSM Dr. Alan J. Heeger, now at the University of California at Santa Barbara, and Dr. Hideki Shirakawa of the University of Tsukuba in Japan. They were honored for their 1977 discovery that plastics, or polymers, can be made to conduct electricity much like metals. This finding turned on its head the conventional wisdom that polymers could not conduct electricity, and unleashed new research among physicists, chemists and materials scientists worldwide. This technology is now applied in cell phones.
Dr. MacDiarmid joined Penn’s Department of Chemistry in 1955. He was appointed assistant professor in 1956, associate professor in 1961, and professor in 1964, an appointment he held until his death on February 7, 2007.
Jean-Marie Lehn, University of Strasbourg
Richard Schrock, Massachusetts Institute of Technology*
Tobin Marks, Northwestern University
Sir Fraser Stoddart, Northwestern University
John Bercaw, California Institute of Technology
Harry B. Gray, California Institute of Technology
Robert Bergman, University of California, Berkeley