The University of Alabama

AAAS, UA Announce Chemistry Professor as a 2007 Fellow

Dr. Anthony Arduengo

Dr. Anthony Arduengo

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The world’s largest general scientific society has awarded a University of Alabama chemistry professor the distinction of AAAS Fellow.

Dr. Anthony Arduengo, professor of chemistry, has been awarded the distinction by the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as a Fellow is an honor bestowed upon AAAS members by their peers.

This year, 471 members have been awarded this honor by AAAS because of their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications. New Fellows will be presented with an official certificate and a gold and blue (representing science and engineering, respectively) rosette pin on Saturday, Feb. 16 from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Fellows Forum during the 2008 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.

This year’s AAAS Fellows will be announced in the AAAS News & Notes section of the journal Science on Oct. 26.

As part of the section on chemistry, Arduengo was elected as an AAAS Fellow for the synthesis of the first stable carbenes and for distinguished contributions in the synthesis and characterization of main group element compounds with unusual valencies.

The unusual valency (bonding) in carbenes generally makes them extremely reactive and difficult to isolate. Arduengo’s insight was to design the compounds to make them stable so that they can be stored and handled more conveniently – fundamentally changing over 150 years of thinking regarding carbenes and their chemistry. The reactivity and remarkable stability of Arduengo’s carbenes makes them highly valuable for many industrial processes. In the years since Arduengo’s initial discovery, his stable carbenes have found applications ranging from the synthesis of life-saving pharmaceuticals to the production of polymers and automotive paints.

The tradition of AAAS Fellows began in 1874. Currently, members can be considered for the rank of Fellow if nominated by the steering groups of the Association’s 24 sections, or by any three Fellows who are current AAAS members (so long as two of the three sponsors are not affiliated with the nominee’s institution), or by the AAAS chief executive officer.

Each steering group then reviews the nominations of individuals within its respective section and a final list is forwarded to the AAAS Council, which votes on the aggregate list.

The council is the policymaking body of the Association, chaired by the AAAS president, and consisting of the members of the board of directors, the retiring section chairs, delegates from each electorate and each regional division, and two delegates from the National Association of Academies of Science.

The department of chemistry is part of the College of Arts and Sciences, the University’s largest division and the largest liberal arts college in the state. Students from the College have won numerous national awards including Rhodes Scholarships, Goldwater Scholarships and memberships on the “USA Today” Academic All American Teams.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science, known as AAAS, is the world’s largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science (www.sciencemag.org). AAAS was founded in 1848, and includes some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of 1 million. The non-profit AAAS (www.aaas.org) is open to all and fulfills its mission to “advance science and serve society” through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more. For the latest research news, log onto EurekAlert!, www.eurekalert.org, the premier science-news Web site, a service of AAAS.

The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.