Chemist Wins Major International Prize

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Prof. Lawrence Scott (Chemistry) has been named winner of a prestigious Humboldt Research Award and will spend a total of 12 months working with colleagues in Germany.

Humboldt Awards are granted annually to no more than 150 scholars from all disciplines who enjoy international recognition. Nominations for the honor must be made by German scholars or research institutions.

"The Humboldt Award is given out on the basis of international competition," said Prof. Larry McLaughlin, the Chemistry chairman. "When a member of our department receives this award, it recognizes the whole department nationally and internationally."

Scott's award includes a monetary prize of about $71,000, which Scott said he will use to cover living expenses while in Germany. He said he will spread his 12 months out over several years and will visit a number of institutions, beginning with a three-month stay at the University of Göttingen in the fall.

There, he will work with a long-time collaborator who nominated him for the award. Scott said he will focus on catalytic techniques his colleague is using that could benefit Scott's work on the synthetic creation of fullerenes.

Prof. Lawrence Scott.
Fullerenes are molecules that feature carbon-carbon bonds, the best known of which is the soccer ball-shaped "Buckyball." Scott's work focuses on the creation of Buckyball relatives, such as bowl- and tube-shaped molecules that employ the same carbon-carbon bonds.

"This honor is very gratifying because it is an international award," Scott said. "You don't win this award by being well known in Massachusetts or well known in the United States. It means our work is recognized in Germany as distinguished research."

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