Curriculum Vitae, Awards and Honours

 

Professor JOHN MEURIG THOMAS

 

Date of Birth:  15 December 1932, Llanelli, Wales, UK

 

 

Present Positions Held:

  • Honorary Professor of Materials Science, University of Cambridge (2002- )
  • Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Davy Faraday Research Laboratory, Royal Institution of Great Britain, London (since 2002)
  • Honorary Distinguished Professor of Materials Chemistry, Cardiff University, Wales (2005- )
  • Distinguished Visiting Professor of Nanoscience, University of South Carolina, USA (2005- )
  • Honorary Distinguished Professor of Materials Chemistry, University of Southampton (2006- )

 

Positions formerly held:

  • Director, Royal Institution of Great Britain (1986-91)
  • Director, Davy Faraday Research Laboratory (1986-91)
  • Fullerian Professor of Chemistry, Royal Institution (1988-1994)
  • Head, Department of Physical Chemistry, University of Cambridge and Professorial Fellow at Kings College, Cambridge (1978-86)
  • Master (Head) of Peterhouse (College), University of Cambridge (1993-2002)
  • Deputy Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Wales (1991-94)
  • Professor of Chemistry and Head of Department , University College, Wales, Aberystwyth (1969-78)
  • Assistant Lecturer, Lecturer, Reader in Chemistry, University of Wales, Bangor (1958-69)

 

National and International Awards:

2007

The International Precious Metal Institute Distinguished Achievement Award “for pioneering contributions to the field of heterogeneous catalysis using precious metals”.

2005

Sir George Stokes Gold Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry “for pioneering and innovative electron based nanochemical analysis”.

2004

Guilio Natta Gold Medal, Italian Chemical Society “for outstanding work in catalysis”.

2003

Linus Pauling Gold Medal, Stanford University “for contributions to the advancement of science”.

 

1999

First recipient of American Chemical Society Award “for Creative Research in Heterogeneous and Homogeneous Catalysis”;

1997

Honorary Medal Krakow Academy of Knowledge Poland “for Distinguished Public Service”;

1996

Semenov Centenary Medal, Russian Academy of Sciences

Honorary Medal, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw

Longstaff Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry

1995

Willard Gibbs Gold Medal of the American Chemistry Society (first British chemist to be honoured in 80 years): “for pioneering work in solid-state chemistry and materials science…..  His original work (on solids) has led to major advances in the science and technology of absorbents and catalysts”;

New mineral, meurigite, named in his honour by International Mineralogical Association to recognise his pioneering work in geochemistry.

1994

Davy Medal of the Royal Society (its premier medal in the Physical Sciences)

1992

Messel Gold Medal, Society of Chemical Industry, awarded biennially “for meritorious distinction in science, literature, industry or public affairs”

1989

Faraday Medal, Royal Society of Chemistry (its premier medal, awarded every three years) Sesquincentenary Medal of the Royal Microscopical Society

 

Other Medals

  • Hugo Muller Medal (1983), Solid-State Chemistry Medal (1978), Tilden Medal (1973), Corday Morgan Medal (1969) [all from the Royal Society of Chemistry]
  • The Pettinos Prize (first recipient) American Carbon Society (1969)
  • Bruce-Preller Prize, Royal Society of Edinburgh (1989)
  • Silver Medal “for services to science celebrating 750th Anniversary of the University of Siena” 2005

 

Honorary Doctorates from:

Wales (LL.D); Council of National Academic Awards (D.Litt); Heriot-Watt, Edinburgh (D.Sc); Birmingham (D.Sc); Open University (D.Univ); Lyon, France, (D.Sc); Complutense, Madrid (D.Sc); Glamorgan (D.Sc); Western Ontario, Canada (D.Sc); Eindhoven, The Netherlands (D.Sc); Hull (D.Sc); Surrey (D.Univ); Aberdeen (D.Sc); American University in Cairo (D.Sc); Turin, Italy (D.Sc); Clarkson, USA (D.Sc); Sydney, Australia (D.Sc); Osaka Prefecture Univ., Japan.

 

 

Honorary Foreign Fellowships or Memberships:


·         2006, European Academy of Sciences

·         2005, Mendeleev Chemical Society, Moscow;

·         2004, Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Rome;

·         2003, Göttingen Academy of Sciences;

·         1999, Royal Spanish Academy of Sciences;

·         1998, Polish Academy of Sciences;

·         1998, Hungarian Academy of Sciences;

·         1995, Third World Academy of Sciences, Trieste;

·         1994, Academy of Sciences of Venezuela;

·         1994, Russian Academy of Sciences;

·         1993, Royal Society of Edinburgh;

·         1992, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia;

·         1991, Engineering Academy of Japan;

·         1990’ American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Cambridge

·         1989, Academia Europaea;

·         1985, Indian National Academy, New Delhi;

·         1981, Indian Academy, Bangalore;


 

John Meurig Thomas holds over forty honorary fellowships in universities and colleges in the UK and elsewhere in the world.  A Fellow of the Royal Society since 1977, in 1999 he was elected Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering for work that has profoundly added to the science base of heterogeneous catalysis leading to the commercial exploitation of zeolites through engineering processes”.  Also in 1999 he was made (hon) Fellow of the Institute of Physics.

Served as Government Advisor on the Council on Applied Research and Development (1982-85) at the Cabinet Office, Whitehall, London.

Chairman of CHEMRAWN (Chemical Research Applied to World Needs) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (1988–1992).

President of the Faraday Division of the R.S.C., and of the Chemistry Division of the  British Association for Advancement of Science; of the London International Youth Science Festival; and a Trustee of the National Science Museum (1990-5) and of the Natural History Museum (1989-91).  He is the vice-President of the Cambridge University Musical Society (1994- ).

In 2000, the Electron Microscopy and Microanalysis Society of the Americas held a three-day symposium in his honour at their annual convention in Philadelphia.

He has broadcast extensively on radio and television in the UK and abroad, and given numerous popular lectures to lay audiences world-wide and lunch-time lectures at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

 

Named Lectureships Abroad and in the UK:

John Meurig Thomas has given over a hundred of these world wide, including those named in honour of:

Rutherford (New Zealand); Van’t Hoff (Royal Academy Netherlands), Helmholtz (Berlin), Darwin (Cambridge), Debye (Utrecht), Pauling (Caltech, Stanford and Oregon), Larmor (Cambridge), Baker (Cornell), Woodward (Harvard and Yale), Pitzer (Berkeley), Krishnan (New Delhi), Bernal (London), Ziegler (Germany),Liversidge (Sydney, Polanyi (Toronto), Sunner (Lund, Sweden), Willard Gibbs (ACS, Chicago), Faraday (RSC, London), Birch (Canberra), Hund (Stuttgart), Watson (Caltech), Drickamer, (Urbana) Taylor (Penn State), Guggenheim (Reading), Rogers (Michigan), Shipley (Clarkson), Oersted (T U Denmark) Bakerian (Royal Society, London).

In 1986 he was a plenary speaker, along with Professor Ken-ichi Fukui, at the Japan Key Technology event, Tokyo, to honour the sixtieth year of the reign of the Emperor of Japan.

 

In 2006, plenary speaker at Tercentenary Celebrations of birth of Benjamin Franklin, American Philosophical Society, Philadelphia.

 

Short-term Visiting Professorships have been held at:


  • Scuola Normale Superiore, Pisa;
  • University of Florence;
  • Technical University, Eindhoven;
  • Ecole Nationale Superieure, Paris;
  • Jawaharal Nehru Center for Advanced Studies, Bangalore
  • Max Planck Institute, Mülheim;
  • Weizmann Institute of Science;
  • Universities of Western Ontario, McMaster and Calgary
  • University of California, Berkeley;

 

  • Texas “A and M” University;
  • Yale University;
  • Cornell University;
  • Indiana University;
  • Northwestern University;
  • Pennsylvania State University and Arizona State University;
  • California Institute of Technolog;y
  • University of Sydney;
  • Ruprecht–Karls–Universität, Heidelberg.

 

 

In 1991 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for

“services to chemistry and the popularisation of science”


 

 

            Awarded Medal of the Honourable Society of Cymmrodorion (London) for services to Welsh culture and British public life (2003) — first scientist to be so honoured since its inception 160 years ago.

John Meurig Thomas is the author of over 900 research papers on the materials and surface chemistry of solids, and over 100 review articles on science, education and cultural issues.  He is the co-author of 25 patents, two University texts on Heterogeneous Catalysis and a biographical-philosophical study of Michael Faraday, 1991 (Japanese Translation 1994; Italian Translation, 2007).