American Philosophical Society
Member History

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1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences[X]
102. Chemistry and Chemical Biochemistry[X]
1Name:  Dr. Jack David Dunitz
 Institution:  Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich
 Year Elected:  1997
 Class:  1. Mathematical and Physical Sciences
 Subdivision:  102. Chemistry and Chemical Biochemistry
 Residency:  International
 Living? :   Deceased
 Birth Date:  1923
 Death Date:  September 12, 2021
Jack Dunitz's research interests concentrated on the use of crystal structure analysis as a tool for studying a diversity of chemical problems, such as the structure and reactivity of medium-ring compounds, ion-specificity of natural and synthetic ionophores, and molecular structure-energy relationships. From his laboratory came the method of deriving model pathways for prototypic chemical reactions from the structural information in crystal structures, thus making a connection between the "statics" of crystals and the "dynamics" of reacting chemical systems. Other work in related directions included new interpretations of atomic displacement tensors in crystals in terms of internal molecular motions, and studies of experimental electron density distributions from accurate low-temperature X-ray data. Later in his career, he turned to problems of polymorphism, phase transformations in solids and solid-state chemical reactions. Dr. Dunitz studied chemistry at Glasgow University (Ph.D. 1947) and held research fellowship at Oxford University (1946-1948, 1951-1953), the California Institute of Technology (1948-1951, 1953-1954), the U.S. National Institute of Health (1954-1955) and the Royal Institution, London (1956-1957) before accepting a professorship at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in 1957. He held that post until his retirement in 1990, when he became Emeritus Professor of Chemical Crystallography. Dr. Dunitz been elected to membership of several learned societies, including the Royal Society (1974) and has received several awards for his work. In 2001 he was made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has more than 300 scientific papers to his credit and is the author of "X-Ray Analysis and the Structure of Organic Molecules" (1979) and "Reflections on Symmetry in Chemistry... and Elsewhere" (1993). Jack Dunitz died on September 12, 2021 at age 98.
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