Vol. 31 No. 1
Yuan Tseh Lee to Be President of the International Council for Science
Yuan Tseh Lee, a Nobel Prize–winning chemist from Taipei, China, has been elected president of the International Council for Science (ICSU). A world leader in the field of chemical dynamics, Lee was elected by representatives of ICSU’s 114 National Members and 29 International Scientific Unions at the 29th General Assembly in Maputo, Mozambique, 21–24 October 2008. He will take up the appointment in April 2010 and will succeed the current president, Catherine Bréchignac, in October 2011.
|Yuan Tseh Lee
Lee was born and educated in Taipei before moving to the USA where he obtained a Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965. In the ensuing years, his career flourished, both as a creative scientist and an inspiring teacher. In 1986, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his seminal contribution to the development of reaction dynamics—a new field of research in chemistry at the time. His use of crossed molecular beams allowed the study of complex reaction mechanisms beyond the capability of previous methods. Lee returned home in 1994, taking up the position as President of the Academy of Sciences in Taipei. Under his 12-year leadership the institution was transformed into a world-class research center, attracting scholars and creative young scientists from around the world.
His achievements have been recognized with many awards and professional memberships, which include the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World. He has been involved with ICSU for 15 years and served on the Standing Committee on Freedom in the Conduct of Science from 1996 to 2005.
“I am honored and excited to be elected the next president of ICSU, an organization that has been at the forefront of international science for more than 75 years,” said Lee. “As a child I was inspired by Madame Curie who believed that scientific knowledge belonged to all mankind.* It is my strong belief that ICSU will pave the way in ensuring that scientific knowledge is available to all—a critical factor in providing the solutions for sustainable development, climate change mitigation, global human health issues, and alleviating poverty.”
*An interview with Lee was published in the November 2008 issue of Chemical Education International.
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