Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Taiwanese appointed to Pontifical Academy of Sciences

One of the few international arenas where Taiwanese can still function relatively free from the meddling of the Mainlanders. It might not be much from a secular perspective, but for Taiwanese-American Catholics (all ten of us), it's proud moment.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Benedict XVI appointed two new members of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences. They are Klaus von Klitzing, professor of physics at the Max-Planck-Institute for Solid State Research in Stuttgard (Germany), and Yuan-Tseh Lee, professor of chemistry and president of the Academia Sinica in Taipei.

Yuan Tseh Lee was born on November 19, 1936, in Hsinchu, Taiwan, and earned a B.Sc. in 1959 from the National Taiwan University. After a M.Sc. from the National Tsing Hua University, he moved to the United States where he got a Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1965. As a post-doctoral student he began experiments on reactive scattering in ionic-molecular reaction.

In 1968 he became assistant professor at the University of Chicago, which in a few years became an important centre for the study of crossed molecular beams.

In 1974, he returned to Berkeley as professor of chemistry. Here he pursued his research into various primary photochemical processes and the spectroscopy of ionic and molecular clusters.

In 1994 he retired as professor and principal investigator at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, UC-Berkeley, and was appointed president of Taiwan’s Academia Sinica

In 2006 he became President Emeritus and Distinguished Research Fellow.

Professor Lee was also awarded many international prizes, including the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1986.