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Rudy Marcus at 100

Professor Rudolph (Rudy) A Marcus, Nobel Prize winner and Honorary Fellow of Univ, celebrates his 100th birthday today, 21 July.

Professor Marcus is the John G Kirkwood and Arthur A Noyes Professor of Chemistry at The California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, California, USA. He was Visiting Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, IBM, at Univ in 1975-1976. He was elected an Honorary Fellow of Univ in 1995 and he received an Honorary Doctorate degree from the University of Oxford in the same year.

“Professor Marcus has made an incredible contribution to science. We are delighted that he is part of the Univ community. We all wish him a very happy birthday.”
Baroness Valerie Amos LG, Master of Univ

Professor Collins with Professor Marcus

Professor Marcus was born on 21 July 1923 in Montréal (Québec), Canada. He received his doctorate from McGill University, Montreal, in 1946. From 1951 he worked at the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. In 1964 he joined the faculty of the University of Illinois, leaving in 1978 for Caltech. A heavily published and awarded chemist and researcher, Professor Marcus has contributed greatly to the modern field of chemistry. He established what is now known as the Marcus theory to explain electron transfer reactions and was awarded the 1992 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for this important research.

He is the recipient of numerous awards, honorary doctorates, honorary memberships, lifetime achievement awards, medals and honorary citizenships. 2012 saw the inauguration of the “Rudy Marcus Chemical Sciences Laboratories” at McGill University, and the “Rudolph A. Marcus Conference and Festival” took place in Singapore in 2013.

“Rudy Marcus is a scientific legend: a towering giant in the field of chemical theory, whose phenomenal intellectual legacy will continue to influence scientists for generations to come. Warm congratulations to him on the occasion of his 100th birthday!”
Professor David Logan, Coulson Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and Professorial Fellow in Chemistry

“Rudy was by far the most distinguished theoretical chemist in my own immediate field, so I was delighted to be able to use the IBM fund to attract him to Oxford and John Albery was equally pleased attract him to Univ.”
Professor Mark Child FRS, Emeritus Professor of Theoretical Chemistry and former Coulson Professor of Theoretical Chemistry at Oxford

Professor Marcus was interviewed by Professor Michael Collins, Univ Emeritus Fellow, at Caltech in February 2023. The interview was filmed by Professor Marcus’s son, Professor Alan Marcus FRHistS FRSA, Chair in Creative and Cultural Practice at the University of Aberdeen. Watch the video below or read the transcript.

“I always like building things, and in retrospect science really is something like that. You put bits and pieces together and you get sometimes a beautiful structure coming out, almost miraculously.”
Professor Rudolph A Marcus, Honorary Fellow of Univ

Published: 21 July 2023

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