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NTU Alumnus Dr. Yuan-Tseh Lee Elected as Future President
Of the International Council for Science

With the support of the majority of members, NTU outstanding alumnus Dr. Yuan-Tseh Lee was elected as the next president for ICSU (International Council for Science) on October 23rd in Mozambique, Africa. He will take up the appointment in 2011. As the president elect of ICSU, Dr. Lee will participate, supervise, and advise the execution and communication of ICSU's meetings at all levels. ICSU is a very important non-governmental international organization which plays a pivotal role in science related issues. Therefore, upon assuming office, Dr. Lee will exert tremendous influence in the international arena.

ICSU was founded in 1931. It currently has 114 national members and 29 international scientific unions. Most of its members are the highest ranking scientific research institutes within the various countries, and the participating scientists mostly work on a pro bono basis. Owing to its non-governmental stance, ICSU is very adept at utilizing its resources, and casts tremendous influence in the formation of international scientific policies. The organization is essentially involved with the coordination of intercontinental scientific, medical, and ecological information, and providing resources for scientific development to the developing countries.

Pursuing the universality of science is ICSU's principal goal. As planet Earth faces the most critical moment in its history, strengthening international scientific development and promoting international cooperation are imperative. Therefore, ICSU will become a very important international organization in the future.

Dr. Lee graduated from NTU's Department of Chemistry in 1959. In 1962 he went to UC Berkeley to pursue graduate studies and earned his doctoral degree in 1965. In the ensuing years he did his post doctoral research work at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Harvard University. In 1968 he was hired to teach at the Department of Chemistry of University of Chicago. Six years later, he relocated to UC Berkeley, where he taught at the Department of Chemistry while serving as the Chief Investigor for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. In 1994, he ended his 32 year teaching and research career in the United States and returned to Taiwan to serve as the President of Academia Sinica. In 2006, he retired from the post after serving for 12 years.

Dr. Lee is known for his eminent achievements in the areas of chemical kinetics, reaction dynamics, molecular beam, and photochemistry. In addition to receiving the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986, his other important academic awards include the U.S. National Medal of Science, the Faraday Medal from the Royal Chemical Society of Great Britain, the Harrison Howe Award from the American Chemical Society, the Peter Debye Award of Physical Chemistry from the American Chemical Society, the Ernest O. Lawrence Award of the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Othmer Gold Medal from the Chemical Heritage Foundation. His greatest scientific contribution was the design of crossed molecular beam apparatus, which he used to probe the mechanisms of atom collision and chemical reactions. His achievements in this area was the principal reason for his winning the Nobel Prize.

Aside from his scholastic eminence, Dr. Yuan-Tseh Lee has actively participated in various kinds of academic consulting and social service work. Owing to his long term concern for issues involving global environmental protection, energy, and the equal distribution of resources and his outstanding performances in these areas, Dr. Lee was elected the future President of ICSU. NTU is proud to have him as its alumnus.

Reference Websites:

  1. http://www.icsu.org/3_mediacentre/RELEASES/ICSU_29GA_Pres_Elect_&_EB_
  2. http://db1n.sinica.edu.tw/textdb/gatenews/showpost.php?rid=1829

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