Chair of Annual Reviews, Inc.
Richard N. Zare is renowned for his research in the area of laser chemistry, resulting in a greater understanding of chemical reactions at the molecular level. By experimental and theoretical studies he has made seminal contributions to our knowledge of molecular collision processes and contributed very significantly to solving a variety of problems in chemical analysis. His development of laser induced fluorescence as a method for studying reaction dynamics has been widely adopted in other laboratories.
Dr. Zare is the Marguerite Blake Wilbur Professor in Natural Science at Stanford University. He was born on November 19, 1939 in Cleveland, Ohio, and is a graduate of Harvard University, where he received his B.A. degree in chemistry and physics in 1961 and his Ph.D. in chemical physics in 1964. In 1965 he became an assistant professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, but moved to the University of Colorado in 1966, remaining there until 1969 while holding joint appointments in the departments of chemistry, and physics and astrophysics. In 1969 he was appointed to a full professorship in the chemistry department at Columbia University, becoming the Higgins Professor of Natural Science in 1975. In 1977 he moved to Stanford University. He was named Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University in 2005. In 2006 he was named a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Professor.
During 1992-1995, Professor Zare chaired the National Research Council’s Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Applications, and chaired the National Science Board the last two years of his 1992-1998 service. In 1997-2000 Professor Zare served as the Chair of the President’s National Medal of Science Selection Committee. In 2007, he was appointed to be an advisor to the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation and became a member of the Board of Directors in 2010. And most recently in 2012 Professor Zare was appointed chair of the Committee on Science, Engineering and Public Policy (COSEPUP) of the three academies, the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. He also currently acts as Chairman of the Board of Directors at Annual Reviews, Inc. He was elected Chairman of the National Science Board, 1996; member of the National Academy of Sciences, Council, 1995; California Academy of Sciences, Honorary Fellow; and member of the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Zare’s honors and awards include the Welch Award in Chemistry for his lifetime achievements in physical and analytical chemistry, 1999; the Allan V. Cox Medal for Faculty Excellence Fostering Undergraduate Research, Stanford, 1997; the NASA Exceptional Scientific Achievement Award, 1997; the 1997 California Scientist of the Year; the National Academy of Sciences Award in Chemical Sciences, 1991, for “pioneering laser-based techniques, deep insights, and seminal contributions, which have influenced every facet of chemical reaction dynamics”; the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, Stanford, 1987; the National Medal of Science, 1983; the Wolf Prize in Chemistry (2005); the Priestley Medal of the American Chemical Society (2010); the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Basic Sciences category (2010); and the King Faisal International Prize in Science (2011).