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F. Sherwood Rowland

F. Sherwood RowlandAKA Frank Sherwood Rowland

Born: 28-Jun-1927
Birthplace: Delaware, OH
Died: 10-Mar-2012
Location of death: Corona del Mar, CA
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Ozone depletion

Military service: US Navy radar operator (1945-47)

American chemist F. Sherwood Rowland studied under Willard F. Libby, Edward Teller, and Harold C. Urey, and collaborated with Mario J. Molina on a study that showed the environmental dangers of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Rowland and Molina's report, published in 1974, established that CFCs (compounds used in aerosol propellants, refrigerants, and some plastic foams) tend to rise to the upper atmosphere, where they are broken down to their chemical components by exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light, and subsequently act to destroy the ozone that protects humanity from the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Roland and Molina's work was initially ridiculed -- and still is, by those who object to its findings on economic grounds -- but was soon verified by the National Academy of Sciences. The use of CFCs was subsequently restricted in the United States and many other nations, and Rowland, Molina, and Dutch meteorologist Paul J. Crutzen were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995.

Father: Sidney Archibald Rowland (mathematics professor at Ohio Wesleyan)
Mother: Margaret Lois Drake Rowland (Latin teacher)
Brother: Robert Sidney Rowland (marketing executive)
Brother: Richard Rowland
Wife: Joan Lundberg (m. 7-Jun-1952)
Daughter: Ingrid (b. 1953 at Princeton)
Son: Jeffrey (b. 1955 at Huntington Long Island)

    High School: Rutherford B. Hayes High School, Delaware, OH (1944)
    University: BA Chemistry, Ohio Wesleyan University (1948)
    University: MS Chemistry, University of Chicago (1951)
    University: PhD Chemistry, University of Chicago (1952)
    Lecturer: Chemistry, Princeton University (1952-56)
    Teacher: Chemistry, University of Kansas (1956-64)
    Professor: Chemistry, University of California at Irvine (1964-89)
    Professor: Donald Bren Professor of Chemistry, University of California at Irvine (1989-)

    ACS Richard Tolman Medal 1976
    APS Leo Szilard Award 1979
    Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement 1983 (with Mario J. Molina)
    Charles A. Dana Award 1987
    Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry 1993
    AGU Roger Revelle Medal 1994
    WCC Albert Einstein World Award of Science 1994
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1995 (with Paul J. Crutzen and Mario J. Molina)
    Japan Prize 1989
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    American Association for the Advancement of Science President, 1992
    American Philosophical Society
    American Physical Society
    Institute of Medicine
    National Academy of Sciences 1978
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Secretary, 1994-2002
    Royal Society Foreign Member, 2004
    US Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship, 1952
    Risk Factors: Parkinson's


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