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Bell elected to National Academy of Sciences

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Alex Bell, the Dow Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and professor of chemical engineering
Alex Bell, the Dow Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and professor of chemical engineering.

April 30, 2010

Alex Bell, the Dow Professor of Sustainable Chemistry and professor of chemical engineering, has been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) along with two other UC Berkeley professors.

Says Bell, “I was very pleased to learn that I was elected to the NAS. This recognition would not have been possible, though, without the hard work and dedication of my group members, past and present, with whom it has been my privilege to work.”

Bell joins departmental colleague John Prausnitz as one of the very few chemical engineers who are members of both the National Academy of Engineering and the National Academy of Sciences.

Membership in the academy is one of the highest honors given to a scientist or engineer in the United States. Members are chosen for their excellence in original scientific research and serve on panels that investigate and report to government agencies on areas of science or art.

Says chemical engineering chair Jeff Reimer, “Alex has made profound contributions to our understanding of catalytic surfaces and has been a pioneer in both experiment and theory, merging them seamlessly and with unprecedented elegance and relevance.”

The 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 14 countries who were announced recently bring the total active membership in the society to just over 2,000. The new members will be inducted into the academy in April 2011 during its 148th annual meeting in Washington, DC.

Other new UC Berkeley members are Michael I. Jordan, professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, and David Aldous, a professor of statistics. With the three new electees, UC Berkeley now counts 136 NAS members and foreign associates among its faculty.

The NAS is a private, nonprofit honorific society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to furthering science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Established in 1863, the academy has served to “investigate, examine, experiment, and report upon any subject of science or art”, whenever called upon to do so by any department of the government.

More Information

For a complete list of new NAS members and associates, link to

For more information about the academy, visit

Alex Bell Research Group website

Alex Bell Departmental webpage

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