Rowland, F. S.

Alternative names
Dates:
Birth 1927-06-28
Death 2012-03-11
Americans
English

Biographical notes:

F. Sherwood Rowland is the Donald Bren Research Professor of Chemistry in Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. In 1995, he shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Mario Molina and Paul Crutzen, "for their work on atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone." Rowland, a specialist in atmospheric chemistry and radiochemistry, has authored or co-authored more than 430 scientific publications. He has been internationally recognized with numerous awards and honors, not only for his groundbreaking work in the laboratory, but also for his efforts to inform other scientists, the public, and policymakers about threats posed by chemical pollutants to earth's atmosphere. In 1974, Rowland was, with Molina (at the time a postdoctoral research associate at UC Irvine), the first to warn that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) released into the atmosphere were depleting earth's critical ozone layer. Research on CFCs and stratospheric ozone eventually led in the 1970s to legislation in the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia regulating the manufacture and use of CFCs, and in 1987 to the Montreal Protocol of the United Nations Environment Programme, the first agreement for controlling and ameliorating environmental damage to the global atmosphere. The terms of the Montreal Protocol were strengthened in 1992 to attain a complete elimination of further CFC production by the year 1996. Measurements in the atmosphere have confirmed that CFC emissions on a global scale have essentially stopped.Rowland was born on June 28, 1927, in Delaware, Ohio, to parents Sidney A. Rowland, a mathematics professor at Ohio Wesleyan University, and Margaret Lois Rowland (née Drake). After graduating from high school in 1943 at the age of 16, he enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan. Two years later, when he was 18, he enlisted in a Navy program to train radar operators. He was in basic training when World War II ended, but he served in the military for two additional years before returning to Ohio Wesleyan, graduating in 1948. He then began graduate study in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, where he earned his master's and doctoral degrees under the direction of Willard Libby, 1960 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Throughout his college, military, and postgraduate years Rowland participated in competitive sports, excelling in both baseball and basketball; he spent two summers playing semi-professional baseball in Ontario.In 1952 Rowland finished his Ph.D. and accepted a position as instructor in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University. That year he also married Joan Lundberg, and in 1953 they had a daughter, Ingrid, and in 1955, a son, Jeffrey. Summers from 1953 to 1955 were spent at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where Rowland's research focused on hot-atom chemistry. In 1956, he accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas where he ran a laboratory conducting research in radiochemistry, rising through the ranks until his promotion to full professor in 1963. The following year he was recruited by the University of California Irvine, to serve as the first chair of the Department of Chemistry. I n 1970 he retired from the chairmanship and began to shift the focus of his research toward atmospheric chemistry and environmental issues, the latter a reflection of cultural influences and the concerns of his own family. Eventually, he and postdoctoral research associate Molina began an investigation of the fate of CFCs in earth's atmosphere, and in 1974 they published their first research article on the subject. Their findings, that the release of CFCs into earth's atmosphere depletes the ozone layer, immediately drew widespread scholarly and media attention. Proposals for laws to limit the manufacture of CFCs, starting with a ban on CFCs as aerosol propellants in consumer products, drew steep resistance from chemical manufacturers who challenged the CFC theory of ozone depletion. For the next three decades, Rowland was at the center of the controversies surrounding not only CFCs and ozone depletion, but also global climate change, serving as a frequent spokesperson on these atmospheric environmental problems in both broadcast and print media. As of 2011 he continues to run the Rowland-Blake Laboratory at UC Irvine with his research partner, Donald Blake. Rowland's professional activities include serving as the foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences from July 1994 to June 2002. In 1995, he created, with Professor Prakesh Tandon of India, the InterAcademy Panel, a global network of the world's science academies, now representing more than 100 academies. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute of Medicine. Beginning in 1991, Rowland served successive one-year terms as president-elect, president, and chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the publishers of Science Magazine.

From the description of F. Sherwood Rowland papers, 1928 - 2009 1960 - 1998. (University of California, Irvine). WorldCat record id: 731212857

Biography

F. Sherwood Rowland is the Donald Bren Research Professor of Chemistry in Earth System Science at the University of California, Irvine. In 1995, he shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry with Mario Molina and Paul Crutzen, "for their work on atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone." Rowland, a specialist in atmospheric chemistry and radiochemistry, has authored or co-authored more than 430 scientific publications. He has been internationally recognized with numerous awards and honors, not only for his groundbreaking work in the laboratory, but also for his efforts to inform other scientists, the public, and policymakers about threats posed by chemical pollutants to earth's atmosphere.

In 1974, Rowland was, with Molina (at the time a postdoctoral research associate at UC Irvine), the first to warn that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) released into the atmosphere were depleting earth’s critical ozone layer. Research on CFCs and stratospheric ozone eventually led in the 1970s to legislation in the United States, Canada, and Scandinavia regulating the manufacture and use of CFCs, and in 1987 to the Montreal Protocol of the United Nations Environment Programme, the first agreement for controlling and ameliorating environmental damage to the global atmosphere. The terms of the Montreal Protocol were strengthened in 1992 to attain a complete elimination of further CFC production by the year 1996. Measurements in the atmosphere have confirmed that CFC emissions on a global scale have essentially stopped.

Rowland was born on June 28, 1927, in Delaware, Ohio, to parents Sidney A. Rowland, a mathematics professor at Ohio Wesleyan University, and Margaret Lois Rowland (née Drake). After graduating from high school in 1943 at the age of 16, he enrolled at Ohio Wesleyan. Two years later, when he was 18, he enlisted in a Navy program to train radar operators. He was in basic training when World War II ended, but he served in the military for two additional years before returning to Ohio Wesleyan, graduating in 1948. He then began graduate study in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Chicago, where he earned his master's and doctoral degrees under the direction of Willard Libby, 1960 winner of the Nobel Prize in chemistry. Throughout his college, military, and postgraduate years Rowland participated in competitive sports, excelling in both baseball and basketball; he spent two summers playing semi-professional baseball in Ontario.

In 1952 Rowland finished his Ph.D. and accepted a position as instructor in the Department of Chemistry at Princeton University. That year he also married Joan Lundberg, and in 1953 they had a daughter, Ingrid, and in 1955, a son, Jeffrey. Summers from 1953 to 1955 were spent at Brookhaven National Laboratory, where Rowland's research focused on hot-atom chemistry. In 1956, he accepted an assistant professorship at the University of Kansas where he ran a laboratory conducting research in radiochemistry, rising through the ranks until his promotion to full professor in 1963. The following year he was recruited by the University of California Irvine, to serve as the first chair of the Department of Chemistry.

In 1970 he retired from the chairmanship and began to shift the focus of his research toward atmospheric chemistry and environmental issues, the latter a reflection of cultural influences and the concerns of his own family. Eventually, he and postdoctoral research associate Molina began an investigation of the fate of CFCs in earth's atmosphere, and in 1974 they published their first research article on the subject. Their findings, that the release of CFCs into earth's atmosphere depletes the ozone layer, immediately drew widespread scholarly and media attention. Proposals for laws to limit the manufacture of CFCs, starting with a ban on CFCs as aerosol propellants in consumer products, drew steep resistance from chemical manufacturers who challenged the CFC theory of ozone depletion. For the next three decades, Rowland was at the center of the controversies surrounding not only CFCs and ozone depletion, but also global climate change, serving as a frequent spokesperson on these atmospheric environmental problems in both broadcast and print media. As of 2011 he continues to run the Rowland-Blake Laboratory at UC Irvine with his research partner, Donald Blake.

Rowland's professional activities include serving as the foreign secretary of the National Academy of Sciences from July 1994 to June 2002. In 1995, he created, with Professor Prakesh Tandon of India, the InterAcademy Panel, a global network of the world's science academies, now representing more than 100 academies. He is also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Institute of Medicine. Beginning in 1991, Rowland served successive one-year terms as president-elect, president, and chairman of the board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the publishers of Science Magazine .

Historical Background

  • 1927: Born June 28 in Delaware, Ohio
  • 1943: Graduates from high school before 16th birthday and enrolls in Ohio Wesleyan University in the fall
  • 1945: Enlists in training program for Navy radar operators
  • 1948: B.A., Ohio Wesleyan University
  • 1951: M.S., University of Chicago
  • 1952: Marries Joan Lundberg Ph.D., University of Chicago
  • 1952 - 1956 : Instructor in Chemistry, Princeton University
  • 1953 - 1955 : Visiting Scientist, Brookhaven National Laboratory (summers)
  • 1956 - 1963 : Assistant, Associate, and Full Professor of Chemistry, University of Kansas
  • 1962: Visiting Scientist, Max Planck Institute, Mainz (January-June)
  • 1964 - 1970 : Professor and Chairman of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine
  • 1964 - 1994 : Professor of Chemistry, University of California, Irvine
  • 1969: Visiting Scientist, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (January-June)
  • 1973: Mario Molina joins Rowland's research team as a postdoctoral research associate
  • 1974: Visiting Scientist, International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna (January-June)
  • 1974: Publication of "Stratospheric sink for chlorofluorocarbons; chlorine atom catalyzed destruction of ozone," in Nature, co-authored with Mario Molina
  • 1975: Orange County Award, American Chemical Society
  • 1975: J. W. Jones Prize, Rochester Institute of Technology
  • 1976: Tolman Medal, American Chemical Society
  • 1977: Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
  • 1977: Billard Award, New York Academy of Sciences
  • 1978: Member, National Academy of Sciences
  • 1978: The use of chlorofluorocarbons as a propellant gas is banned in the U.S.
  • 1979: Szilard Award, American Physical Society
  • 1980: E. F. Smith Lectureship, American Chemical Society
  • 1980: Zimmerman Award, American Chemical Society
  • 1980: Visiting Scientist, Japan Society for Promotion of Science
  • 1981: Visiting Scientist, Technical University Munich (January-October)
  • 1981: Humboldt Fellow, Senior Scientist, Federal Republic of Germany (Munich)
  • 1983: Environmental Science and Technology Award, American Chemical Society
  • 1983: Tyler World Prize in Ecology and Energy and the Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology of the American Chemical Society (with Mario Molina)
  • 1985: "Hole" in the ozone layer is reported by British scientists
  • 1985 - 1989 : Daniel G. Aldrich, Jr., Professor of Chemistry, University of California Irvine
  • 1987: Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer adopted
  • 1987: Esselen Award, American Chemical Society
  • 1987: Charles A. Dana Award for Pioneering Achievements in Health
  • 1988: Global 500 Role of Honour for Environmental Achievement, United Nations Environment Programme
  • 1989: Montreal Protocol ratified by 29 countries and the EEC
  • 1989: UCI Medal
  • 1989: Silver Medal, Royal Institute of Chemistry, United Kingdom
  • 1989: Japan Prize in Environmental Science and Technology
  • 1989 - 1994 : Donald Bren Professor of Chemistry and Earth System Science, UC Irvine
  • 1991: Dickson Prize, Carnegie-Mellon University
  • 1991 - 1993 : Successive one-year terms as President-Elect, President, and Chairman of the Board of the American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • 1993: Robertson Memorial Lecture, National Academy of Sciences
  • 1993: Peter Debye Medal in Physical Chemistry, American Chemical Society
  • 1994: Member, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences
  • 1994 - : Donald Bren Research Professor of Chemistry and Earth System Science, UC Irvine
  • 1994: Roger Revelle Medal, American Geophysical Union
  • 1994: Albert Einstein Prize, World Cultural Council
  • 1994 - 2002 : Foreign Secretary, National Academy of Sciences
  • 1995: Member, American Philosophical Society
  • 1996: Honorary Lifetime Member, Ozone Commission, International Association of Meteorology and Atmospheric Physics (IAMAP)
  • 1997: Alumni Medal, University of Chicago
  • 1997: Nevada Medal
  • 1995: Nobel Prize in Chemistry (with Mario Molina and Paul Crutzen)
  • 1995 - 2000 : Founding Co-chair (with P. N. Tandon, India) Inter-Academy Panel (IAP) on International Issues
  • 2000: CoSIDA Academic All-America Hall of Fame
  • 2003: Gold Medal, Academy of Athens
  • 2004: Member, Academia Bibliotheca Alexandrina
  • 2004: Foreign Member, Royal Society (U.K.)
  • 2006: Chemical Breakthrough Award, American Chemical Society (with Mario Molina)

From the guide to the F. Sherwood Rowland papers, Bulk, 1960-1998, 1928-2009, (Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries)

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Subjects:

  • Ozone depleting substances
  • Ozone layer depletion
  • Global warming--Research
  • Environmental policy
  • Nobel Prize winners--Archives
  • Communication in science

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  • Physical scientists

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