National Science Board Commission on 21st Century Education in Science,
Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics
Dr. Dudley R. Herschbach
Frank B. Baird, Jr. Research Professor of Science,
Dr. Herschbach shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1986) with Yuan T. Lee and John C.
Polanyi. He has been the Baird Professor of Science at Harvard University since 1976. Dr.
Herschbach has a distinguished history of research, teaching, and public service to science. He
is engaged in several efforts to improve K-12 science education and public understanding of science
and serves as Chair of the Board of Trustees of Science Service, which publishes Science News and
conducts the Intel Science Talent Search and the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.
Dr. Herschbach received his B.S. degree in Mathematics (1954) and M.S. in Chemistry (1955) at
Stanford University, followed by an A.M. degree in Physics (1956) and Ph.D. in Chemical Physics
(1958) at Harvard. After a term as Junior Fellow in the Society of Fellows at Harvard (1957-1959),
he was a member of the Chemical Faculty at the University of California, Berkeley (1959-1963), before
returning to Harvard as Professor of Chemistry (1963). His teaching includes graduate courses in
quantum mechanics, chemical kinetics, molecular spectroscopy, and collision theory, as well as
undergraduate courses in physical chemistry and general chemistry for freshmen, his most challenging
Dr. Herschbach has published over 400 papers. His current research is devoted to methods of
orienting molecules for studies of collision stereodynamics, means of slowing and trapping molecules
in order to examine chemistry at long deBroglie wavelengths, reactions in catalytic supersonic
expansions, and a dimensional scaling approach to strongly correlated many-particle interactions,
in electronic structure and Bose-Einstein condensates.
Dr. Herschbach is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the National
Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, and the Royal Chemical Society of Great
Britain. His awards include the Pure Chemistry Prize of the American Chemical Society (1965), the
Linus Pauling Medal (1978), the Michael Polanyi Medal (1981), the Irving Langmuir Prize of the
American Physical Society (1983), the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1986), jointly with Yuan T. Lee and
John C. Polanyi, the National Medal of Science (1991), the Jaroslav Heyrovsky Medal (1992), the Sierra
Nevada Distinguished Chemist Award (1993), the Kosolapoff Award of the ACS (1994), the William Walker
Prize (1994), and named by Chemical Engineering News among 75 leading contributors to the chemical
enterprise in the past 75 years (1998), and the Council of Scientific Society President's Award for
Support of Science (1999).