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2018 - Professor Pamela Ronald

Dr. Pamela Ronald is a Distinguished faculty member in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis and also serves as founding director of the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy.

Dr. Ronald studies rice genes that control resistance to disease and tolerance to environmental stress. Ronald and colleagues received the 2008 USDA National Research Initiative Discovery Award for their research on rice submergence tolerance. In 2011, Ronald was selected as one of the 100 most creative people in business by Fast Company Magazine. In 2012 Ronald and colleagues received the Tech Award for innovative use of technology to benefit humanity. In 2014 she was named one of the world’s most influential scientific minds by Thomson Reuters, in 2015 was selected by Scientific American as one of the world’s 100 most influential people in biotechnology and in 2016 was named one of the 50 innovators and visionaries who will lead us toward a more sustainable future by Grist magazine.

Ronald is co-author of Tomorrow’s Table: Organic Farming, Genetics, and the Future of Food. Bill Gates calls the book “a fantastic piece of work” and “important for anyone that wants to learn about the science of seeds and challenges faced by farmers.” In 2012, Tomorrow’s Table was selected by The New Earth Archive as one of the 25 most powerful and influential books with the power to inspire college readers to change the world. Ronald’s 2015 TED talk has been viewed by more than 1.5 million people and translated into 24 languages.

Pam Ronald holding rice bowl
Dr. Pamela Ronald is a Distinguished Professor in the Department of Plant Pathology and the Genome Center at the University of California, Davis and also serves as founding director of the UC Davis Institute of the UC Davis Institute for Food and Agricultural Literacy.

2017 - Professor James G. Anderson

James G. Anderson was born in Spokane, Washington. He earned his B.S. in Physics from the University of Washington and his Ph.D. in Physics and Astrogeophysics from the University of Colorado. He joined the faculty of Harvard University in 1978 as the Robert P. Burden Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry; in 1982 he was appointed the Philip S. Weld Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry. Anderson served as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology from July 1998 through June 2001.

Anderson was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a frequent contributor to National Research Council Reports. He is a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship; the E.O. Lawrence Award in Environmental Science and Technology; the American Chemical Society’s Gustavus John Esselen Award for Chemistry in the Public Interest; and the University of Washington’s Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumnus Achievement Award.

In addition, Dr. Anderson has received the United Nations Vienna Convention Award for Protection of the Ozone Layer in 2005; The United Nations Earth Day International Award; Harvard University’s  Ledlie Prize for Most Valuable Contribution to Science by a Member of the Faculty; and the American Chemical Society’s National Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology.

Research

The Anderson research group addresses three domains in the physical sciences:

  1.  chemical reactivity viewed from the microscopic perspective of electron structure, molecular orbitals and reactivities of radical-radical and radical-molecule systems;
  2. chemical catalysis sustained by free radical chain reactions that dictate the macroscopic rate of chemical transformation in Earth’s stratosphere and troposphere; and
  3. mechanistic links between chemistry, radiation, and dynamics in the atmosphere that control climate.


Videos courtesy of The Harvard Crimson.