Emory Report
December 11, 2006
Volume 59, Number 14




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December 11 , 2006
Emory chemist Hill named AAAS fellow

By beverly clark

Emory University chemist Craig Hill has been elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Election as an AAAS fellow is an honor bestowed upon members by their peers.
Awarded to 449 members this year, the individuals were chosen because of their efforts to advance science or applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished. This year’s AAAS fellows were announced in the Nov. 24 issue of the journal Science, and will be presented with an official certificate and pin Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Fellows Forum during the 2006 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco.

In addition to his AAAS honor, Hill was also elected a Distinguished Fellow of the Victorian Institute of Chemical Sciences, an honor bestowed by Australia. He will give talks in several locations in Australia in June and July 2007. He also was elected as chair of the National Science Foundation Workshop in Inorganic Chemistry for 2007–2009, a meeting which potentially impacts 500 or more investigators and research groups in this area of science.

Hill, Goodrich C. White Professor of Chemistry, joined Emory in 1983 and is renowned for his work in inorganic, catalytic and nanomaterials chemistry. Hill and his research group, among other accomplishments, have developed a pollution-free method of converting wood pulp to paper. The process uses oxygen instead of chlorine as the whitener and water as the solvent, thus generating only carbon dioxide and water as byproducts instead of chlorinated chemical pollutants. This bleaching/conversion approach mimics nature with the use of inorganic mineral cluster compounds called polyoxometalates, or POMs, to break down and whiten the wood pulp.

In general, Hill and his research group design and investigate the properties of nanosize cluster molecules and develop their applications in medicine and technology, including environmentally friendly green chemical processes, the detection and destruction of toxic compounds, catalysis and other uses. They also do fundamental research on the nature of reactions involving inorganic compounds and materials.

Hill was cited by AAAS “for establishing many of the fundamental properties of metal oxygen anion clusters and pioneering unprecedented catalysts, pharmaceuticals and functional materials based on this science.”

The tradition of AAAS fellows began in 1874. Founded in 1848, AAAS has worked to advance science for human well-being through its projects, programs and publications, in the areas of science policy, science education and international scientific cooperation. AAAS and its journal, Science, form the world’s largest general federation of scientists.