Allen Joseph Bard—a tribute on the occasion of his 80th birthday
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With this Festschrift issue of the Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry, we bow before Allen Joseph Bard, the outstanding scientist and educator, the great electrochemist, and bright intellectual. We celebrate his 80th birthday which gives an excellent opportunity to express our high esteem to Allen, a superb and innovative researcher on behalf of the community of electrochemists and electroanalytical chemists.
Allen Joseph Bard is Hackerman-Welch Regents Chair Professor of chemistry and director of Center for Electrochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin.
Born on December 18, 1933 in New York City, he started his studies at the City College of New York, and got his summa cum laude B.Sc. degree in chemistry, in 1955. He continued his studies in chemistry at Harvard University, obtained both M.A. in 1956 and Ph.D. degrees in chemistry in 1958, where James J. Lingane, then a leading researcher in the field of electroanalytical chemistry, was his mentor. He started to work at the University of Texas in 1958, and became a professor there in 1967.
It is certainly not easy to summarize all the activities and achievements of Professor Bard. This would require a whole book or at least a complete volume of the journal. He is the author of more than 900 research papers, the number of citation of his works is more than 50,000, his Hirsch index is 120. He is 11th in the recent Hirsch index list of all chemists. Those are just the actual numbers in the beginning of the year 2013, because in the last 3 years, his citation number was ca. 3,000 in each year. He also has 24 patents. And Al is still very active, continues to publish papers (e.g., 26 in 2012 alone!), writes, and edits books. The organizers of any conference are happy to invite him to present plenary lectures and research talks since he always attracts a large audience. We had the great pleasure of working with Allen on the Electrochemical Dictionary (Springer) that first appeared in 2008, and the second, revised edition in 2012 enjoying his wise advices, profound knowledge, and meticulous checking of all entries.
He wrote excellent books: Chemical Equilibrium, Electrochemical Methods—Fundamental and Application with L.R. Faulkner and Integrated Chemical Systems: A Chemical Approach to Nanotechnology. The ’Bard-Faulkner’ (1980, 2nd edition 2001) is on the bookshelf of practically every electrochemist, and has been used in teaching courses for thousands of graduate students. Prof. Bard edited several book series including Electroanalytical Chemistry, Encyclopedia of the Electrochemistry of Elements, Encyclopedia of Electrochemistry (with M. Stratmann), and a fundamental book: Standard Potentials in Aqueous Solutions (with R. Parsons and J. Jordan).
Allen Bard pioneered the development of the scanning electrochemical microscope, which allows for high-resolution chemical imaging of surfaces and the study of chemical reactions at the nanoscopic regime. He carried out fundamental research on the electrochemically generated electroluminescence reactions and immunoassay commercial technology, which by now is used worldwide not only in research but also in medical diagnosis. He and his team were the first to investigate the electrochemistry of particle semiconductors for solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. He was among the first researchers who published papers on polymer film electrodes, who used ESR for the study of the intermediates of organic redox reactions, who challenged to expand the limits for electrochemical reactions by working under extreme conditions.
His achievements have been honored by many awards. We mention just the most prestigious ones herein. Among his awards was the Priestley Medal in 2002 which is the highest honor conferred by the American Chemical Society and is awarded for distinguished service in the field of chemistry. Allen Bard was awarded the 2008 Wolf Prize in Chemistry for “creation of a new field of science”, the single-molecule spectroscopy and imaging. Last but not least Professor Bard received the National Medal of Science, which recognizes “individuals who have made outstanding contributions to science for extraordinary knowledge in and contributions to chemistry”, from the President of the USA in 2013.
He was elected a member of the US National Academy of Science in 1982, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1990. He has served on the US National Research Council. Prof. Bard is a very active member of the international scientific community. He has been a determining scientists in the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, he was its president between 1991 and 1993, in the International Society of Electrochemistry, and in The Electrochemical Society. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Chemical Society for almost a record 16 years. He has been a member of the Editorial Board of several other journals, to our greatest pleasure also of the Journal of Solid State Electrochemistry.
Last but not least, he has worked as mentor and collaborator with 75 Ph.D. students, 17 M.Sc. students, 150 postdoctoral associates, and numerous visiting scientists. It is an impressive number but which is even more important that his former students and co-workers are very grateful to him who was not only a wonderful teacher and advisor during their studies and collaboration but he remained an always helpful mentor to them throughout their career.
We hope that Professor Bard will be glad to see the present collection of papers of his former students, postdocs, and co-workers who have been inspired by him in his laboratory and following his example became successful researchers not only in the USA but all around the world.
Many happy returns of the day!