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Election Year: 1959
Scientific Discipline: Chemistry
Membership Type: Member
Chemist Henry Taube is known for his work on the mechanisms of oxidation-reduction reactions. His work refined our understanding of engine combustion, plant photosynthesis, and animal respiration. His research also encompassed the use of transition metals and isotopically labeled compounds to follow the sequencing of reactions. In 1983 he became the first Canadian-born chemist awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Taube completed his undergraduate degree in 1935 and his master’s degree in 1937, both at the University of Saskatchewan. In 1940 he received his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. After his doctoral studies, Taube worked at Cornell University until 1946, when he became a member of the University of Chicago staff. While at the University of Chicago, he served as chairman of the chemistry department from 1956 to 1959. He joined the faculty at Stanford University as a professor in 1962 and served as chair of the chemistry department in the 1970s. Taube was awarded the American Chemical Society’s highest honor, the Priestly Medal, in 1985.