Past Winners of the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize

Philippe Walter with Benjamin Franklin and Antoine-Laurent de Lavoisier at the 2010 presentation of the prize.

Maurice Hamon, 2012

Maurice Hamon is general relations director for the Saint-Gobain Group, a French multinational corporation that was founded in 1665 as a mirror manufacturer but that now also produces a variety of construction and high-performance materials. In his position Hamon is in charge of the company’s historical files, protecting, organizing, and making accessible a whole part of the history of inorganic chemistry in France from 1780 to the 1970s. All the records preserved under the scientific management of Hamon are open to historical and scientific research, and contribute in a decisive way to the history of innovation on a long-term basis.

Hamon is the author of several books about the synthesis of the industrial industry in general and of the industrial history of Saint-Gobain in particular. He also manages students’ and researchers’ access to the chemical files of Saint-Gobain.

Philippe Walter, 2010

Philippe Walter is director of the laboratory of the Centre de Recherche et de Restauration des Musées de France at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS).

In collaboration with colleagues at the CNRS and the Louvre, Walter has analyzed the composition of several samples of ancient Egyptian eyeliner from the Louvre’s collection and concluded that Egyptians pioneered the art of synthetic wet chemistry up to 4,000 years ago. Ultimately this work demonstrates that, by incorporating new chemicals in eyeliners, the Egyptians achieved antibacterial properties that helped prevent infections common during periods when the Nile flooded and contaminated water induced diseases and inflammations.

Walter curated the 2009 exhibition Belle comme la Romaine at the Cluny Museum in Paris. He also helped organize the 2002 exhibition Parfums d’Egypte in Paris and Cairo.

He serves on a number of advisory committees and boards, including those of the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, the graduate school of the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre, and the Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle. Since 2009 he has been charged with the French side of a joint French-American archaeological initiative aimed at developing interdisciplinary cultural research.

The many honors and distinctions Walter has received include the iXCore Foundation Prize, the Grammatikakis-Neuman Chemistry Prize, the CNRS Bronze Award, and the CNRS Silver Award. Walter received a master’s degree in physics from Ecole Normale Superieure, a Ph.D. in geochemistry from University Paul Sabatier, and habilitation in chemistry from Université Pierre et Marie Curie.

Robin Clark, 2008

The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie (FMC) presented the inaugural Franklin-Lavoisier Prize to Robin Clark on 28 January 2009 at La Maison de la Chimie in Paris, France.

Robin J. H. Clark is Sir William Ramsay Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and former Dean of Science at University College London. He studied at the Universities of Canterbury and Otago and received a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry at University College London. His research in inorganic chemistry and spectroscopy—more recently on metal-metal bonded complexes; mixed-valence chemistry; infrared, Raman and resonance Raman spectroscopy; matrix isolation spectroscopy; spectroelectrochemistry; and pigment studies mainly by Raman microscopy—has led to the publication of more than 500 scientific papers, 3 books, and 36 edited books.

Clark has held visiting professorships in 11 countries and has lectured at over 350 universities and institutions in 36 countries throughout the world. He has served on many national committees, including the councils of the Royal Society, the Royal Institution of Great Britain, University College London, and the Senate of the University of London. He has chaired the Steering Committee of the International Conferences on Raman Spectroscopy.

In 1989 Clark was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of London and a member of the Academia Europaea in 1990, a Fellow of University College London in 1992, an Honorary Life Fellow of the Royal Institution of Great Britain in 2004, and a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences, India, in 2007. He received an honorary D.Sc. from the University of Canterbury in 2001 and, in 2004, he was appointed a Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to science. In 2008 he gave the Bakerian lecture, the Royal Society's premier annual Prize Lecture in the physical sciences.

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