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Curriculum Vitae, William N. Lipscomb, Jr.

William Lipscomb Home Page
Biographical Information and Publications
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Born December 9, 1919 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Died April 14, 2011 in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

(Posthumous addition).

B. S. in Chemistry, University of Kentucky


Ph. D. in Chemistry, California Institute of Technology 


Civilian, Office of Scientific Research & Development


University of Minnesota

Assistant Professor of Physical Chemistry


Associate Professor


Acting Chief, Physical Chemistry Division


Professor and Chief, Physical Chemistry Division


Harvard University

Professor of Chemistry


Chairman, Department of Chemistry


Abbott and James Lawrence Professor of Chemistry


Abbott and James Lawrence Professor, Emeritus


Honors, Fellowships and Memberships

M. A. (hon.) Harvard University, 1959

D. Sc. (hon.) University of Kentucky, 1963

Doctor, honoris causa, University of Munich, 1976

D. Sc. (hon.) Long Island University, 1977

D. Sc. (hon.) Rutgers University, 1979

D. Sc. (hon.) Gustavus Adolphus College, 1980

D. Sc. (honoris causa) Marietta College, 1981

D. Sc. (hon.) Miami University, 1983

D. Sc. (hon.) University of Denver, 1985

D. Sc. (hon.) The Ohio State University, 1991

D. Sc. (honoris causa) Translvania University 1992

D. Sc. (honoris causa) Mahidol University, Bangkok Thailand, 2003

Bausch and Lomb Honorary Science Award, 1937

Sullivan Medallion, University of Kentucky, 1941

American Chemical Society, Chairman, Minneapolis Section, 1949

Sigma Xi, Phi Beta Kappa (1940, Alpha of Kentucky chapter), Alpha Chi Sigma (1939, Alpha Gamma U. of Kentucky chapter), Phi Lambda Upsilon (1949, Honorary Membership in 1976), Sigma Pi Sigma, Phi Mu Epsilon

American Crystallographic Association, President, 1955

Mineralogical Society of America, 1958

American Academy of Arts and Sciences, elected Fellow 1960

National Academy of Sciences, elected 1961

American Physical Society, elected Fellow, 1963

Member USA National Committee for Crystallography, 1954-58, 1960-63, 1965-67

Distinguished Alumni Centennial Award, University of Kentucky, 1965

National Science Foundation Senior Postdoctoral Fellow, 1965-66

American Chemical Society Award for Distinguished Service in the Advancement of Inorganic Chemistry, 1968

George Ledlie Prize, Harvard University, 1971

Honorary Member, The Chemical Society (London), 1972

Overseas Fellow, Churchill College, Cambridge, England, 1966, 1973

Peter Debye Award in Physical Chemistry, American Chemical Society, 1973

Guggenheim Fellowships (Oxford University, England, 1954-55; Cambridge, England, 1972-73)

Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, 1976

Foreign Member, Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, 1976

Distinguished Alumni Award, California Institute of Technology, 1977

Honorary Member, Mathematical Association of America, for Friday evening, August 11, 1978 (a performance of chamber music)

The Linus Pauling Medal (Stanford University, 1978/79)

Honorary Member, International Association of Bioinorganic Scientists, 1979

Senior U. S. Scientist Award, Alexander von Humboldt-Stiftung, 1979/1980

International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, 1980

Member, Académie Europeenne des Sciences, des Arts et des Lettres, Paris, France, 1980

Honorary Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry (London), 1983

National Institutes of Health MERIT Award, 1986.

Slater Medal, World Association of Theoretical Organic Chemists, Budapest, Hungary, 1987

Corresponding Member, Academy of Arts and Sciences of Puerto Rico, 1991.

Award for Structure and Bonding, International Committee on Boron Chemistry, 1996.

Corresponding Member of the Mexican Academy of Sciences 1996

Honorary Foreign Member, Korean Academy of Science and Technology, 1997

Inaugural Outstanding Alumni Award, University of Kentucky, 1999

Boron Americas (BUSA) Award for Pioneering Achievements in Theoretical and Structural Aspects of Boron Hydrides, January 3, 2002

The Erice Prize. Elected by the members of the World Federation of Scientists, 2008.

William N. Lipscomb, Jr. High Performance Computing Cluster, 40 TFLOP Dell supercomputer, University of Kentucky, 2010.

Award Lectures

Harrison Howe Lecture, Rochester Section, ACS, 1958

Evans Award Lecture, Ohio State University, 1974

Gilbert Newton Lewis Memorial Lecture, California Section, ACS, 1974

Remsen Award, Maryland Section, ACS, 1976

Nobel Lecture, The Boranes and Their Relatives, Stockholm, Sweden, 1976.

City College of New York Chemistry Alumni Award of Scientific Achievement, 1984 (Symposium)

G. M. Kosolapoff Award Lecture, Auburn Section, ACS, 1986

Special Lectures

Lecturer in Physics and Chemistry at University of Michigan, 1953

Frontiers in Chemistry Lecture, 1954 and 1967

Francis Clifford Phillips Lecture, Phi Lambda Upsilon, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1959

Lecturer NSF Suminer Institutes, 1956, 1957, 1958, 1963

Four College Lecture Series, Amherst, Smith, University of Massachusetts, Mt. Holyoke, 1963

Distinguished Lecture Series, Howard University, 1966

Welch Lecture Series, Texas, 1966

General Lecture, Seventh International Congress of Crystallography, Moscow, USSR, 1966

Phillips Lecture in Chemistry, University of Oklahoma, 1967

Priestley Lectures, Pennsylvania State University, 1967

Sherwin-Williams Seminars in Chemistry, University of Illinois, 1967

George Fisher Baker Lecturer, Cornell University, 1969

William Pyle Phillips Lectures, Haverford College, 1968

Invited Lecture, Brookhaven Symposium on Structure, Function and Evolution in Proteins, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1968

Dedication of Science Research Building, University of West Virginia, 1969

Coover Lecture, Iowa State University, 1969

Nieuwland Lectureship, University of Notre Dame, 1970

American Cyanamid Lecture, University of Connecticut, 1970

Invited Lecture, Burgenstock, Conference on Stereochemistry, 1970

Invited Lecture Series at UCLA, 1970, 1971

Invited Lecture, 8th International Congress of Biochemistry, Switzerland, 1970

Invited Lecture, First National Biochemical Congress, Detroit, Michigan, 1970

Invited Lecture, Stereochemical Symposium, Sheffield, England, 1970

Invited Lecture, Gordon Research Conference on Biopolymers, 1970

Invited Lecture, Round Table Roussel (Conformational Analysis), Paris, France, 1971

Pi Alpha Lectures, Emory University, 1971

Mardi Gras Symposium in Theoretical Chemistry, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1971

Invited Lectures, Symposium on Enzyme Stereochemistry and Symposium on Modern Approaches to Macromolecular Structure and Dynamics, American Society of Biological Chemists, San Francisco, California, 1971

Symposium on Aspects of Enzyme Structure and Function, American Chemical Society, Washington, D. C., 1971

Robert A. Welch Foundation, Conference on Bioorganic Mechanisms, Invited Lecture, 1971

Symposium Lecture, American Crystallographic Association, 1972

Harvard Lecture, Yale University, 1972

Centenary Lectures, The Chemical Society, London, 1972

Mathers Lectureship in Chemistry, Indiana University, 1972

Dedication at Opening of the Graduate Biochemistry Facility, Pennsylvania State University, 1972

Merck Distinguished Lectureship, Rutgers University, 1973

General Lecture, American Crystallographic Association, 1973

Institute of Physics, X-ray Analysis Group, England, 1973

Invited Symposium Lecture, 9th International Congress in Biochemistry, Stockholm, 1973

Distinguished Science Speaker Series, 50th Anniversary, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, Texas, 1974

Distinguished Lecturer Program, Syracuse Section, American Chemical Society, 1974

Invited Lecture, Squaw Valley Conference on Assembly Mechanisms, 1974

Invited Lecture, 2nd International Boron Chemistry Meeting, Leeds, England, 1974

Weizmann Lectures, Weizmann Institute, Rehovoth, Israel, 1974

Symposium Lecture, Van't Hoff Centenary Commemoration, University of Leiden, The Netherlands, 1974

Moderator, 10th Burgenstock Conference on Stereochemistry, Biirgenstock, Switzerland, 1974

Invited Lecture, The Seventh Harden Conference, Wye, England, 1974

Table Ronde Roussel Uclaf, "The Active Sites of Enzymes," Paris, France, 1974

City University of New York, Graduate Center, Lectures in Biochemistry, 1974

Public Lecture, Science Center Series, Harvard University, 1975

Renaud Lectures, Michigan State University, 1975

Visiting Distinguished Lecturer, University of Iowa, 1975

Workshop on the Crystallography of Molecular Biology, Erice, Sicily, 1976, Invited Lecturer

Kilpatrick Lectures, Illinois Institute of Technology, 1976

Plenary Lecture, 100th Birthday Anniversary of Alfred Stock, German Chemical Society, Third International Meeting on Boron Chemistry, Munich, Federal Republic of Germany, 1976

Invited Lecture, 10th International Congress of Biochemistry, Hamburg, Federal Republic of Germany, 1976

IBM Lectures, Williams College, 1976

Lecture upon Honorary Membership in Phi Lambda Upsilon, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 1976

Thomas A. Edison Memorial Lecture, NRL Chapter of Sigma Xi, Washington, DC, 1977

The duPont Lectures, University of South Carolina, 1977

Invited Lectures in Chemistry, Westinghouse Research Laboratories, 1977

The Sixth A. L. Patterson Memorial Lecture, The Fox Chase Cancer Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1977

Current Biological Problems: A School for Physical Scientists, Battelle Research Center, Seattle, Washington, 1977

Plenary Lecture, American Crystallographic Association, Michigan State University, 1977

Alpha Chi Sigma 75th Anniversary Lecture, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin, 1977

CIBA Foundation, Invited Lecture, London, England, 1977

Invited Lecture, Mardi Gras Symposium, New Orleans, Louisiana, 1 978

Sixth Annual Minority Biomedical Support Symposium, Atlanta, Georgia, 1978

Fourth Annual Symposium on Chemistry and Molecular Biology (Naff), University of Kentucky, 1978

Robbins Lecture, Pomona College, Claremont, California, 1978

Dreyfus Lecture, Hope College, Holland, Michigan, 1978

Invited Lecture, Gordon Conference on Diffraction Methods in Molecular Biology, 1978

Invited Lectures, Sixth International Biophysics Conference, Tokyo, Japan, 1978

Merck-Bucknell Lecturer for 1978-79, Bucknell University, 1978

Ramapo-Industry Science Lecturer, Ramapo College of New Jersey, 1978

University Lecture Series, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 1978

Symposium, Association of Harvard Chemists, 1978.

Invited Talk, New England Section, American Physical Society, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, 1981

GAF Lectures, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, 1981

Invited Lecture, 32nd Mosbach Colloquium, German Biochemical Society, 1981

The Plenary Lecture, Seventh International Symposium on Borons, Borides and Related Compounds, Uppsala, Sweden, 1981

Keynote Lecture, International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry, Vancouver, British Columbia, 1981

Invited Speaker, Bi-National Colloquium for. Humboldt Awardees, Princeton University, 1981

Waldo Semon Lecture, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio, 1981

Wellcome Lecture, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, 1981

Invited Lecture, The Wolf Foundation, on the occasion of the awarding of the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, 1982

Walker-Ames Professorship, University of Washington, Spring 1982

Tenth Peter A. Leermaker Symposium, Distinguished Lecturer, Wesleyan University, 1982

Invited Lecture, Ettore Majorana, Center for Scientific Culture, Erice, Sicily, 1982

Invited Lecture, Gordon Research Conferences, New London, New Hampshire, 1982

Invited Speaker, International Symposium on Structure and Dynamics of Nucleic Acids and Proteins, La Jolla, California, 1982

Invited Speaker, Southern Illinois University Chemistry Conference, 1982

Invited Lecture, 1982 Walter J. Chute Distinguished Lecture Series, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia

Invited Lecture, Visiting Scholars Program, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, 1982

Guest Lecture, State University of California at Los Angeles, 1983

Invited Lecture, Distinguished Lecture Series, Bard College Center, 1983

Dakin Memorial Lecture, Adelphi University, 1983

René Wasserman Lecturer, Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, New Iersey, 1983

Invited Speaker (Opening Address), Regional Meeting of ACS jointly with Ohio Valley Chromatography Symposium, Miami University, Oxford, Ohio, 1983

Distinguished Speaker in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, 1983

Invited Speaker, Symposium on Vibrational Spectroscopy and Chemical Structure, in honor of Bryce Crawford, Jr., University of Minnesota, 1983

Invited Lecture, Kuratorium fiir die Tagungen der Nobelpreistrager, Lindau, Federal Republic of Germany, 1983

Plenary Lecture, Imeboron V, University of Swansea, Wales, 1983

Invited Speaker, Governor's Scholars Program, University of Kentucky, 1983

Invited Speaker, Rafinesque Bicentennial Celebration, Transylvania College, Lexington, Kentucky, 1983

Invited Speaker, University of Texas at Arlington, 1983

Inaugurating Speaker, Leslie Hellerman Lectureship, Department of Physiological Chemistry, Johns Hopkins Medical School, 1983

Invited Speaker, The R. P. Scherer 50th Anniversary Chemistry Seminar Series, University of South Florida, 1983

Distinguished Guest Lecturer, University of Calgary, Departments of Chemistry and Biochemistry, 1984

Plenary Lecture, 50th Anniversary of the Israel Chemistry Society, Jerusalem, 1984

1984 City College Chemistry Alumni Medalist, City University of New York

Invited Speaker, American Crystallographic Association Meeting, Lexington, Kentucky, 1984

Invited Lecture, Yunan University and Zhonshan University, People's Republic of China, 1984

Invited Speaker, Governor's Scholars Program, Centre College and Eastern Kentucky University, 1984

Invited Speaker, Department of Biochemistry, University of Toronto, 1984

Organizer, Conference XXVIII. Chemistry in Texas: The 30th Year of the Welch Foundation, 1984

Nobel Laureate Symposium on Applied Quantum Chemistry in Honor of K. Fukui, G. Herzberg, R. Hoffman, W. N . Lipscomb and R. S. Mulliken, The 1984 International Chemical Congress of the Pacific Basin Societies, Oct. 16-19, 1984, Honolulu, Hawaii.

Invited Speaker, Ninth Enzyme Mechanisms Conference, sponsored by Merck Sharp & Dohme Research Laboratories, Tarpon Springs, Florida, 1985

Keynote Speaker, Conference on Computer Assisted Drug Design, Chicago, Illinois, 1985

Invited Speaker, Dedication Program, Atlanta University Center, Atlanta, Georgia, 1985

Invited Speaker, UCLA Symposia on Molecular & Cellular Biology, Keystone, Colorado, 1985

Invited Speaker, Symposium on the Mechanism of Enzyme Action, to honor Dr. George Schwert, University of Kentucky, 1985

Invited Speaker, Swarthmore College, Chemistry Department, 1985

Invited Speaker, Louis Laboratory Symposia Series, Johnson Wax, 1986

Invited Speaker, Opening Ceremonies of New Chemistry Laboratory, Nova Pharmaceutical Corporation, 1986

First Auburn-G. M. Kosolapoff Lecturer, Auburn University, 1986

Invited Speaker at "A Salute to Linus Pauling," California Institute of Technology, 1986

Invited Speaker at Wake Forest University, Winston-Salein, North Carolina, 1986

Invited Speaker at International Symposium on Enzymology to Cellular Biology, Gif-Sur-Yvette, France, 1986

Commencement Address Speaker at the Sayre School, Lexington, Kentucky, 1986

Invited Lecturer at St. Olaf's College, Northfield, Minnesota, 1986

Honorary Chairman of Advisory Board for the Pew Appalachian Fellowships for Mathematical and Natural Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1986

Distinguished Lecturer at the Governor's Scholars Program, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, 1986

Invited Speaker at the International Symposium on Molecular Physics, Chemistry and Biology in Paris, France, 1986

Invited Speaker at the ATCase Meeting at the Castle in Gif, 1986

Invited Speaker at the Institute for Inorganic Chemistry, Munich, Federal Republic of Germany, 1986

Invited Speaker at the 36th Meeting of Nobel Prize Winners in Lindau at the Kuratorium, Lindau, Federal Republic of Germany, 1986

Invited Speaker at the Symposium on Computational Chemistry at the Gordon Research Conference, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, New Hampshire, 1986

Invited Speaker at the Symposium on the Chemistry and Physics of Biological Processes at Harvard University's 35Uth Anniversary, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, 1986

Invited Speaker at the International Symposium on the Commission on Small Molecules, Peking University, Beijing, The People's Republic of China, 1986.

Carl M. Stevens Lecturer in the Chemistry Department at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington, 1986

Received the National Library of Medicine Commemorative Medal Award Honoring America's Nobelists in Washington, D. C., 1986

Honored at the 90th American Nobel Anniversary Dinner in New York, 1986

Invited Guest and Participant at the NIH High School Centennial Scholars Program in Bethesda, Maryland for American Laureates and High School Scholarship Recipients, 1987

Monthly Seminar Speaker in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Southern California, University Park, Los Angeles, California, 1987

Invited Speaker at the March Meeting of the American Chemical Society, Southern California Section, Pierce College, Woodland Hills, California, 1987.

Invited Seminar Speaker in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of California in Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California, 1987

Member of the Kentucky Governor's Council on Science and Technology, Kentucky, 1987

Presented the Annual H. Martin Friedman Lecture in the Department of Chemistry, Brooklyn College, Brooklyn, New York, 1987

Nobel Laureate Lecture in the School of Natural Sciences, California State University, Long Beach, California, 1987

Chemistry Day Speaker, American Chemist Society, Baltimore, Maryland, 1987

Fourth Annual Nobel Laureate Lecture, sponsored by United States Agency for International Development and the Science Society of Thailand, 1987

Nobel Lecturer at Rangoon University, Rangoon, Burma, sponsored by the United States Information Agency Prograins in Burma, 1987

Plenary Lecture, World Association of Theoretical Organic Chemists, Budapest, Hungary, 1987

Institute of Materials Science Distinguished Lecturer, The University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut, 1988.

Honoree in Louisville, Kentucky, where Mr. and Mrs. Fred Jones presented a replica of Professor Lipscomb's Nobel Prize to the Christian Church Homes of Kentucky, Inc., 1988

Lecturer, Nobel Laureate Lecture Series, Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Kentucky, 1988

Distinguished Lecturer, Frontiers of the Physical Sciences Symposium, AAAS, Boston, Massachusetts, 1988

Distinguished Lecturer, Quantum Theory Project, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, 1988

Participant, Nobel Laureate Peace Conference, "Facing the 21st Century: Threats and Promises" Paris, France, 1988

Nobel Laureate Lecturer at the American Crystallographic Association's Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 1988

Featured Speaker, Cray Research, Inc., Executive Luncheon and Discussion Forum, Lincolnshire, Illinois, 1988

Special Lecturer at the Electron Deficient Clusters Conference, Donald P. and Katherine B. Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California, 1989

1988 Sigma Xi Lecturer, Bowling Green State University Chapter, Bowling Green, Ohio, 1989

Special Lecturer, Charlotte Schellman Retirement Symposium, University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon, 1989

Plenary Speaker, 24th Junior Scientific Meeting, American Chemical Society-Puerto Rico Section, and Featured Speaker, 9th Puerto Rico Interdisciplinary Scientific Meeting of the Resource Center for Science and Engineering at the University of Puerto Rico,- held at Catholic University of Puerto Rico, 1989

Lecturer and Participant, "Allostery: Twenty-Five Years Later," established by the Centre Nationale de la Recherche Scientifique Laboratoire D'Enzymologie, Gif-sur-Yvette, France, held at the Marine Biology Station, Roscoff, Brittany, France, 1989

Special Lecturer, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Terre Haute, Indiana, and a Performance of Chamber Music, 1989

Invited Speaker, Department of Chemistry, Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, and a Performance of Chamber Music, 1989

Invited Speaker, ATCase Meeting, Brussels, Belgium, 1989

Invited Speaker and Participant, 39th Nobel Laureates Gathering, Lindau, Federal Republic of Germany, 1989

Invited Speaker, Protein Structure and Engineering, 10 Ettiore Majorana / NATO Summer Institute, Erice, Sicily, 1989

Invited Speaker, Fourth International Conference on Bioinorganic Chemistry, Cambridge, MA, 1989

Invited Speaker, Governor's Scholars Program, Frankfort, Kentucky, 1989

Invited Speaker, Symposium on Innovations in Drug Design, Merrill Dow Research Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio, 1989

Chemical Centennial Lecture, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 1989

Invited Speaker, 32nd West Central State Biochemistry Conference, Lincoln, NE, 1989

Invited Lecturer and Performance of Chamber Music, New York Academy of Sciences, New York, NY, 1990

Invited Lecturer in Seminar: "lndustrial Perspectives in Biotechnology," Ohio State Biotechnology Center, Columbus, OH, 1990.

Lecture and Forum on Science and the Liberal Arts: An Interface, and a Performance of Chamber Music, University Studies Program, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, 1990

Lecture, Mahidol University, Bangkok, Thailand, 1990.

Invited Lecturer, Boron in the USA Meeting, Research Triangle Park, NC, 1990

Invited Speaker, Governor's Scholars Program, Frankfort, Kentucky, 1990

Plenary Lecture, Seventh International Meeting on Boron Chemistry, Torun, Poland, 1990

Invited Lecturer, ATCase Workshop, Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas, 1990

Invited Lecturer, Genes and Enzymes of Pyrimidine Biosynthesis, a Satellite Meeting of the 1990 ASBMB Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA 1990

Invited Lecturer, SAMBAS III, (Sites Actifs Metalliques en Biologie et Analogues Synthetiques), Lake Bostalsee, Near Saarbrucken, Germany, 1990

Invited Lecturer, Table Ronde Roussel-Uclaf No. 67 Molecular Recognition, Allosteric Receptors and Drug Design, Chateau de Maffliers, Near Paris, France, 1990

Invited Lecturer, Symposium on Structural Basis of Ligand-Regu.lated Protein Function, University of Michigan Medical School Biomedical Research Couricil,-.Ann Arbor, Ml, 1990

The CORI Lecture, Medical Foundation of Buffalo, Inc. Research Institute, 1990

Invited Lecturer, Proteins, Design and Function, Emil Thomas Kaiser Memorial Symposium, The Rockefeller University, 1990

Seminar and University Scholars Lecture, University of Pennsylvania, 1991

Sanibel Symposium in Honor of W. N. Lipscomb, "Structure and Activity of Biomolecules I and II; Electron Deficient Molecules I and II, Ponce de Leon Convention Center, St. Augustine, Florida, 1991

Invited Lecturer, MEITEC World Forum, Tokyo and Osaka, Iapan, 1991

Invited Speaker at ATCase Meeting, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA, 1991

Chemistry-Pharmacy Seminar, and Honorary Degree, Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio, 1991

Keynote Speaker, Distinguished Biomedical Researchers Lecture Series (The Robert M. Carrie Lecture), University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, VA, 1991

Invited Lecturer, Governor's Scholars Program, Frankfort, Kentucky, 1991

Plenary Speaker, Second Pan American Chemical Congress, San Juan, Puerto Rico, 1991

Invited Lecturer in "Selected Topics in Biochemistry: Allosteric Proteins," The Rockefeller University, New York, NY, 1991

Invited Lecturer, Uppsala University, 90th Year Celebration of the Nobel Prizes, Uppsala and Stockholm, Sweden, 1991

Keynote Speaker, Fred Hirshfeld Symposium on Structural Chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Rehovot, Israel, 1992

Visiting Professor, "Frontiers in Chemical Research," Texas A & M University, College Station, TX, 1992

Commencement Speaker, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY, 1992

Invited Speaker and Participant, Nobel Laureates Gathering, Lindau, Federal Republic of Germany, 1992

Plenary Speaker, Boron USA, Pullman, WA, 1992

Governors Scholars Program, Lexington and Murray, KY, 1992.

Congratulatory Remarks, 24th International Chemistry Olympiad, Washington, DC, 1992

Invited Lecturer, George Hitchings Symposium, Harvard University, 1992

Organizer and Lecturer, The Robert A. Welch Foundation Conference on Chemical Research. XXXVI. "Regulation of Proteins by Ligands," Houston, TX, 1992

Keynote Speaker, Whirlpool Chapter of Sigma Xi 35th Annual Banquet, Benton Harbor, MI, 1993

Invited Lecturer, Beckman Symposium, "Protein Structure and Function," University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, 1993

Invited Lecturer, Symposium on Macromolecules, NCI-Frederick Cancer Research and Development Center, Frederick, MD, 1993.

Invited Lecturer, Symposium on Recent Advances in the Chemistry of Main Group Elements, Regional ACS Meeting, Austin, TX, 1993

Plenary Lecture, 10th FAOB Symposium, Taipei, Taiwan, 1993.

Invited Lecture, Keystone Symposium on Structural and Molecular Biology of Protease Function and Inhibition, Santa Fe, NM March 5-9, 1994.

Invited Lecture, International Symposium on Biological NMR, Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA 1994.

Invited Lecture and Concert, Project to Link Science and Humanities, Eastern Kentucky State University, Richmond, KY, 1994.

Sigma Xi Lecture, University of North Carolina, Ashville, NC 1994.

Invited Lecture and Concert, BUSA IV, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, 1994

Invited Lecture, Anton Burg and Inorganic Chemistry, Past, Present and Future, University of Southern California, 1994

Invited Lecture, Rededication of Leigh Hall, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, 1994.

Plenary Lecture, 11th FAOBMB Symposium, Bangkok, Thailand, 1994.

Watkins Visiting Professor, Wichita State University, Wichita, KS 1995.

Invited Lecture, Life and Work of Linus Pauling (1901-1994): A Discourse on the Art of Biography, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 1995

Invited Lecture, Chemistry Nobel Laureates, Lindau Germany, June 26-30, 1995.

Invited Lecture, Table Rounde Rousel UCLAF, near Paris, July 6-7, 1995.

Invited Lecture, Rossman Symposium, Oct. 20-21, 1995.

Loker Symposium, University of Southern California, Dec. 14-15, 1995.

IMEBORON IX, Heidelberg, Germany, July 14-18, 1996.

Beethoven Op. 11. International Union of Crystallography Evening Concert: clarinet, cello, piano, Seattle WA (no date).

BUCY Guest Lecturer, Lecture on The Influence of Linus Pauling, Texas Tech, University, Lubbock, Texas, Mar. 13 1997.

Invited Lecture, III Symposium of Sciences and Engineering in Chemistry and Biology Fields, University of the American, Pueblo, Mexico, Mar. 12, 1997.

Invited Lecture, Protein Dynamics, Function, and Design, International School of Structural Biology and Magnetic Resonance, NATO Advance Study Institute, Erice, Sicily, April 16-28, 1997.

Invited Lecture, Asian Federation for Medicinal Chemistry, International Medical Chemistry Symposium, AIMECS 97, July 27-Aug. 1, 1997.

Lecturer, Distinguished Lecture Series, Macromolecular and Cellular Structure and Chemistry Program, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, CA, Oct. 8, 1997.

Invited Lecture, Chemical Research - 2000 and Beyond, American Chemical Society - New York Section, Symposium on Challenges and Visions, Rockefeller University, New York, NY, Oct. 18, 1997.

The Ira Kukin Lecture, Chemistry of the 20th Century, Yeshiva University, New York, NY, Nov. 19, 1997.

Plan and Attend, The Linus Pauling Exhibit, San Francisco, Mar. 28-29, and Sept. 19, 1998.

The Patrick Lecture, Kansas State University, Apr. 23, 1998.

A concert of chamber music, Boron USA (BUSA), Athens, GA, May 14-16, 1998.

Invited Lecture, Nobel Laureate Conference, Lindau, Germany, June 29 - July 3, 1998.

Plenary Lecture, The Science Society of Thailand, Bangkok, Oct. 1998.

Meeting with Senator Frist, American Mathematical Society Committee on the Support of Scientific Research and Science Education (A. Jaffee), June 1998.

Invited Lecture to ACS Symposium on Chemistry in the National Agenda: The Contribution of Research to the Nation, Boston, MA, Aug. 23, 1998.

The Wiley Lecture, Hanford Symposium, Pacific NW National Laboratory, Richland, WA, Nov. 4-5, 1998.

Biophysics Seminar, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biophysics, Columbia University Medical School, New York, NY, Nov. 13, 1998.

Invited Lecture, Council of Scientific Society Presidents, Washington, D.C., Dec. 7, 1998.

Invited Lecture to Erice, Sicily, Fourth Course, International School fo Structural Biology and Magnetic Resonance, May 25 - June 5, 1999.

Invited Lecture, University of Illinois, DeKalb, Apr. 19, 1999.

Invited Lecture, Sciences that will Affect the Future: Chemistry and Genetics, Center for Nonlinear Studies (CNLS), Los Alamos National Laboratory, NM, June 5-9, 2000.

The Colonel's (William Lipscomb's) 80th Birthday Symposium, Harvard University, Cambridge MA, May 13, 2000.

ATCase Workshop, Detroit, MI, July 13-15, 2000.

Nobel Laureate Conference, Lindau, Germany, June 26-30, 2000.

Invited Lecture, Biophysics and the Challenges of Emerging Threats, 8th Cource, International School of Structural Biology and Magnetic Resonance, NATO Advance Study Institute, Erice, Sicily, June 19-30, 2007.

Invited Lecture, Biophysics and the Challenges of Emerging Threats, 9th Cource, International School of Structural Biology and Magnetic Resonance, NATO Advance Study Institute, Erice, Sicily, June 22 - July 2, 2009.

Research Grants

Office of Naval Research, National Institutes of Health, National Science Foundation


The name Lipscombite given by J. W. Gruner to an iron phosphate mineral, 1953

Chairman, Program Committee for 4th International Congress of Crystallography, Montreal, Canada, 1957

Associate Editor of Journal of Chemical Physics, 1955-57

Associate Editor of Journal of American Chemical Society, 1959-68

Visiting Committees, Argonne National Laboratory, 1957-65, Brookhaven National Laboratory, 1953-65

Chairman, Panel Area for Structure, Physical Properties and Characterization, NAS-NRC Committee for the Survey of Chemistry {Westheimer Committee), 1964

Visiting Committee for the Department of Chemistry, California Institute of Technology, 1969-73

Board of Trustees, Museum of Science, Boston, Massachusetts, 1965-68

Advisory Committee on the Center for Structural Biochemistry, Brookhaven National Laboratories, 1970

Co-organizer of Conference on Enzyme Mechanisms, Santa Barbara, California, 1970

Commission Scientifique de Chimie des Instituts Internationaux de Physique et de Chimie, fondés par E. Solvay, 1977

Board of Associates, Linus Pauling Institute of Science and Medicine, 1977

Committee for the Wolf Prize in Chemistry, 1980 and 1981

Organizer, Symposium on Structure-Function Relationships in Proteins, Nucleic Acids and Viruses, University of Minnesota, 1979

Member, Scientific Advisory Board, The Robert A. Welch Foundation, 1982-2009

Member, Board of Directors, Dow Chemical Company, 1982-1990

Advisory Committee, The Institute for Amorphous Studies and Consultant to Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., 1983-

Member, Scientific Advisory Board of Daltex Medical Sciences, Inc., 1984-

Member, Scientific Advisory Bond of NOVA Pharmaceutical Corporation, 1985-

Member, Structural Biology Center Advisory Board, Argonne National Laboratory, 1989-

Member, Scientific Advisory Board of Gensia Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 1991- 

William Lipscomb Science Award at the Sayre School (the secondary school from which Bill graduated) given annually to an upper-level (high school) student.  Award citation: "Dr. Lipscomb attended Sayre and won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. This award is given to students who share the love of science and enthusiasm in the pursuit of scientific ideas."  The award was given at least from 2004-2013.  The link to the award at the head of this section is to the Upper School Student Handbook 2012-2013.  This, and other, awards do not appear in the Upper School Student Handbook 2013-2014 in the Upper School Academics section. (Posthumous addition)

(More Other honors in the Posthumous Honors section below).

Research interests are in the relationship between structure and function, including the relationship of three-dimensional structure and mechanisms of enzymes and other proteins (carboxypeptidase A, concanavalin A, aspartate transcarbamylase, glucagon, fructose-1,6-bisphosphatase, leucine aminopeptidase, chorismate mutase, carbonic anhydrase), and including the relationship of geometric and electronic structures in theoretical inorganic and organic chemistry (boron hydrides, carboranes, electric and magnetic molecular properties, barriers to internal rotation, valence theories of complex molecules, localized orbitals, group theory).

Books and Meetings in honor of William Lipscomb


Electron Deficient Boron and Carbon Clusters, (Wiley) Eds: G.A. Olah, K. Wade, and R.E. Williams.  [An outgrowth of the Jan. 1989 research symposium at the Loker Hydrocarbon Research Institute on Electron Deficient Clusters, the book is dedicated to William N. Lipscomb, “The leading exponent of multi-center two-electron bonding.”.  Dedication to "The Colonel" by F. Albert Cotton, 3 pp.,]  Wiley – Interscience, New York, 1989.

Proceedings of the International Symposium on Quantum Chemistry, Solid-State Theory and Molecular Dynamics, International Journal of Quantum Chemistry, Quantum Chemistry Symposium No. 25, St. Augustine, FL, March 9-16 (1991).  Ed. P.O. Lowdin, Special Eds. N.Y. Orhn, J.R. Sabin, and M.C. Zemer.  Published by John Wiley and Sons. 1991.

Structures and Mechanisms: From Ashes to Enzymes (Amazon) (Acs Symposium Series) Gareth R. Eaton (Editor), Don C. Wiley (Editor), Oleg Jardetzky (Editor), .[Autobiographical sketch by William Lipscomb, 14 pp., and Chapter 1: The Landscape and the Horizon. An Introduction to the Science of William N. Lipscomb, by Gareth Eaton], 16 pp. American Chemical Society, Washington, DC, 2002.

(More books in the Posthumous Honors section below).


Lipscomb's 65th birthday symposium, Denver, organized by Gareth and Sandra Eaton.  Among the speakers was Linus Pauling. 1985,

Lipscomb's 70th birthday symposium.  “A celebration of William N. Lipscomb's 70th birthday, organized by Stephen K. Burley, Jin Yun Liang, and Raymond C. Stevens was held June 18-20, 1990, in Cambridge, MA, at Harvard University.  The scientific theme of the meeting was structure and function in chemistry and biology, and the two-day scientific program drew 100 participants and included invited presentations and posters from former Lipscomb Laboratory postdoctoral fellows, graduate students, and collaborators.  The meeting was opend by F. Peter Boer, President of W.R. Grace Company, and scientific sessions were chaired by Rodney J. Bartlett (Theoretical Chemistry), Gareth R. Eaton (Inorganic Chemistry), and Lyle H. Jensen (Macromolecules).  Crystallographers were well represented amongst the invited speakers, including Robert Blau, Richard E. Dickerson, Thomas F. Koetzle, Douglas C. Ress, Michael G. Rossman, Thomas A. Steitz, and Don C. Wiley.  A very elegant program/abstract booklet was prepared by Jean Evans and Irving Geis.  The well-known water color of carboxypeptidase-A by Geis served as the front cover illustration of the booklet and the original painting was presented to Lipscomb at the conference banquet.  Naturally, the banquet closed with a chamber music performance by Lipscomb and musical colleagues.” – Stephen K. Burley, Jim Liang, and Raymond C. Stevens, ACA Newsletter, Sept. 1990.

Lipscomb's 80th birthday symposium.  Organized by G.R. Eaton, Oleg Jardetsky, and D.C. Wiley, a meeting was held in the Fairchild Lecture Hall at Harvard University.  Speakers were Douglas Rees, Rodney Bartlett, Stephen Burley, Irving Epstien, Karin Reinisch, Roald Hoffmann, Eric Gouaux, Lou Massa, Florante Quiocho, Michael Rossmann, Russell Grimes, and Thomas Steitz.  At the dinner Lipscomb and Donald Bermam played the “Fantasy Pieces” by Robert Schumann. May 12-14, 2000,

Lipscomb's 85th Birthday Symposium, Shanghai, P. R. China. Hosted by the Drug Discovery and Design Center (DDDC), Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM), Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), "During the symposium lasting for 2 days, 15 famous scientists will exhibit their insight around topics related to Structural Biology, Boron Chemistry and Theoretical Chemistry." Speakers: Ada E. Yonath, David A. Dixon, Dennis S. Marynick, Douglas C. Rees, Florante A. Quiocho, Hong Guo, Hualiang Jiang, Jianpeng Ma, Joan Steitz, Joel Sussman, Kurt L. Krause, Michael L. McKee, Rodney J. Bartlett, Tom Steitz, and Zihe Rao. August 9-12, 2005.

Lipscomb's 90th birthday party; G.R. Eaton keynote speaker.  Marc Abrahams showed a video tape of Bill's participation over the years at his Ig Nobel Prize Ceremonies.  James Lipscomb displayed the clock and played a recording of Herb Beall singing his song about it.  Former students gave their reminisces. Nov. 15, 2009.

Lipscomb's second 90th birthday party. Put on by performers at Marc Abrahams Ig Nobel Prize Ceremonies.  Songs. Dec. 12, 2009.

(More meetings in the Posthumous Honors section below).

Posthumous Honors

Other (continuing the section above)

Obituaries, Apr. 14, 2011.

Bill Lipscomb is Gone.  Online Annals of Improbable Research.  Short tribute and reprint of an interview.  April 2011.

Special Issue Remembering Professor Lipscomb, pages 6-15. Annals of Improbable Research (AIR), Volume 17, Issue 43, July/Aug. 2011.

William Lipscomb Fellowship in Inorganic Chemistry, Harvard University Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology,  Prof. Lipscomb had a small amount of Harvard research funds remaining when he passed away.  The funds reverted to Departmental control and could be used in a manner that advanced our research and teaching mission.  In consultation with the Chair, it was decided that the most appropriate use of these funds would be to provide a partial fellowship for an outstanding graduate student in the field of Inorganic Chemistry.  Evan King was selected and the totality of the remaining funds were used to partially support him for one year.  2011.

Alpha Chi Sigma Hall of Fame, "... for his lifelong work as an ambassador for chemistry as a central science and its power and synergy when applied to other disciplines."  July 30, 2014.

William Lipscomb Fellowship, Being created by Raymond C. Stevens (former student of William Lipscomb) at the Stevens Laboratory, Department of Molecular Biology and Chemistry, The Scripps Research Institute, La Jolla, California, (work in progress).

Books and Meetings in honor of William Lipscomb

Books (continuing the section above)

Boron Science: New Technologies and Applications. Edited by Narayan Hosmane,  CRC Press, 878 pp., Oct. 3, 2011.  (CRC Press) (Amazon)
This is a book dedicated to Lipscomb,  "... 29 chapters and 58 authors.... This book is the first of its kind to comprehensively cover the latest in boron science in a single source. The text addresses the application of boron in chemistry, industry, medicine, and pharmacology and explains its role in such problems as catalysis, hydroboration, superconductors, materials, and magnetic and nonmagnetic nanoparticles as well as in medical applications such as cancer therapy.." [Boron in the Americas]  Tributes to Lipscomb are on pages v., dedication and xi-xii foreword by Russell N. Grimes.

The Selected Papers of William N Lipscomb Jr.: A Legacy in Structure-Function Relationships. Edited by Jianpeng Ma, Imperial College Press. Volume 4 in the series ICP Selected Papers. 448 pp., Sept. 2, 2013. (IC Press) (Amazon)
This is a book about Lipscomb. Description from ICP Press: "This book compiles a wonderful collection of original scientific articles from a group of outstanding scientists.... ...accompanying each article is a commentary from each contributor, and a brief biography of them. Among the contributors are Nobel Laureates Roald Hoffmann, Ada Yonath, and Thomas A Steitz. In addition, Lipscomb's son, James Lipscomb, comments on Lipscomb's life and science from a very unique perspective."  James's chapter is A Family Perspective, Lipscomb, J.S., 55 pp.  The publisher has made this chapter a free download to promote the book.  PDF link is above.  The chapter reprints early versions of web pages from this website: About the Website Author, Scientific Aggression as a Way of Life, Science Humor, Humor in Science, A New Enzyme, Early-Years Family Stories, and Eulogy.

Meetings (continuing the section above)

A Celebration of Life: William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr., Memorial Church, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Speakers: Dudley Herschbach, E. J. Corey, Eric Gouaux, Jim Lipscomb, Stan Ovshinsky, Janet Conrad, Jenna Lipscomb, Marc Abrahams, and David Lawton.  Musicians: Ed Matthews, clarinet, Gregory Hayes, piano, Andy Stein, violin, Brian Clague, violin, Josie Stein, viola, and Marshall Brown, cello.  Also Reception after the Service.  Sept. 10, 2011.

2011 Ig Nobel Ceremony and Lectures.  Special tribute to Professor Lipscomb, and this year's theme is Chemistry, Sanders Theater, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Sept. 29, 2011.

Reprinted with permission from William Lipscomb.

Image-to-text conversion by James S. Lipscomb.

Posthumous additions and honors, so noted, by James S. Lipscomb.

-- Apr. 2010, last updated Apr., 2014,   James is here        Home page

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