F. Albert Cotton
2005 Monie A. Ferst Award
A recipient of the National Medal of Science, F. Albert Cotton has been a household name among chemists for nearly 50 years. He holds the W. T. Doherty-Welch Foundation Chair in Chemistry at Texas A&M University and is director of the Laboratory for Molecular Structure and Bonding there. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Cotton has won all of the significant medals of the American Chemical Society--the Priestly Medal and Robert A. Welch Award among them. He also received the 2000 Wolf Prize in Chemistry, one of the world’s premier science awards. In addition, over Cotton’s career, 111 young men and women have received their doctoral degrees under his supervision and nearly half have become academics. He has also been a dedicated mentor to postdoctoral fellows, 64 of which hold academic positions in the U.S. and 16 in other countries. His contributions to chemistry education include writing textbooks at every level, from high school to postgraduate study. These include the high school text Chemistry, An Investigative Approach, plus college texts on basic and advanced inorganic chemistry, as well as his pioneering Chemical Applications of Group Theory. After receiving his bachelor's degree in chemistry from Temple University and his Ph.D. from Harvard, Cotton taught at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for 17 years before coming to Texas A&M in 1972. His research contributions include discovery of double, triple and quadruple metal-metal bonds. His work has added valuable knowledge to chemistry, physics, biochemistry, molecular engineering and chemical engineering.