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UC Berkeley Press Release

Chemist elected to National Academy of Sciences

– Graham R. Fleming, a University of California, Berkeley, professor of chemistry and deputy director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), is one of 72 new members of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences announced today (Tuesday, May 1) in Washington, D.C.

Graham FLeming
Graham Fleming (Steve McConnell / NewsCenter photo)

Fleming's election brings the total number of UC Berkeley academy members to 132. Members are chosen "in recognition of their distinguished and continuing achievements in original research," according to the academy.

Fleming is widely considered to be one of the world's foremost authorities on ultrafast interactions among the molecules in liquids, solids and solutions. Using femtosecond lasers that flash a million billion times a second, he is able obtain stop-action images of the individual steps in a chemical reaction, which help to explain the dynamics of these reactions.

One of his goals is to develop artificial photosynthesis that would provide the world with clean, efficient and sustainable energy. He was instrumental in developing a proposal by UC Berkeley, LBNL and the University of Illinois to research biofuels that was recently chosen by the major oil firm BP to receive $500 million over 10 years.

Fleming, who is the Melvin Calvin Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at UC Berkeley, also is director of the UC Berkeley branch of the California Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Research (QB3), one of four California Institutes for Science and Innovation created by the state of California in 2000. QB3 is a cooperative effort among UC Berkeley, UC San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz and private industry to harness the quantitative sciences to understand biological systems at all levels of complexity.

The National Academy of Sciences is a private organization of scientists and engineers dedicated to the furtherance of science and its use for the general welfare. It was established in 1863 by a congressional act of incorporation signed by Abraham Lincoln that calls on the academy to act as an official adviser to the federal government, upon request, in any matter of science or technology.

The election of 72 new members and 18 foreign associates from 12 countries was held during the business session of the 144th annual meeting of the academy. Those elected today bring the total number of active members to 2,025. Foreign associates are non-voting members of the academy, with citizenship outside the United States. Today's election brings the total number of foreign associates to 387.