Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry to Close 2017-18 President’s Lecture Series at UM

April 19, 2018

Sir J. Fraser Stoddart MISSOULA – One of the world’s most-innovative organic chemists will deliver the final installment of the 2017-18 President’s Lecture Series at the University of Montana.

Sir J. Fraser Stoddart will speak on “Mingling Art with Science” at 8 p.m. Monday, April 23, in the University Center Ballroom. The talk is the Lucile Speer Memorial Lecture.

He also will present the seminar “The Rise and Promise of the Mechanical Bond in Chemistry and Beyond” from 3 to 4:30 p.m. the same day in Gallagher Business Building Room 123. Both events are free and open to the public.

Stoddart received the 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in the design and production of molecular computers that are much smaller and potentially more powerful than today’s silicon-based machines. An eloquent spokesman for the values and methods of science, he has given more than 1,000 plenary and invited lectures all over the world. His lecture in Missoula will concern some unsuspected relationships between art and science.

After receiving his Ph.D. in 1966 from Edinburgh University, he held appointments at Queen’s University, Sheffield University, UCLA, Birmingham University and the California NanoSystems Institute before being named to a chair at Northwestern University.

One of the most famous research scientists in the world, he was the first to successfully synthesize a mechanically interlocked molecule, known as a catenane, thereby helping to establish the field of mechanical-bond chemistry. Catenanes have a wide range of applications, including as components of drug-delivery systems, electronic sensors and motorized devices. He has been a pioneer in using molecular recognition and self-assembly processes for the fabrication of new electronic devices and NanoElectroMechanical Systems.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Stoddart’s work has been recognized with many awards, including the American Chemical Society’s Cope Scholar Award, the Nagoya Gold Medal in Organic Chemistry, the Albert Einstein World Award of Science and the Royal Society’s Davy Medal. He was one of 20 research scientists invited by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to participate in the Nobel Jubilee Symposium on “Frontiers of Molecular Sciences” in Stockholm in December 2001. He was appointed by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a Knight Bachelor in her 2007 New Year’s Honours List for his services to chemistry and molecular nanotechnology.

He received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2016 for his work in the design and production of molecular machines and shared the prize that year with French chemist Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Dutch chemist Bernard Feringa.

Stoddart holds five honorary degrees, sits on the international advisory boards of numerous scientific journals, edits Applied Nanoscience and is a fellow of prestigious science societies in the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands.

A measure of Stoddart’s impact as a scientist can be gained from the record of his citation statistics. Of his more than 1,000 publications, three of them have been cited over 1,000 times, 15 over 500, 27 over 300, 157 over 100 times and 335 of his publications have been cited over 50 times. In his 45-year career, more than 400 doctoral and postdoctoral students have passed through his laboratories and been inspired by his imagination and creativity.

The President’s Lecture Series at UM consists of seven talks throughout the academic year on vital topics by distinguished guest speakers. For more information on the series, visit or call UM history Professor Richard Drake at 406-243-2981.


Contact: Richard Drake, UM history professor and President’s Lecture Series organizer, 406-243-2981,