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Dudley Herschbach and Robert Fri Recognized for Longtime Board Leadership

Two members of SSP’s Board of Trustees concluded their Board service today after decades of dedication. Under the leadership of Robert Fri and Dudley Herschbach, SSP has grown tremendously, evolving and expanding the scope of its work to advance the public engagement in scientific research and education.

Herschbach has served as SSP Trustee and Chair since 1992. He is the academic and educational progeny of his predecessor Chair, Glenn Seaborg, and has faithfully attended the Intel ISEF and the Intel STS with similar enthusiasm, loyalty, and passion. “He is one of the kindest, most thoughtful gentlemen,” says fellow Trustee Gayle Wilson. Herschbach says, “I feel very amply rewarded for the time I’ve put in,” because he loves discussing projects with students. In fact, his routine advice to fellow professors who have become cynical or disillusioned is to spend a day talking to Finalists at an SSP competition.

As professor in chemical physics at Harvard for over 50 years, Herschbach has also taught freshman chemistry to generations of students, including many SSP alumni. Herschbach was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1986, but claims that his most cherished recognitions have been his guest appearance in an episode of “The Simpsons” and, in 1999, his election as an honorary life member of the Association for Women in Science.

Herschbach plans to continue attending the Intel STS and participating in the Excellence in Science and Technology Panel at the Intel ISEF (see page 8). He says he is happy to be leaving now, while the organization is in great hands: “I have a lot of confidence that things are going to go up and up, and the Society will fulfill its mission better than ever,” he says.

Bob Fri has served on the SSP Board of Trustees since 1989 and as longtime Vice Chair. “He is one of the wisest and most sensible guys I’ve ever met,” says Herschbach. Fri’s long, distinguished professional career includes service as Deputy Administrator of both the Environmental Protection Agency and the Energy Research & Development Administration. In these roles, he was instrumental in organizing the Federal government’s programs in environmental regulation and energy technology. He has also served as president of Resources for the Future and of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History during major transitions in these institutions. For SSP, Fri was a key author of the Society’s 2006 strategic plan, guiding the development and expansion of SSP’s partnership with Intel to the benefit of thousands of students, and steering the successful re-launch of SSP’s flagship publication, Science News.

  • Read the press release announcing the new chair and three new board members

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