Membership in the Royal Society is an honor that is bestowed each year on a small number of the world's outstanding scientists. One of the most prestigious learned societies, whose founding helped usher in the age of modern science, the Royal Society was established in 1661 under the patronage of King Charles II "for the purpose of improving natural knowledge." Isaac Newton was its first president.
In its citation, the society credited Gray with making "seminal contributions to virtually every area of modern inorganic chemistry."
A Caltech professor since 1965, Gray was named the Arnold O. Beckman Professor of Chemistry in 1981, served as chair of the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from 1978 to 1984, and became head of the Beckman Institute in 1986. He received the National Medal of Science in 1986.
Additionally, Gray has been elected a member of the American Philosophical Society. The society is the oldest learned society in the United States devoted to the advancement of scientific and scholarly inquiry.
The Philosophical Society has also elected Maarten Schmidt, Caltech's Francis L. Moseley Professor of Astronomy, Emeritus, as well as alumnus Leroy Hood, who earned a bachelor's degree in biology in 1960 and a PhD in biochemistry in 1968, and recently founded the Institute for Systems Biology, a private research center in Seattle; and alumna Sharon Rugel Long, who earned a bachelor's degree in 1973 in Caltech's Independent Studies Program, and is a professor in Stanford University's department of biological sciences and an investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.
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