Joseph S. Francisco

University of Pennsylvania
Chemist; Educator
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Member Since

Joseph S. Francisco is the President’s Distinguished Professor of Earth and Environmental Science and Professor of Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, and the William E. Moore Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences and Chemistry at Purdue University (where he taught from 1995 to 2014). He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences. In 2009-10 he served as President of the American Chemical Society. He served as the Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln from 2014 to 2018. Francisco's laboratory focuses on studies in spectroscopy, kinetics, and photochemistry of novel transient species in the gas phase. He has published more than 600 journal articles, written ten book chapters and co-authored the textbook, Chemical Kinetics and Dynamics. Francisco has made important contributions in many areas of atmospheric chemistry. His research has revolutionized our understanding of chemical processes in the atmosphere. Francisco and his colleague at the University of Pennsylvania, Marsha Lester, have discovered an unusual molecule that is essential to the atmosphere's ability to break down pollutants, especially the compounds that cause acid rain. His current research focus is on chemistry and photochemistry of atmospheric species on the surfaces/interface of clouds and aerosol. Francisco has received a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, an Alfred P. Sloan Fellowship, and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Teacher-Scholar Award. In 1993, Francisco was a recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship, which he spent at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology. In 1995, he received the Percy L. Julian Award for Pure and Applied Research, the highest research award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers, which he served as President in 2006-08. He was selected to be a Sigma Xi National Lecturer from 1995 to 1997. In 2001 he received the Alexander von Humboldt Research Award for Senior U.S. Scientists. In 2007, Purdue University presented Dr. Francisco the McCoy Award - the highest research award given to a faculty member for significant research contributions. He is the recipient of the Edward W. Morley Medal from the American Chemical Society Cleveland Section for 2011. He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2010 and serves on the Committee on Membership, where he is Class I Chair.


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