GU Professor Presented with Chemistry Award

By Andreas Andrea Hoya Staff Writer

Michael T. Pope, a chemistry professor, was awarded the 1999 Hillebrand Prize from the Chemical Society of Washington on March 9, 2000 at the Bethesda Naval Club. The Hillebrand Prize, the most prestigious award granted by the CSW, is recognized nationally as a major chemistry award whose winners include four Nobel Laureates.

According to a press release issued by the university, Pope is one of the world’s authorities on polyoxometalates, a class of giant inorganic molecules composed primarily of metal and oxygen atoms. His research in this area of inorganic chemistry has contributed greatly to the field over the past twenty years. Pope’s research has important applications in areas as diverse as antiviral activity and nuclear waste disposal.

“I am surprised because this is not something one expects to get. It’s nice that people put my name forward for it. I know there are a lot of deserving people out there. It’s good to have supporting friends,” Pope said.

Pope said that he does not see any changes taking place in his career at Georgetown right now, and will continue to research in his field.

“It’s good for Georgetown to get some research recognition in the sciences, particularly with the need to gain support for the new science building,” Pope said. He believes that the proposed science building under the Ten-Year Plan is “critical” to Georgetown’s science programs.

Pope has published over 150 review articles and research papers as well as organized several national and international conferences concerning polyoxometalate chemistry. He received the 1989-1990 Humboldt Senior U.S. Scientist Award.

He has taught as a visiting professor in various European universities, including in Vienna, Paris and Berlin. He has been at Georgetown since 1962, and was the chemistry department chair from 1990 to1996. According to his web page, Georgetown is one of the few centers of polyoxometalate research in the U.S.

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