Sat, May 24, 2008 - Page 4 News List

Scientist wins top honor

PRESSURE Mao Ho-kwang was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London for his work in high-pressure science and related technology developments


Mao Ho-kwang works in a laboratory yesterday.


Mao Ho-kwang (毛河光) of Academia Sinica has been elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London, the National Academy of the United Kingdom and one of the world's most prestigious scientific societies, Academia Sinica said yesterday.

It is the second world-class honor that Mao has received since last year, when he was awarded the 2007 Inge Lehmann Medal of the prestigious American Geophysical Union (AGU), it said.

The Royal Society, which was chartered in 1662, cited Mao’s extraordinary impact on high-pressure science and related technology developments over the past 40 years. The induction ceremony will take place in London on July 11, Academia Sinica officials said.

The royal society elected only eight Foreign Members this year.

Mao is a world leader in the study of materials under pressure and implications for geoscience, planetary science, physics, chemistry and materials science.

Mao is a staff scientist at the Geophysical Laboratory, Carnegie Institution of Washington, a member of the US National Academy of Science, a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society and an AGU fellow.

He and fellow researchers first reached 1 megabar static pressure in 1976, which doubled the previous pressure limit. Since then, his group has consistently extended the range of pressures at which materials can be studied in the laboratory, applying a broad range of laser, synchrotron x-ray, neutron and other measurement methods.

Mao has received many prestigious awards throughout his career, including the 2005 Balzan Prize for mineral physics from the Balzan Foundation in Italy and Switzerland; the 2005 Gregori Aminoff Prize for crystallography from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science; and the Arthur L. Day Prize and Lectureship, 1990, from the National Academy of Science, USA (Geophysics).

Mao, 67, was born in Shanghai in 1941. He moved to Taiwan when he was seven and later attended National Taiwan University’s Geology Department.

He then attended the University of Rochester’s Department of Geological Sciences, where he received his master’s in 1966 and a PhD in 1968.

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