Laura Gagliardi elected to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina

Prof. Laura Gagliardi has been elected to the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, one of the world’s oldest existing learned societies.

Gagliardi is the Richard and Kathy Leventhal Professor in the Department of Chemistry and the Pritzker School of Molecular Engineering, with a joint appointment at the James Franck Institute. She also is the director of the Chicago Center for Theoretical Chemistry and the Inorganometallic Catalyst Design Center.

“This nomination is an incredible honor,” Gagliardi said, “and I feel privileged that as an American scientist at the University of Chicago, I have the opportunity to collaborate with other institutions all over the world, and in this specific case with Accademia Leopoldina.”

Gagliardi’s research aims to develop novel quantum chemical methods and apply them to study phenomena related to sustainable energies, with a special focus on chemical systems relevant to catalysis, spectroscopy, photochemistry, and gas separation. Her recent work includes research published in Science that demonstrates how to pull water from the air in environments where drinking water may not be readily available.

Professor Joachim Sauer, a widely decorated professor of theoretical chemistry at Humboldt University in Berlin and Leopoldina member, commented on Gagliardi’s election.

“Laura Gagliardi is a big gain for the German National Academy Leopoldina not only because of her scientific excellence and leadership but also because of her transatlantic perspective and engagement in identifying and developing new talents in science, in particular women,” Sauer said.

The German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina was founded in 1652 as a classical scholarly society and now boasts 1,600 members from almost all branches of science. The Leopoldina champions the freedom and appreciation of science. It promotes a scientifically enlightened society and the responsible application of scientific insight for the benefit of humankind and the natural world. Notable members include Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Joseph Lister, Max Planck, and Albert Einstein. Throughout its history, 186 members have won Nobel prizes.

Gagliardi also is a member of the National Academy of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and the Royal Society of Chemistry. She is a member of Academia Europaea, the Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science, and the World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists. She is an associate editor of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.