Kroto said his move to FSU allows him to “not only open up some new research avenues” but “also maintain the considerable momentum that (his research has) built up over the past 10 years in my international educational outreach work.”
Sir Harold W. Kroto
Francis Eppes Professor
Dr. Sir Harold "Harry" W. Kroto, one of the co-recipients of the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, now teaches at FSU. Dr. Kroto is a Francis Eppes Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.
Kroto gives a highly popular series of public lectures, visiting area schools to promote science education and has taught a graduate class on interstellar chemistry. He comes to FSU from the University of Sussex in England, where he taught for 37 years.
Kroto said his move to FSU allows him to "not only open up some new research avenues" but "also maintain the considerable momentum that (his research has) built up over the past 10 years in my international educational outreach work." Dr. Kroto, through the Vega Trust website, aims to create a broadcast platform for the science, engineering and technology (SET) communities, so enabling them to communicate on all aspects of their fields of expertise using the exciting new TV and Internet opportunities.
An ardent advocate for science education, Kroto devotes much of his time and energy to promoting careers in science among young people. "He'll be a very visible guy" on campus, said Alan G. Marshall, a professor of chemistry, in an interview with Chemical & Engineering News. "The plan is for him to give at least one lecture to every freshman at Florida State during their career, so they'll get a chance to see him."
Kroto's Nobel Prize was based on his co-discovery of buckminsterfullerene, a form of pure carbon better known as "buckyballs." The extraordinary molecule consists of 60 carbon atoms arranged as a spheroid, in a pattern exactly matching the stitching on soccer balls. The configuration reminded Kroto of the geodesic domes designed by the late inventor/architect Buckminster Fuller, hence the name "buckminsterfullerines."
Kroto is the second Nobelist (with J. Robert Schrieffer of the National Magnetic Field Laboratory) now serving on the FSU faculty. Others to serve at FSU were Konrad Bloch, human sciences; James Buchanan, economics; Paul Dirac, physics; and Robert Sanderson Mulliken, chemical physics.
In 2001, Kroto won the Royal Society's prestigious Michael Faraday Award. The award is given annually to a scientist who has done the most to further public communication of science, engineering or technology in the United Kingdom.