Nobel Chemistry Laureate MacDiarmid Dies - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

02/08/07 - Wellington, New Zealand

Nobel Chemistry Laureate MacDiarmid Dies

Nobel chemistry laureate Alan MacDiarmid has died, New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark said Thursday. He was 79.

The scientist died after suffering a fall at his home in Philadelphia on Wednesday, his sister Alice Palmer said Thursday in New Zealand. He was preparing to visit New Zealand at the time, she said.

MacDiarmid was one of three joint winners of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2000 for the discovery that plastic can be made electrically conductive -- an advance that led to improvements in film, TV screens and windows.

Born and educated in New Zealand, he attended Victoria University in the capital, Wellington, before winning a Fulbright scholarship to attend the University of Wisconsin.

MacDiarmid lived and worked in the United States since 1950 and was a faculty member at the University of Pennsylvania for more than 45 years.

In 2001, he was awarded New Zealand's highest honor when he was made a Member of the Order of New Zealand for his contribution to chemistry and the New Zealand science community. The order has only 20 living members at any time.

Clark said throughout his career, MacDiarmid maintained close links with Victoria University and other science institutions in New Zealand.

"He will be remembered for outstanding scientific achievements, for being a wonderful human being, for a tremendous generosity of spirit, for his pride in being a New Zealander, and for his contribution of service to our country," she said in a statement.

Story courtesy of the Associated Press.

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