Canada Post unveils stamp of U of T chemist John Polanyi

Sub-title: 
Nobel Laureate honoured during the International Year of Chemistry
Author: 
Jessica Lewis

On Oct. 1, as part of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche festival, Canada Post will unveil a limited-edition stamp that will honour the work of world-renowned University of Toronto chemist and Nobel Laureate John Polanyi.

Polanyi is one of three winners of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Chemistry in recognition of the development of the new field of reaction dynamics. He was cited for his pioneering work in developing the method of infrared chemiluminescence.

Polanyi has been a faculty member in the Department of Chemistry since 1956 and was honoured with the title of University Professor, one of the highest honours U of T bestows on a faculty member, in 1974.

His long list of awards and honours includes the Royal Medal of the Royal Society of London, Fellowship of the Royal Societies of Canada, London and Edinburgh as well as the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the Pontifical Academy of Rome and the Russian Academy of Sciences. He is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada, a companion of the Order of Canada and has 30 honorary degrees from universities around the world.

Polanyi has made significant contributions in the areas of peacekeeping and science policy, such as serving as co-editor of a book, The Dangers of Nuclear War, and as co-chair of the Department of Foreign Affairs International Consultative Committee on a Rapid Response Capability for the United Nations.

The stamp was designed by Tejashri Kapure and features a photograph of the chemist and a design that represents his laboratory’s ongoing work in Scanning Tunneling Microscopy. Polanyi’s stamp will be unveiled Saturday, Oct. 1 at 8 p.m. outside Sidney Smith Hall, 100 St. George Street, as part of the Department of Chemistry’s Nuit Blanche festivities and ongoing celebration of the International Year of Chemistry (2011).