John D. Roberts

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John D. Roberts
John D Roberts American Chemist.jpg
Jack Roberts in 2010
Born 8 June 1918
Los Angeles
Nationality American
Fields Chemistry
Institutions Harvard, MIT, Caltech
Alma mater UCLA
Doctoral students Frank J. Weigert
George M. Whitesides
Notable awards

Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry (1967)
Priestley Medal (1987)
Welch Award (1990)

National Medal of Science (1990)

John Dombrowski Roberts (born 8 June 1918) is an American chemist. He has made contributions to the integration of physical chemistry, spectroscopy and organic chemistry for the understanding of chemical reaction rates.

Roberts received both a B.A. (1941) and Ph.D. (1944) from the University of California, Los Angeles. He has held several positions at the California Institute of Technology, including Division Chairman of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from 1963–68, Dean of the Faculty from 1980–83 and is currently[when?] Institute Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus in the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. He is credited with bringing the first female graduate student into the Caltech Chemistry department when he moved from MIT. He was a long-term consultant for DuPont Central Research.

He published an autobiography in 1990, The Right Place at the Right Time.


Roberts was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1952.[1] He was awarded the Priestley Medal in 1987, the National Medal of Science in 1990, the Glenn T. Seaborg Medal in 1991, the NAS Award in Chemical Sciences in 1999, the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society in 2009 and has received honorary degrees from the University of Munich, Temple University and the University of Notre Dame.


  1. ^ "Book of Members, 1780-2010: Chapter R". American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 


  • Roberts, John D. "ABCs of FT-NMR." University Science Books, Sausalito, California, 2000.
  • "JDR." Engineering & Science 1980, 44(2), p. 10.

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