Primo Levi Award for Vincenzo Balzani

Primo Levi Award for Vincenzo Balzani

Author: ChemViews Magazine

Professor Emeritus Vincenzo Balzani, University of Bologna, Italy, has been awarded the second Primo Levi Award from the Gesellschaft Deutscher Chemiker (GDCh, German Chemical Society) and the Italian Chemical Society (Società Chimica Italiana, SCI). The award was presented at a ceremony at the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome on December 6, 2019. The laudatio was held by Chemistry Nobel Laureate Jean-Pierre Sauvage.

The prize is named after the Italian Jewish chemist, writer, and Holocaust survivor Primo Levi and honors chemists or scientists from related disciplines who promote human rights and improve the dialogue between chemistry and society. Vincenzo Balzani receives the prize for his deep commitment to the societal aspects of science and to the ethical behavior of scientists, and the strong effort to promote science for peace and a better world, to reduce poverty and stop wars.

Vincenzo Balzani studied chemistry at the University of Bologna, Italy. He became Assistant Professor there in 1963 and Assistant Professor at the University of Ferrara, Italy, in 1968. He returned to Bologna as Associate Professor in 1969 and became Full Professor of Chemistry in 1973. From 1977 to 1988, he was the Director of the Photochemistry and Radiation Chemistry Institute of the National Research Council, Washington, D.C., USA. He remained at the University of Bologna until his retirement in 2010.

His research interests covered a wide range of topics: photochemistry, photophysics, supramolecular chemistry, electron-transfer reactions, molecular-level devices and machines, nanotechnology, and photochemical solar-energy conversion.

Among many other honors, Balzani has received the Gold Medal “S. Cannizzaro” from the SCI in 1988, the Porter Medal for Photochemistry in 2000, the Prix Franco-Italien from the Société Chimique de France (SCF, French Chemical Society) in 2003, and the Blaise Pascal Medal from the European Academy of Sciences in 2009. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), and the European Academy of Sciences, among other learned societies. Balzani is an Honorary Member of the Editorial Board of Chemistry – A European Journal.


From left: Matthias Urmann, President of the GDCh, Vincenzo Balzani, Fabio Levi, Angela Agostiano, President of the SCI

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