Caltech: Diana Kormos Buchwald elected to the American Philosophical Society

Diana Kormos Buchwald, Robert M. Abbey professor of history, was elected to the American Philosophical Society along with 35 other new resident and international members. The American Philosophical Society is the oldest learned society in the United States and was founded in 1743 by Benjamin Franklin for the purpose of “promoting useful knowledge.”

As a historian of science, Kormos Buchwald examined the development of new instruments, methods and theories at the intersection of chemistry and physics in the 19th and early 20th centuries. His work has also addressed the emergence of new scientific disciplines and their self-representation in textbooks, scientific societies and university departments. She is also editor and director of the Einstein Papers Project, which collects, researches and publishes the writings and correspondence of Albert Einstein.

The Einstein Papers Project, established in 1977 at Princeton University, moved to the Caltech campus upon the appointment of Kormos Buchwald as director in the spring of 2000. Since then, the editors have published nine volumes of the articles. Einstein which covers his life and work from 1918. to his 50th birthday in 1929. The writings included in these volumes, which include Einstein’s articles, drafts, and correspondence surrounding the founding of general relativity, also reveal Einstein’s activities in the spheres of international reconciliation between scientists after World War I, human rights, the popularization of modern science as well as the details of the administration of research programs and research funding for talented scientists, engineers and teachers.

During his career, Kormos Buchwald has also been inducted into the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She is joined as a new member of the American Philosophical Society this year by Daniel Nocera (PhD ’84), Caltech alumnus, professor of energy in the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology at Harvard. Nocera’s research led to breakthroughs in the development of artificial photosynthesis and solar fuels.


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