Professors Dean Toste and Birgitta Whaley are among 213 notables elected this year to the prestigious Academy of Arts and Sciences , which honors exceptional scholars, leaders, artists and innovators, and engages them in sharing knowledge and addressing challenges facing the world. Along with seven other UC Berkeley Faculty, this years awardees include former President Barack Obama, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, author Ta-Nehisi Coates and actor Tom Hanks. Previous members have included George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, Daniel Webster, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Margaret Mead and Martin Luther King Jr.
The American Academy of Arts and Sciences is one of the oldest learned societies in America. It is devoted to the advancement and study of the key societal, scientific, and intellectual issues of the day. Fellows reflects a full range of disciplines and professions including mathematics, the physical and biological sciences, medicine, the social sciences and humanities, business, government, public affairs, and the arts. Among the Academy's Fellows are more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners.
About this year’s College of Chemistry honorees:
Dean Toste, the Gerald E. K. Branch Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.
Professor Toste's current research is primarily aimed toward the development and study of catalysts, catalytic reactions and methods to address challenges in chemical synthesis and energy. Professor Toste and his coworkers were instrumental in the past decades advancement of the field of homogeneous catalysis with gold and introduction of chiral counterions as a paradigm for asymmetric catalysis. In addition, Professor Toste and his collaborators have explored supramolecular catalysts for organic reaction, developed novel methods for merging homogeneous/heterogeneous catalysis and tools for their in situ study, described processes for the conversion of biomass to fuels and chemicals, reported on the application of multivariate analysis for mechanistic studies and, most recently, described a method for selective functionalization of biomolecules
Birgitta Whaley, professor of chemistry and director of the Berkeley Quantum Information and Computation Center.
Professor Whaley's research is at the interfaces of chemistry, physics and biology. Her work is broadly focused on quantum information and quantum computation, control and simulation of complex quantum systems, and quantum effects in biological systems. Quantum information processing employs superposition, entanglement, and probabilistic measurement to encode and manipulate information in very different ways from the classical information processing underlying current electronic technology. Theoretical research of Professor Whaley's group in this area is focused in quantum control, quantum information and quantum measurement, analysis and simulation of open quantum systems, macroscopic quantum states and quantum metrology. Specific topics of current interest include quantum feedback control, quantum reservoir engineering, topological quantum computation, and analysis of macroscopic quantum superpositions in interacting many-body systems.