Oral history interview with Alan G. MacDiarmid

Oral history interview with Alan G. MacDiarmid

  • 2005-Dec-19

This oral history is part of a series supported by the Center for Nanotechnology in Society (CNS), University of California, Santa Barbara, under the National Science Foundation Grant No. SES 0531184. Researchers using this interview should acknowledge in all written publications. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the interviewee and interviewer and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

This oral history series is an important resource for the history of nanotechnology, documenting the lives and career of key scientists and engineers that shaped and contributed to the contemporary practice of science and technology.

Property Value
Place of interview
  • 47 pages
Rights Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License
Rights holder
  • Science History Institute
Credit line
  • Courtesy of Science History Institute
Digitization funder
  • Audio synchronization made possible through the generous funding of the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.

About the Interviewer

Cyrus Mody is an assistant professor of history at Rice University. Prior to that position he was the manager of the Nanotechnology and Innovation Studies programs in the Center for Contemporary History and Policy at the Chemical Heritage Foundation. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and materials engineering from Harvard University and a PhD in science and technology studies from Cornell. He was the 2004–2005 Gordon Cain Fellow at CHF before becoming a program manager. Mody has published widely on the history and sociology of materials science, instrumentation, and nanotechnology.

Physical location

Oral history number 0325

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Interviewee biographical information

  • April 14, 1927
  • Masterton, New Zealand
  • February 07, 2007
  • Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, United States


Year Institution Degree Discipline
1948 University of New Zealand BSc Chemistry
1950 University of New Zealand MSc Chemistry
1952 University of Wisconsin--Madison MS Chemistry
1953 University of Wisconsin--Madison PhD Inorganic Chemistry
1955 University of Cambridge PhD Inorganic Chemistry

Professional Experience

University of St. Andrews

  • 1955 to 1956 Assistant Lecturer

University of Pennsylvania

  • 1955 to 1956 Instructor in Chemistry
  • 1956 to 1961 Assistant Professor
  • 1961 to 1964 Associate Professor
  • 1964 to 1988 Professor
  • 1988 to 2007 Blanchard Professor of Chemistry

University of Texas at Arlington

  • 2002 to 2007 James Von Ehr Chair of Science and Technology, Professor of Chemistry and Physics

Jilin da xue

  • 2004 to 2007 Professor of Chemistry


Year(s) Award
1967 Philadelphia Section Award, American Chemical Society
1970 Frederic Stanley Kipping Award, American Chemical Society
1982 Madison Marshall Award, American Chemical Society
1982 Doolittle Award, American Chemical Society
1983 Royal Society of Chemistry Centenary Medal and Lectureship (UK)
1984 Chemical Pioneer Award, American Institute of Chemists
1985 Top 100 Innovation Award, Science Digest
1989 John Scott Award, City of Philadelphia
1993 Francis J. Clamer Award, The Franklin Institute
1999 Chemistry of Materials Award, American Chemical Society
2000 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (With Heeger, Shirakawa)
2001 Rutherford Medal, The Royal Society of New Zealand
2002 Member, Order of New Zealand
2002 Member, National Academy of Engineering
2002 Member, National Academy of Science
2003 Fellow, Royal Society of London, England
2004 Friendship Award, State Administration of Foreign Experts Bureau, P. R. China
2004 Establishment of the Alan G. MacDiarmid Laboratories of Polymer Research, Karnatak University, India
2005 Establishment of the MacDiarmid Institute of Innovation and Business,

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PDF — 1.2 MB

The published version of the transcript may diverge from the interview audio due to edits to the transcript made by staff of the Center for Oral History, often at the request of the interviewee, during the transcript review process.

Complete Interview Audio File Web-quality download

4 Separate Interview Segments Archival-quality downloads