Glenn T. Seaborg
Glenn Theodore Seaborg (April 19, 1912 – February 25, 1999) was an American scientist who won the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "discoveries in the chemistry of the transuranium elements", contributed to the discovery and isolation of ten elements, and developed the actinide concept, which led to the current arrangement of the actinide series in the periodic table of the elements. He spent most of his career as an educator and research scientist at the University of California, Berkeley where he became the second Chancellor in its history and served as a University Professor. Seaborg advised ten presidents from Harry S. Truman to Bill Clinton on nuclear policy and was the chairman of the United States Atomic Energy Commission from 1961 to 1971 where he pushed for commercial nuclear energy and peaceful applications of nuclear science. Throughout his career, Seaborg worked for arms control. He was signator to the Franck Report and contributed to the achievement of the Limited Test Ban Treaty, the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, and the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. Seaborg was a well-known advocate of science education and federal funding for pure research. He was a key contributor to the report "A Nation at Risk" as a member of President Reagan's National Commission on Excellence in Education and was the principal author of the Seaborg Report on academic science issued in the closing days of the Eisenhower administration.
Seaborg was the principal or co-discoverer of ten elements: plutonium, americium, curium, berkelium, californium, einsteinium, fermium, mendelevium, nobelium and element 106, which was named seaborgium in his honor while he was still living. He also developed more than 100 atomic isotopes, and is credited with important contributions to the chemistry of plutonium, originally as part of the Manhattan Project where he developed the extraction process used to isolate the plutonium fuel for the second atomic bomb. Early in his career, Seaborg was a pioneer in nuclear medicine and developed numerous isotopes of elements with important applications in the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, most notably iodine-131, which is used in the treatment of thyroid disease. In addition to his theoretical work in the development of the actinide concept which placed the actinide series beneath the lanthanide series on the periodic table, Seaborg proposed the placement of super-heavy elements in the transactinide and superactinide series. After sharing the 1951 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Edwin McMillan, he received approximately 50 honorary doctorates and numerous other awards and honors. The list of things named after Seaborg ranges from his atomic element to an asteroid. Seaborg was a prolific author, penning more than 50 books and 500 journal articles, often in collaboration with others. He received so many awards and honors that he was once listed in the Guinness Book of World Records as the person with the longest entry in Who's Who in America.