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American Academy of Arts and Sciences

Dr. Darensbourg joins Dr. Karen L. Wooley, a distinguished professor of chemistry (2015), Dr. George F. Bass, distinguished professor emeritus of nautical archaeology (2012), Dr. Marcetta, Y. Darensbourg, distinguished professor of chemistry (2011), Dr. Marlan O. Scully, distinguished professor of physics and astronomy (2008), Dr. Ronald A. DeVore, distinguished professor of mathematics (2001), Dr. Robert C. Kennicutt Jr., professor of physics and astronomy (2001) and 
Dr. David M. Lee, professor of physics and astronomy (1990) as of current Texas A&M faculty members featured in the eminent society. One of Darensbourg's longtime colleagues, the late Texas A&M inorganic chemist Dr. F. Albert Cotton, ranks as the university's inaugural honoree, earning an election in 1962.

"Don's colleagues and I are delighted that he has been honored by-election into the American Academy of Arts and Sciences," said Dr. Simon W. North, professor and head of the Texas A&M Department of Chemistry. "He is a pillar of the department, a leader in the field of inorganic chemistry, an outstanding teacher, and a wonderful mentor."

Darensbourg joined the Texas A&M Chemistry faculty in 1982 and appointed as a distinguished professor of chemistry in 2010. He is a noted expert in the mechanisms of organometallic reactions -- in particular, carbon dioxide insertion into hydrogen-, carbon- and oxygen-metal bonds. His work has led to the synthesis of biodegradable polymers for use in medical devices, including surgical sutures, internal fixation devices for repair of fractures too small bones, drug-delivery devices, and dental implants.

Darensbourg's research funded by the National Science Foundation and the Robert A. Welch Foundation spans transition and main-group metals, homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis -- including polymerization and biphasic processes -- and applications of infrared spectroscopy. To date, he has more than 400 scholarly publications to his credit, many of which are in the most highly ranked international journals in the field, such as the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Angewandte Chemie, and Macromolecules.

A 2017 fellow of the American Chemical Society (ACS), Darensbourg's many career awards include the 2010 ACS Award in Inorganic Chemistry, the 2016 Texas A&M College of Science Undergraduate Mentoring Award and Texas A&M Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Awards in both Teachings (1988) and Research (1990). Most recently on March 30 in Orlando, Darensbourg and his student, Tucker Folsom '19, were presented with the 2019 ACS Division of Inorganic Chemistry Award for Undergraduate Research recognizing the collaborative work of an outstanding undergraduate student/preceptor team in the field of inorganic chemistry.

A past member of five editorial boards, Darensbourg consistently is called upon to serve on advisory and review teams and to lecture at conferences and research institutions all around the world. His ACS service alone includes past treasurer of the Division of Inorganic Chemistry and a former member of the Committee on Professional Training.

"Rarely do we come across a more honest and wise scientist," said 2011 Academy Fellow Dr. Marcetta Y. Darensbourg, a fellow Texas A&M distinguished professor of chemistry as well as his wife. "I have valued his judgment and advice throughout life.  I am very proud of him, and this recognition has been long deserved, for sure."

Darensbourg will be officially inducted as an Academy Fellow at an October ceremony at the Academy's headquarters in Cambridge, Mass. His fellow 2019 class members include poet and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation president Elizabeth Alexander; chemical and biological engineer Kristi S. Anseth; artist Mark Bradford; gender theorist Judith Butler; economist Xiaohong Chen; academic leader and former Governor Mitchell E. Daniels Jr.; neuro-oncologist Robert B. Darnell; The Atlantic journalist James M. Fallows; author Jonathan Franzen; cell biologist Jennifer Lippincott-Schwartz; data science and McKinsey & Company technology expert James Manyika; former First Lady Michelle Obama; Cisco Systems business leader Charles H. Robbins; mathematician Sylvia Serfaty; philosopher Tommie Shelby; actress and playwright Anna Deavere Smith; and paleoclimatologist Lonnie G. Thompson.
To learn more about Darensbourg and his research, teaching and service, go to