Fred Aftalion receives the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize
The Chemical Heritage Foundation (CHF) and the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie (FMC) presented the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize to author Fred Aftalion in a dinner ceremony on April 3, 2014, at CHF in Philadelphia, Pa.
A graduate of the École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Paris, Fred Aftalion devoted his life’s work to chemistry. He studied under Herman Mark at Brooklyn Polytechnic’s Polymer Institute in 1946. His first job in the chemical industry was as an engineer with Hercules, with which he spent five years in the U.S. and Latin America. Returning to France in 1951, he joined Naphtachimie, where he set up the marketing networks of what was then a new petrochemicals company.
Called in by Laboratoire Roger Bellon in 1956 to take over the management of the Société Française d’Organo-Synthèse (SFOS), he turned it over the course of the next three decades into an efficient specialty chemicals enterprise. Aftalion also served as president of Société la Vermiculite et la Perlite, now an affiliate of Elf Aquitaine, and he became a board member of Rhône Poulenc Specialités Chimiques when SFOS was acquired by that company. He is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Total Chimie and of the Maison de la Chimie.
As an author, Fred Aftalion has recorded and enhanced our understanding of our chemical heritage, and has helped make known to the broader public the important impact of the chemical sciences and technologies. His book, “A History of the International Chemical Industry,” is a seminal work of history and a unique publication, chronicling the rise of the chemical industry around the globe and the important human benefits that it has brought. The only book of its kind, “A History of the International Chemical Industry” has also advanced the sense of community among the various participants in the chemical endeavor.
Created in 2008, the Franklin-Lavoisier Prize is jointly awarded by the Fondation de la Maison de la Chimie in Paris and the Chemical Heritage Foundation. Named for Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier and Benjamin Franklin, two of the 18th century’s greatest minds, this prize recognizes unusually meritorious efforts in the preservation or promotion of the entwined scientific heritage of France and the U.S.
The Chemical Heritage Foundation
Philadelphia, Pa.; www.chemheritage.org
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