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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 20 (2015) pp 301-313

F. Sherwood Rowland (1927–2012), Atmospheric Scientist Par Excellence: An Obituary–Tribute

George B. Kauffman* and Laurie M. Kauffman

Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published: 31 October 2015

Abstract. Sherwood (“Sherry”) Rowland (1927–2012), whose discovery with Mario J. Molina of the danger that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) posed to the earth’s ozone layer was initially met with disdain but was ultimately vindicated with the award of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry “for their work in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone,” died on March 10, 2012. Our article discusses Rowland’s personal and professional life, achievements, and personality, with an emphasis on his Nobel–winning work that is widely viewed as a vindication of environmental science, long belittled by mainstream science. Rowland and Molina alerted the world to the action of the then widely used chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in depleting the Earth’s ozone layer, led to the Montréal Protocol, and focused attention on global environmental problems.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; Chemistry; Physics; Biography; Nobel Prizes; Atmospheric Chemistry; Chlorofluorocarbons; Depletion of the Earth’s Ozone Layer; Global Environmental Concerns; Montréal Protocol

(*) Corresponding author. (E-mail:

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