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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 22 (2017) pp 205-207

Mihály T. Beck (1929–2017): an Obituary-Tribute

George B. Kauffman* and Laurie M. Kauffman

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

Published: 28 Devember 2017

Abstract. Mihály T. Beck died on July 31, 2017 at the age of 87. He was born on November 14, 1929 in the village of Szőreg, today part of the town of Szeged. He began his research in the field of reaction kinetics and coordination chemistry from the Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry, University of Szeged in 1957. He began his research at the Department of Inorganic and Analytical Chemistry and became a Full Professor there in 1965. In 1965 he received the honorary title of Professor at the Attila József Attila University in Szeged. He was invited to head the Department of Physical Chemistry at the Lajos Kossuth University in Debrecen in 1968, which began his long tenure of 22 years. In 1973 he became a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. His publication list included almost 500 items. About half of these are original research articles, including five papers published in the widely respected international journal Nature. He was named as a co-inventor on 23 patents, the most significant being “Suntest,” a simple device for measuring the intensity of sunlight, which was commercialized in Hungary during the 1990s. The remaining publications reflect his second full career - that of a prolific popular science writer and self-taught science historian. Humor in Science, his last book was published in 2010 and gave vivid testament to the fact that his intellect never grew old.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; Coordination Chemistry; Inorganic Chemistry; Analytical Chemistry; Physical Chemistry; Popular Science Writing; Inventions; Science History; Humor in Science; Sunlight Intensity; Microwaves; Fullerenes; Chemical Evolution; Nitrogen Oxides; Environment; History and Philosophy of Science; Pseudosciences

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