Lionel Salem


Born March 5, 1937 in Paris, France.

Directeur de Recherche in the CNRS, France.

State Prize for Chemistry (French Academy of Sciences) 1981. Knight of the Legion of Honour. Knight of the National Order of Merit. Founder and Director of the Center for Popularisation of Knowledge at the Universities of Paris-11 and Paris-6 (1994). Retired (1999).

Author of:

The Molecular Orbital Theory of Conjugated Systems (1966); The Organic Chemist's Book of Orbitals (with W.L. Jorgensen, (1973)); Electrons in Chemical Reactions (1982); "Molécule la Marveilleuse" (1979) - translated into English as "Marvels of the Molecule" (1987); Dictionnaire des Sciences (1990) - editor of; Les Plus Belles Formules Mathématiques (with F. Testard and C. Salem, 1990) - translated into English as "The Most Beautiful Mathematical Formulas" (1992); L'Homme Gén&ecaute;tique (1994); La Parenthèse (1998); La Science dans L'Art (2000); The Two Kingdoms (2004); The Handbook of Slogans (Crimson Publishing, 2012).

Important Contributions:

Salem has made contributions to the theories of intermolecular forces, conjugated molecules, organic reaction mechanisms and heterogeneous catalysis. Discovery (in collaboration) of surface crossings in photochemistry and of the "sudden polarization effect". Established the electronic theory of diradicals and the notion of "diradical" and "zwitterionic" states. More recently, research on how artists have appropriated science.