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Award Ceremony Highlights

* Information concerning affiliation/post/profile of the laureate and guests is current at the time he/she received the prize.

Award Ceremony Highlights: Honda Prize 2011

November 17, 2011, Imperial Hotel Tokyo

(from left to right)
Mr. Ishida/ President of Honda Foundation, Mrs. Judith Somorjai, Dr. Gabor Somorjai, Mr. Nakajima/ Vice President of Honda Foundation
The 32nd Honda Prize ceremony was held on Wednesday, November 17, at the Imperial Hotel Tokyo, with 230 participants and guests from the American Embassy, policy makers, scholars, researchers and media people.
This year’s laureate was Dr. Gabor Somorjai, Professor of Chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley, U.S.A.

Movie of The Laureate

Dr. Gabor Somorjai’s Commemorative Lecture:

“Molecular Understanding of the Science and Ecotechnologies of Surfaces”


Dr. Gabor Somorjai

Understanding surfaces at molecular level has gained an important role in science and ecotechnologies. In my investigations into catalysts and biointerfaces, I spent 25years to study the molecular properties of surfaces at the buried solid-gas and solid-liquid interfaces. We developed instrumentations on our own and studied many multipath reactions, which successfully lead to the conclusion that size and shape of metal nanoparticles control both catalytic reaction rates and selectivities. This discovery is widely applied to "green chemistry," chemistry that yields only the desired molecule without any waste by-products: synthetic fuel products from synthetic gas, implant technologies in the area of regenerative medicine, and so on. Advancement of technology is also promoting establishment of techniques to elucidate the structural and chemical dynamics of the catalytic process.

Commemorative lecture PDF



Congratulatory Addresses by Guests of Honor

Mr. Marc Wall
Minister Counselor for Science, Economic and Science Affairs
For His Excellency Mr. John V. Roos
US Ambassador to Japan
Dr. Yasuhiro Iwasawa
President, The Chemical Society of Japan

Mr. Takanobu Ito
President and CEO, Honda Motor Co., Ltd.

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