Washington, D.C.— Carnegie Institution scientist Ho-kwang (Dave) Mao has been elected as a Foreign Member of the Royal Society of London, the National Academy of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s most prestigious scientific societies. The statutes of the Royal Society, which was chartered in 1662, "require selection of Foreign Members from among persons of the greatest eminence for their scientific discoveries and attainments." The society cites Mao’s “extraordinary creative impact” in high-pressure science and related technology development for over 40 years. The induction ceremony will take place in London on July 11, 2008.


Mao is a world leader in the study of materials under pressure and the implications for geoscience, planetary science, physics, chemistry, and materials science. He and colleagues first reached 1 megabar static pressure in 1976, which doubled the previous pressure limit. Since then, his group has consistently extended the range of pressures at which materials can be studied in the laboratory, applying a broad range of laser, synchrotron x-ray, neutron, and other measurement methods.


“Dave Mao has been a pathfinder in many scientific areas,” remarked Carnegie president Richard A. Meserve. “Carnegie is very proud that the Royal Society has recognized Dave’s many contributions.”


“Dave’s influence in the field is remarkable, as indicated by the some 700 papers he has published with over 430 different co-authors. Additional people have directly benefitted from his training in high-pressure techniques at the Geophysical Laboratory and at the synchrotron radiation facilities that we manage,” commented Russell Hemley, director of Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory.


Mao received his Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 1968 and became a postdoctoral fellow at Carnegie’s Geophysical Laboratory. In 1972 he was appointed a staff member. He is the recipient of the American Geophysical Union’s 2007 Inge Lehmann Medal; a co-recipient with Russell Hemley of the 2005 Balzan Prize from the Balzan Foundation for mineral physics; the recipient of the 2005 Gregori Aminoff Prize of the Royal Swedish Academy of Science for crystallography; and the 2005 Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America, among other awards. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, the Academia Sinica of the Republic of China, a Foreign Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and he is a Fellow of American Geophysical Union, the American Physical Society, and the Mineralogical Society of America.