Henry F. Schaefer, III: Wikis


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Henry F. Schaefer

Fritz Schaefer
Born June 8, 1944
Grand Rapids, Michigan,United States
Residence United States Flag of the United States.svg
Nationality American Flag of the United States.svg
Fields Computational chemistry
Institutions University of Georgia
Alma mater Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Stanford University

Henry "Fritz" Schaefer III (born June 8, 1944) is a computational and theoretical chemist. He is the author of a large number of scientific publications, and was the 6th most cited chemist from 1981 to 1997 [1] and the Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry at the University of Georgia.[2] Schaefer is also a prominent proponent of intelligent design. He is a Fellow of the Discovery Institute's Center for Science and Culture,[3] the hub of the intelligent design movement, and the International Society for Complexity, Information and Design,[4] and a signer of the Discovery Institute's anti-evolution letter, A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism.[5]




Early life and education

He was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and was educated in Syracuse, New York; Menlo Park, California; and East Grand Rapids, Michigan. He was awarded a B.S. degree in chemical physics by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1966 and a Ph.D. degree in chemical physics from Stanford University in 1969. He was professor of chemistry at the University of California, Berkeley from 1969 to 1987. In 1979-1980 he was Wilfred T. Doherty Professor of Chemistry and inaugural Director of the Institute for Theoretical Chemistry at the University of Texas, Austin. In 1987 he moved to the University of Georgia, where he is Graham Perdue Professor of Chemistry and Director of the Center for Computational Chemistry. He is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and for a long time was the chairman of WATOC (World Association of Theoretical and Computational Chemists). In 2004 he became Professor of Chemistry, Emeritus, at UC Berkeley. His other academic appointments include Professeur d'Echange at the University of Paris (1977), Gastprofessur at the Eidgenossische Technische Hochshule (ETH), Zurich (1994, 1995, 1997, 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008), and David P. Craig Visiting Professor at the Australian National University (1999). He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences [6] in 2004 and became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (London) in 2005. Schaefer also serves as President of the Board at Westminster Christian Academy, a college preparatory school that he helped found in 1988, in Watkinsville, Georgia.

Research and books

Research within the Schaefer group involves the use of computational hardware and theoretical methods to solve problems in molecular quantum mechanics. His contributions to the field of quantum chemistry include a paper challenging, on theoretical grounds, the geometry of triplet methylene as assigned by Nobel Prize-winning experimentalist Gerhard Herzberg; the development of the Z-vector method simplifying certain calculations of correlated systems; and a wide body of work undertaken in his research group on the geometries, properties, and reactions of chemical systems using highly accurate ab initio quantum chemical techniques. Many of these papers have predicted, or forced a reinterpretation of, experimental results. He is the author of more than 1,200 scientific publications, the majority appearing in the Journal of Chemical Physics or the Journal of the American Chemical Society.[7]

Awards and honor

Schaefer was awarded the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry in 1979 "for the development of computational quantum chemistry into a reliable quantitative field of chemistry and for prolific exemplary calculations of broad chemical interest".[8] In 1983 he received the Leo Hendrik Baekeland award for the most distinguished North American chemist under the age of 40. In 1992, he was awarded the Centenary Medal of the Royal Society of Chemistry, London, with a citation that included "the first theoretical chemist successfully to challenge the accepted conclusion of a distinguished experimental group for a polyatomic molecule, namely methylene." In 2003, Schaefer received the American Chemical Society Award in Theoretical Chemistry and the Ira Remsen Award of Johns Hopkins University.[9] In 2004, a six day conference was convened in Gyeongju, Korea on the “Theory and Applications of Computational Chemistry: A Celebration of 1000 Papers of Professor Henry F. Schaefer III.”[10] Schaefer was honored with the $10,000 Joseph O. Hirschfelder Prize in 2005 by the University of Wisconsin's Theoretical Chemistry Institute, joining a distinguished list of some of the best-known scientists in the field.[11]

Schaefer is also an active Protestant Christian educator who regularly speaks to university audiences (over 300 to date), Christian groups and the public on science/faith issues.[12] In 2003, he published Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?, a collection of essays and talks on the subject.[12] He is a member of the Christian Faculty Forum at University of Georgia.[13]


On January 25. 2008, he presented a lecture titled 'Big Bang, Stephen Hawking and God'[14] at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay. It promoted Intelligent Design and also implied the futility of belief systems other than Christianity as the way to God. This evoked a response[15][16] from a group of students in the form of handbills[17][18] which were distributed to the audience of more than 500 student and professors. The students' handbill described his speech as unscientific and therefore out-of-context for the largest technology festival of Asia Techfest 2008. Dr. Schaefer meanwhile, holds that what he spoke is logical and correct.

Schaefer is often cited as an example of the Discovery Institute inflating the academic credentials and affiliations of prominent intelligent design advocates. The institute prominently and frequently mentions the Nobel Prize in connection with Schaefer,[5][19][20] referring to him as a "five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize" despite the fact that Nobel Prize nominations remain confidential for fifty years. Intelligent Design critic Barbara Forrest, Glenn Branch and Reed Cartwright allege that in elevating mere speculation to a fact, the Discovery Institute is inflating his reputation.[21][22] The original source of the estimate that Schaefer has been nominated 5 times for a Nobel Prize is a December 23, 1991 cover article in U.S. News and World Report.[23]

Publications, books, lectures

  • Science and Christianity : Conflict or Coherence?[12] Apollos Trust, (2003) ISBN 097429750X
  • Scientists and Their Gods (2001) [24]
  • Quantum Chemistry: The Development of Ab Initio Methods in Molecular Electronic Structure Theory Dover Publications (February 20, 2004) ISBN 0486432467


  1. ^ "HENRY F. SCHAEFER III". IAQMS member biographies. International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. http://www.iaqms.org/members/IAQMS.member.Schaefer.html. Retrieved 2008-02-12.  
  2. ^ "Center for Computational Chemistry Group Members". Center for Computational Chemistry. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. http://www.ccc.uga.edu/members.php. Retrieved 2008-02-12.  
  3. ^ "CSC Fellows". Center for Science and Culture. http://www.discovery.org/csc/fellows.php. Retrieved 2008-02-12.  
  4. ^ "Society Fellows". International Society for Complexity, Information and Design. http://www.iscid.org/fellows.php. Retrieved 2008-02-12.  
  5. ^ a b "A Scientific Dissent From Darwinism" (pdf). Discovery Institute. http://www.discovery.org/articleFiles/PDFs/100ScientistsAd.pdf. Retrieved 2008-02-12.  
  6. ^ "UGA chemistry professor Henry F. Schaefer III named Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences". Public Affairs News Bureau. University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia. May 5, 2004. http://www.uga.edu/news-bin/artman/exec/view.cgi?archive=7&num=1468&printer=1. Retrieved 2008-02-12.  
  7. ^ Journal of Physical Chemistry, A, Volume 108, No. 15, (2004), pg 2818 - 2840, List of publications of Fritz Schaefer, 1020 are listed to 2004.
  8. ^ ACS Pure Chemistry award
  9. ^ Journal of Physical Chemistry A, Volume 108, (2004), pg 2805 - 2807, "Biography of Fritz Schaefer", C. E. Dykstra, B. J. Garrison, G. E. Scuseria and D. R. Yarkony.
  10. ^ Theory and Applications of Computational Chemistry: A Celebration of 1000 Papers of Professor Henry F. Schaefer III, Kwang S. Kim et al. POSTECH, Gyeongju, Korea.
  11. ^ [1] http://www.chem.wisc.edu/content/joseph-o-hirschfelder-prize
  12. ^ a b c Schaefer, Henry F. (2003). Science and Christianity: Conflict or Coherence?. The Apollos Trust. ISBN 097429750X. An expanded fifth printing appeared in 2008.  
  13. ^ University of Georgia Christian Faculty Forum
  14. ^ Westminster Hall Scholar Series Lecture
  15. ^ Newspaper: DNA
  16. ^ Newspaper: Times of India
  17. ^ Dr. Nikhil Joshi's handbill objecting Prof. Schaefer's argumentspage not found error!!
  18. ^ Webpages regarding the events archived by a rationalist magazine 'Indian Skeptic'.
  19. ^ Questions and Answers about Intelligent Design Discovery Institute. (Word file)
  20. ^ 100 Scientists, National Poll Challenge Darwinism Discovery Institute.
  21. ^ Wedging Creationism into the Academy Barbara Forrest, Glenn Branch. Academe, American Association of University Professors. 2005.
  22. ^ Religiously Motivated Incredulity Reed A. Cartwright. The Panda's Thumb, May 3 2004
  23. ^ Jeffery L. Sheler and Joannie M. Schrof. 1991. "The Creation" U.S. News and World Report, Dec. 23, 1991, pp. 56-64. See inset quoting Schaefer and citing him as "quantum chemist and five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize," p. 62.
  24. ^ Scientists and Their Gods (2001)

External links


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