Sad News: Professor Emeritus Ralph G. Pearson passed away at 103 years old

Event Date: 

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

The Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry regretfully reports the passing of Professor emeritus Ralph G. Pearson on October 12, 2022 at the age of 103.  Ralph joined the UCSB Chemistry Faculty in 1976 after distinguished teaching and research for 30 years at Northwestern University.  He retired from teaching at UCSB in 1991, but continued to come into his office in the Department until he was in his 90’s, where he carried out theoretical studies. His last journal publication appeared in 2011.  Ralph was a highly cited researcher in Inorganic and Physical Chemistry, particularly well known for his introduction of the concept of Hard and Soft Acids and Bases. The high regard held toward him was demonstrated by election to the National Academy of Sciences and receiving the American Chemical Society National Award for Distinguished Service to Inorganic Chemistry and numerous other awards.  Ralph was also well known for his authorship of “Mechanisms of Inorganic Reactions” (with Basolo), of “Kinetics and Mechanisms” (with Frost) and “Symmetry Rules for Chemical Reactions”; texts that helped train several generations of graduate students and more senior researchers.