UBC physicist and chemist George Sawatzky has been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, joining the ranks of eminent scientists such as Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Charles Darwin and Isaac Newton.
Sawatzky has made major contributions to the understanding of the important transition metal oxides and pioneered new spectroscopic methods to study these materials. The understanding of many widely used methods such as x-ray absorption, magnetic x-ray dichroism, Auger spectroscopy and various forms of resonant x-ray scattering rests largely on the work of Sawatzky and collaborators.
Election to the academy is regarded as one of the highest awards in science.
The Society elects 44 new fellows every year—and the Fellowship is composed of the most distinguished scientists from the United Kingdom, Commonwealth countries and Ireland. Founded in 1660, the Society is one of the world's oldest and most prestigious scientific academies with more than 1,300 members, 20 of whom are Nobel Prize winners.
Other UBC faculty previously named to the Royal Society of London include David Dolphin, chemistry, Dolph Schluter, zoology, William Unruh, physics and Nobel laureate Michael Smith, chemistry.
Sawatzky holds a joint appointment with the departments of Physics and Astronomy, and Chemistry.