Allen J. Bard

“Chemistry” leads to good science

Allen J. Bard, regarded as the “father of modern electrochemistry,” has been an ECS member for over 50 years. Throughout that time, he has taught and mentored an academic family tree with deep seeded roots in the Society. Bard has mentored over 75 PhD students and 150 postdoctoral fellows, many of whom are now integral to both the advancement of electrochemical science and ECS, creating academic families of their very own and further broadening the ECS community.

“There’s a chemistry that can develop in a group,” Bard said. “That chemistry can lead to very good science.”

Bard’s continued involvement in the Society and his dedication to teaching and growing communities of researchers landed him the ECS Henry B. Linford Award for Distinguished Teaching in 1986.

One of Bard’s former students, Paul Kohl, served as ECS president from 2014-2015. Larry Faulkner, who was a doctoral student under Bard in the early 1980s, went on to serve as the Society’s president from 1991-1992, later becoming a key player in the establishment of the Free the Science initiative. ECS’s current president, Johna Leddy, also studied with Bard and would pursue a career at the University of Iowa, creating another branch of this academic tree by overseeing students such as ECS fellow Shelley Minteer and member Luke Haverhals. The Society founded the Allen J. Bard Award in 2013, with the first award presented to yet another former Bard student and world leader in electrochemistry, Henry White.

The academic family tree that has grown out of Bard’s teaching and exists within the Society not only bolsters an already internationally recognized ECS community, but supports a value at the core of Bard’s work and many of those who grow from that tree: the pursuit of fundamental scientific knowledge and discovery.