Gerhard Herzberg 1904-1999

On March 4, 1999 the following message was issued by Dr. Willem Siebrand, Acting Director General of the Steacie Institute at the National Research Council:

It is my sad duty to inform you that Canada and the world lost a great scientist: our former mentor and colleague Dr. Gerhard Herzberg passed away last night at the age of 94. Recognized as the world’s foremost spectroscopist, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1971, the most prominent of the numerous honours he received during his long career. Dr. Herzberg served NRC with great distinction, first as the Director of Physics, and afterwards as NRC’s Distinguished Scientist, a position in which he remained active until his retirement at the age of 90, after he and his Group had joined the Steacie Institute in 1994. Through his work and his personality he contributed immeasurably to the scientific reputation of NRC in Canada and in the international scientific community. He will be remembered not only as a scientist of exceptional insight and creativity, but also as the author of textbooks that set new standards of clarity and accuracy. He was a Leader in the best sense of the word, venerated by his coworkers and respected throughout the world. We mourn the passing of a man whose wisdom and integrity will be sorely missed and offer our warmest sympathy to his family.

Science for Peace had the honour of Gerhard Herzberg’s membership on its Advisory Council since its formation in 1994. He was a man of peace, devoted especially to the defence of human rights.

As expressions of sympathy, memorial donations could be made to The Herzberg Fund, University of Saskatchewan or the Loeb Research Institute.