Heroes of Chemistry Honors Reflect Breadth of DuPont Science

Heroes of Chemistry
The Heroes of Chemistry award for innovative scientists

Heroes of Chemistry are selected each year by the American Chemical Society for their talent, creativity and innovation. These heroes are chemical scientists whose work in various fields of chemistry and chemical engineering has led to successful innovation and development of commercial products based on chemistry.

DuPont scientists have been honored as Heroes of Chemistry eight separate times, for a broad range of achievements. Notable accomplishments have included developing DuPont™ Rynaxypyr® Insecticide, Bio-PDO™ Bio-based 1,3 propanediol (PDO), a new 100% renewable glycol that is used as a formulation component and monomer; and inventing and developing alternatives to chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerants. In addition to scientific merit, commercial success in the marketplace is an important criterion for this honor, because the American Chemical Society recognizes that good business results follow good science.

DuPont Heroes of Chemistry


Daniel Cordova, John Freudenberger, George Lahm, Thomas Selby, and Thomas Stevenson for developing DuPontTM Rynaxypyr®, the first anthranilic diamide insect control product.


George Trainor for the invention of dye-terminating DNA sequencing.


DuPont employees Catherine H. Babowicz and Charles E. Nakamura, and Tate & Lyle’s Dennis M. Adkesson along with Genecor’s Gregory M. Whited, for the development of Bio-PDO™.  Bio-based 1,3 propanediol,  Bio-PDO™, is a new 100 percent renewable glycol – the first of its kind in the world.  


Donald B. Bivens, Mark B. Shiflett and Akimitchi Yokozecki for the development and invention of Hydrofluorocarbon Refrigerant Blends.  DuPont was the first company to develop and commercialize CFC alternatives, particularly for refrigeration and air conditioning, which represented about 60 percent of CFC use worldwide.  


Richard W. Rees for developing a versatile family of plastics used to make glass interlayers that minimize falling and flying glass during building explosions, storms, and transportation accidents.  During a storm or explosion, the shock wave may crack the glass itself, but the fragments stick to the plastic interlayer and the pane stays within its frame. Laminated glass also helps to deflect the explosion, absorbing the blast pressure and some of the energy generated by the blast.
The four-person team of W. Mark Barbour, Mark A. Jensen, George Tice, Jr. and Susan Y. Tseng for the development of an innovative and accelerated system that can detect harmful pathogens in food supplies. The system reduces the reporting time for negative Listeria monocytogenes samples by one day and for negative Salmonella samples by two days. It also reduces the occurrence of false positives for E. coli O157:H7.


George Levitt for the discovery of the Sulfonylurea Class of Herbicides.  Now used on major food crops grown throughout the world, they have enabled farmers to cut herbicide use by 90% without sacrificing effectiveness. Sulfonylureas target an enzyme present in plants but absent in animals.

Walter Cicha, Andrew Degraff Jr., R. Bertrum Diemer, Jr., Kang Lin, Leo Manzer, Bradley Martin, Paula Solomon, Stan Ziemecki and Charles Bellini for the development of an Innovative Replacement Catalyst. This new catalyst cut the formation and emission of carbon tetrachloride as an unwanted by-product from chemical synthesis reactions while also reducing process downtime.

About the American Chemical Society Heroes of Chemistry Program

Since 1996, the ACS Heroes of Chemistry program has recognized chemical scientists whose work in various fields of chemistry and chemical engineering has led to the successful innovation and development of commercial products based on chemistry. The Heroes of Chemistry program highlights the vital role of industrial chemical scientists and their companies in improving human welfare through successful commercial innovations and products. It presents an ideal opportunity to enhance the public image of the chemical and allied industries.