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ASU physics professor John Spence is elected to the Royal Society

Arizona State University

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IMAGE: ASU Regents Professor John Spence has been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society. view more

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TEMPE, Ariz., (May 5, 2015) - Arizona State University Regents professor John C.H. Spence has been elected as a Fellow to the Royal Society, London.

The Royal Society is a Fellowship of many of the world's most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering and medicine. The Society dates back to the 1660s and its fundamental purpose is to recognize, promote and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity. Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, Charles Darwin and Sir Isaac Newton have been members of the Royal Society.

Spence is among the 2015 class of Fellows, which includes 47 Fellows and 10 Foreign Members. Spence was elected as a Foreign Member.

Spence is the Richard Snell Professor of Physics, at Arizona State University. He also is the Director of Science for the National Science Foundation's BioXFEL Science and Technology Center

Spence has had a distinguished and innovative career making several significant contributions to biology and materials science. Most recently, he led the team that conceived the first application of x-ray free-electron lasers (XFEL) to structural biology using protein nanocrystals, and he pioneered femtosecond serial crystallography, the technique that uses the lasers to peer into proteins.

Spence also has been a world leader in the development and application of atomic-resolution electron microscopy. He co-invented a widely used technique for locating impurity atoms in nanocrystals and published the first observation of dislocation kinks at atomic resolution. He has developed new microscopies and spectroscopies, which have given scientists new eyes to understand atomic processes in solids.

Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, said of this year's class of Fellows:

"Without scientific knowledge, we might not be able to solve some of the greatest challenges of our time - food shortages, climate change and tackling diseases. The scientists elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society this year are leaders in their fields and have contributed much to the scientific endeavor. We are delighted to welcome them alongside the likes of great British scientist such as Newton, Boyle and Darwin."

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