Richard R. Ernst was a full Professor of Physical Chemistry since 1976 and retired in 1998. He was born 1933 in Winterthur. He finished 1962 his studies at the ETH Zurich with a dissertation on nuclear magnetic resonance in physical chemistry. 1963 he joined Varian Associates as a scientist and developed Fourier-transform NMR, noise decoupling, and several other techniques. 1968 he returned to ETH Zurich, became 1968 Lecturer, 1970 Assistant Professor, 1972 Associate Professor, 1976 Full Professor. Since 1968, he was head of a research group concentrating on methodological developments in liquid state and solid state NMR. He developed two-dimensional NMR and novel pulse techniques. He contributed to the development of medical magnetic resonance tomography, and in collaboration with Professor Kurt Wüthrich to the development of the NMR structure determination of biopolymers in solution. Lately, he was involved in the study of intramolecular dynamics.

He was president of the Research Council of ETH Zurich and was a member of the Swiss Science Council, of the COST Committee, and of the Foundation Marcel Benoist. Presently, he was a member of the Hochschulrat of the Technische Universität Munich, and Vicepresident of the Board of Bruker BioSpin AG, Fällanden. He is on the editorial board of more than 10 scientific journals.

He received numerous honors, including the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1991), the Wolf Prize for Chemistry (1991), the Horwitz Prize (1991), and the Marcel Benoist Prize (1986). He received honorary doctor s degrees, among others, of ETH Lausanne, Technische Universität Munich, Universität Zurich, University Antwerpen, Babes-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca, University Montpellier. King George University of Lucknow, University of Allahabad, Charles University. Prague, University National de Cordoba, Ricardo Palmo University, Lima, KIIT University, Bhubaneswar, and University Bern. He is a member of the US National Academy of Sciences, of the Royal Academy of Sciences, London, of the Deutsche Akademie Leopoldina, of the Russian Academy of Sciences, of the Korean Academy of Science and Technology, and honorary member of many further societies.

Today, he is involved in studies and conservation of Central Asian painting art. In this context, he became active in Raman spectroscopy for identifying pigments in ancient paintings. He is also giving numerous lectures on the societal responsibility of scientists and teachers.

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