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OU Chemistry Professor Named to List of 12 Texas Women Who Made History

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March 29, 2021

OU Chemistry Professor Named to List of 12 Texas Women Who Made History

Donna Nelson
Donna Nelson

Donna Nelson, a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of Oklahoma, recently was named to the University of Texas-Austin’s listing of 12 Texas women who made history.

Throughout the 2000’s, Nelson, who was listed under UT-Austin’s heading “Breaking Bad Habits in Chemistry,” championed the Nelson Diversity surveys, which quantify the representation of women and minorities in science- and engineering-related professorships at research universities. As one of the science advisers for the hit AMC television series Breaking Bad, Nelson worked to promote scientific accuracy in the media. In 2016, she was named as president of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, with over 155,000 members currently.

Nelson earned her bachelor of science degree in chemistry from OU, doctoral degree in chemistry from the University of Texas-Austin, and conducted postdoctoral work at Purdue University. Her research areas are nanoscience, communicating science to the public, organic chemical education and scientific workforce development.

Her work has appeared in over 200 publications, including six books, and she is the recipient of numerous awards and honors, including selection as American Chemical Society, AAA, Israel Chemical Society, and Ford fellows, Oklahoma Chemist Award, Fulbright Scholar, National Science Foundation ADVANCE Leadership Award, Women's eNews “21 Leaders for the 21st Century," Guggenheim Award, NOW "Woman of Courage", NSF Special Creativity Extension, and Sigma Xi Faculty Research Award.

To view the entire list of women honorees, which includes women from a wide range of disciplines, from astronaut to politician, visit https://news.utexas.edu/2021/03/12/these-12-texas-women-made-history/.