Scientific society names UAF professor as fellow

 In Chemistry and Biochemistry

By Meghan Murphy

The largest general scientific society in the world has named Larry Duffy, a longtime University of Alaska Fairbanks professor, as a fellow for his three decades of teaching, scholarship, research and mentoring.

The American Association for the Advancement of Science honored Duffy for making science education relevant to Alaskans and increasing Alaskans’ access to cutting-edge research. His work has enriched lives and communities across Alaska.

“I want students to walk out of my classroom and see what they learned reflected in the world all around them,” Duffy said. “I want them to see why it matters to them.”

Duffy is a professor with UAF’s Department of Chemistry in the College of Natural Science and Mathematics and a researcher with the Institute of Arctic Biology. He has engaged many undergraduate and graduate students in his research of brain aging, toxicology and environmental science. He encourages students to focus on research relevant to their communities.

Duffy also directs UAF’s Resilience and Adaptation Program, which trains scholars, policymakers, community leaders and managers to look at the challenges of dealing with Alaska’s rapidly changing environment.

CNSM Dean Paul Layer said Duffy’s interdisciplinary approach to science education and research is one of his greatest strengths.

“Dr. Duffy has a breadth of knowledge to show students the interconnections of the various scientific disciplines in understanding our world,” he said. “He can tell the story of science through molecules, politics and social issues that weave in the different values of his audience.”

As the director of the AAAS Arctic Division, Duffy has held science conferences and workshops in urban and rural Alaska communities. He has also taught chemistry to many high school students across the state.

Duffy is one of 11 members that AAAS specifically recognized for advancing science education. He is among 396 members named fellows for their scientifically or socially distinguished efforts to advance science or its applications.

The AAAS tradition of naming fellows began in 1874. Since then, AAAS has grown to include more than 120,000 members. It publishes the distinguished scientific journal Science.

The fellowship adds to Duffy’s list of accolades, which at UAF include the Carol Feist Outstanding Advisor Award, the UAF Award for Professional Achievement, the Usibelli Distinguished Research Award, the Sven Ebbesson Award for neuroscience and the UAF Chancellor’s Award for diversity.

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