21 April 1946 to 28 June 2021
Professor John Spence completed his PhD in physics at the University of Melbourne in 1972, after which he undertook a postdoctoral Fellowship at Oxford. His career then spanned more than 40 years at Arizona State University. He was Richard Snell Professor of Physics and a Regents Professor at ASU, and Director of Science for BioXFEL (the US National Science Foundation Science and Technology Center for Biology with X-ray Laser).
Professor Spence was made a Corresponding Member of the Academy in 2016 for his contributions to the development and application of X-ray lasers to biology and molecular movies, to atomic-resolution electron microscopy, and to the development of new microscopies and spectroscopies.
Professor Spence received numerous awards in recognition of his contributions to science, including the Distinguished Scientist award of the Microscopy Society of America, the Buerger Award of the American Crystallographic Society, the Cowley Medal of the International Federation of Societies of Electron Microscopy, and a Humboldt Senior Scientist award. Earlier this year he was awarded the Gregori Aminoff Prize from the Royal Swedish Academy of Science in the field of crystallography. John was also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, the Microscopy Society of America and a Foreign Member of the Royal Society.
His ASU colleagues reflect that as well as his scientific brilliance, Professor Spence will be remembered for his personal kindness and his caring attitude as a teacher and mentor.
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