Honoring Bacon Ke at 100: a legend among the many luminaries and a highly collaborative scientist in photosynthesis research

Abstract

Bacon Ke, who did pioneering research on the primary photochemistry of photosynthesis, was born in China on July 26, 1920, and currently, he is living in a senior home in San Francisco, California, and is a centenarian. To us, this is a very happy and unique occasion to honor him. After providing a brief account of his life, and a glimpse of his research in photosynthesis, we present here “messages” for Bacon Ke@ 100 from: Robert Alfano (USA), Charles Arntzen (USA), Sandor Demeter (Hungary), Richard A. Dilley (USA), John Golbeck (USA), Isamu Ikegami (Japan), Ting-Yun Kuang (China), Richard Malkin (USA), Hualing Mi (China), Teruo Ogawa (Japan), Yasusi Yamamoto (Japan), and Xin-Guang Zhu (China).

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Fig. 1
Fig. 2

Source: Teruo Ogawa

Fig. 3

Source: Yun-Kang Shen

Fig. 4
Fig. 5

Source: Yun-Kang Shen

Fig. 6 
Fig. 7

Source: Hualing Mi’s archives

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Acknowledgements

We thank Mary Bet Dobson of the American Chemical Society for her valuable help to one of us (GG) in getting information for this tribute. All the authors are highly thankful to all those who sent messages to us for “Happy 100th Birthday wishes to Bacon Ke.”. We are grateful to Jian-Feng Cheng for his help in editing Fig. 4 and for his help in the Chinese text by one of us (Y-KS). GG thanks several at Wayne State University for providing information on Bacon’s date of birth, on his PhD thesis, and more; they are as follows: Matthew Allen (Chair, Chemistry); Lisa Anga; Mary Iverson; Melissa Rochon; and David Rorabacher (Emeritus). We also thank Gyozo Garab, of Hungary, for his help in reaching out to Sandor Demeter. Lastly, we acknowledge receiving valuable comments, on Bacon Ke, from Tetsuo Hiyama, and Vijai Tyagi. Finally, we thank Rajni Govindjee, who, in 1955, was in the first India- China Student- Teacher Delegation, for reading this Tribute and for her suggestions. Govindjee thanks Arthur Nonomura for reading the final version of this manuscript and for making valuable suggestions.

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Govindjee, G., Shen, YK., Zhu, XG. et al. Honoring Bacon Ke at 100: a legend among the many luminaries and a highly collaborative scientist in photosynthesis research. Photosynth Res 147, 243–252 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11120-021-00820-8

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Keywords

  • Photosystem I
  • Photosystem II
  • Charles F. Kettering laboratory
  • US–China scientific relation