Imre Tarján (1912-2000)

[Imre Tarjan]Professor Imre Tarján, a member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, died on January 19, 2000, at age 88. He arranged for Hungary to join the IUCr in 1963. He was first the secretary of the Hungarian National Committee of IUCr, and later its president (1966-1973).

Imre Tarján excelled in teaching, research and scientific administration.

He received his Ph.D. from the University at Debrecen in 1939. After teaching physics in a leading secondary school, he headed the Biophysical Institute of the Medical University at Budapest from 1950 until his retirement in 1982.

In the early fifties, together with Professor Zoltán Gyulai, he grew synthetic quartz crystals and he and his co-workers produced NaI(Tl) and other single crystals for the detection of nuclear radiation. In the mid-sixties he extended his activity and applied solid state physical methods to the investigation of biological macromolecular systems. He and his team developed a method for the fast quantitative characterization of the mutagenic activity of chemicals and automatic equipment for its measurement. He was a co-author of a 'Laboratory Manual on Crystal Growth' (Akadémia Kiadó, by arrangement with UNESCO, Budapest, 1972.). C.W. Bunn commented about the book 'It should be in the hands of all teachers and students of crystal growth'. His textbook 'An Introduction to Biophysics with Medical Orientation' had 9 editions in Hungarian and was translated into Russian, Polish, English, and German.

He was a founding member of the Editorial Board of the Journal of Crystal Growth (1967-1971) and the Crystal Research and Technology (1966-1989). He was active in the Physical section of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences. He was dean (1959- 63) and vice-rector (1970-73) at the Medical University in Budapest, head of the Research Laboratory for Crystal Physics of HAS (1961-1976), and honorary president of the Crystal Physical Section of the Hungarian Roland Eötvös Physical Society.

His numerous awards included the Kossuth Price, the Hungarian State Award, and the Gold Medal of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Ervin Hartmann