MacDiarmid, Alan Graham, 1927–2007, American chemist, b. Masterton, New Zealand, Ph.D. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, 1953, Ph.D. Cambridge, 1955. MacDiarmid was on the faculty at the Univ. of Pennsylvania from 1955 until his death in 2007. In 2000 he, Alan Heeger, and Hideki Shirakawa were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the discovery and development of conductive polymer plastics. Plastics have long been used as insulators because of their apparent inability to conduct electricity, but MacDiarmid and his corecipients discovered that through chemical modification some polymers can be made as conductive as metals. The development of conductive polymers contributed to the emerging field of molecular electronics.