Comments, experts and background on the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

October 05, 2005

Comments by William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D.,

President, American Chemical Society"Innovations like the metathesis reactions cited in this year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry help to underscore the relationship of chemistry to the economic engine of our country. We need to train more chemists to follow in the footsteps of this year's winners to sustain the growth of our economy and continue improving the quality of life for people everywhere."Metathesis is one of organic chemistry's most important reactions and, as noted in today's announcement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, 'represents a great step forward for "green chemistry," reducing potentially hazardous waste through smarter production.'"Metathesis reactions are an important tool in the creation of new drugs to fight many of the world's major diseases, including cancer, Alzheimer's and AIDS. They also are used to develop herbicides, new polymers and fuels."William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D., president of the American Chemical Society, is vice president of chlorovinyl issues at Occidental Chemical Corp. in Dallas, Texas.BACKGROUND INFORMATIONThis year's recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry --Yves Chauvin, Robert Grubbs and Richard Schrock -- were instrumental in the discovery and refinement of the olefin metathesis reaction. This increasingly important organic process allows researchers to synthesize certain kinds of complex molecules that were previously difficult and inefficient to make. Their research has opened the door to faster, more efficient and greener methods for developing new drugs and polymers.Metathesis reactions were first recognized in the 1950s but were poorly understood at the time. Diligent work by the Nobel winners and other chemists has formed a deeper understanding of these reactions and led to their role as efficient, reliable workhorses in the field of organic chemistry. Metathesis is now a method of choice for the synthesis of pharmaceutical candidates.Researchers around the world use metathesis reactions to synthesize new, more effective drugs and drug candidates. Others are producing high-tech plastics with novel properties. One company even manufactures a baseball bat using metathesis reactions.Among the peer-reviewed ACS journals in which Chauvin, Grubbs and Schrock have published are the Journal of the American Chemical Society, Organometallics, the Journal of Organic Chemistry and Organic Letters. Schrock served as an associate editor of Organometallics from 1982-89.Grubbs and Schrock are long-standing members of the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society and home of the ACS Green Chemistry Institute.ADDITIONAL BACKGROUNDThe American Chemical Society's weekly newsmagazine, Chemical & Engineering News, has an extensive cover story in its Dec. 23, 2002, issue, which is an excellent source for more information on the significance of metathesis. The story is available at:http://pubs.acs.org/cen/coverstory/8051/8051olefin.html



SOURCES WHO CAN COMMENT ON THE RESEARCH

-end-


American Chemical Society

Related Chemistry Articles from Brightsurf:

Searching for the chemistry of life
In the search for the chemical origins of life, researchers have found a possible alternative path for the emergence of the characteristic DNA pattern: According to the experiments, the characteristic DNA base pairs can form by dry heating, without water or other solvents.

Sustainable chemistry at the quantum level
University of Pittsburgh Associate Professor John A. Keith is using new quantum chemistry computing procedures to categorize hypothetical electrocatalysts that are ''too slow'' or ''too expensive'', far more thoroughly and quickly than was considered possible a few years ago.

Can ionic liquids transform chemistry?
Table salt is a commonplace ingredient in the kitchen, but a different kind of salt is at the forefront of chemistry innovation.

Principles for a green chemistry future
A team led by researchers from the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies recently authored a paper featured in Science that outlines how green chemistry is essential for a sustainable future.

Sugar changes the chemistry of your brain
The idea of food addiction is a very controversial topic among scientists.

Reflecting on the year in chemistry
A lot can happen in a year, especially when it comes to science.

Better chemistry through tiny antennae
A research team at The University of Tokyo has developed a new method for actively controlling the breaking of chemical bonds by shining infrared lasers on tiny antennae.

Chemistry in motion
For the first time, researchers have managed to view previously inaccessible details of certain chemical processes.

Researchers enrich silver chemistry
Researchers from Russia and Saudi Arabia have proposed an efficient method for obtaining fundamental data necessary for understanding chemical and physical processes involving substances in the gaseous state.

The chemistry behind kibble (video)
Have you ever thought about how strange it is that dogs eat these dry, weird-smelling bits of food for their entire lives and never get sick of them?

Read More: Chemistry News and Chemistry Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.