Monday, March 2, 2015

Oh, that's all

From the letters to the editor in this week's C&EN:
I don’t know why there was such a flurry of indignant letters about the review of the book “The Birth of the Pill” (C&EN, Sept. 22, 2014, page 32). This is a book for a popular audience by an author whose claims to fame are books about baseball and Al Capone. It might better have been titled “Politics, Religion, and the Pill,” but it certainly was not designed to explore the intricacies of organic synthesis. The author does indeed reference Carl Djerassi and Frank Colton. 
If there is frustration in the chemistry community about the lack of recognition of these outstanding chemists, may I suggest that some charismatic organic chemist design a PBS TV program for “NOVA,” along the lines of what Brian Greene and Neil deGrasse Tyson have done for quantum mechanics and cosmology, respectively. 
Ivan E. Leigh
West Chester, Pa.
Heh, there are plenty of charismatic organic chemists, but chemistry just doesn't get producers excited like space and physics. I dunno why.

(Worth noting that Djerassi himself was more world-historical than NdGT, but I don't think he got any (or very many) TV programs.) 


  1. Have to work on that salesmanship.

  2. Yeahhhhh, I don't think Djerassi would have come off all that well if he were on television every week.