Monday, October 3, 2016

Fun Nobel nominations database

Credit: C&EN
I have been remiss in not telling you all about this neat little database of the Nobel nominations from 1901 and 1950 from Chemical and Engineering News. Here are the methods and all the people from C&EN who worked on it.

From it, I learned that Lise Meitner (a hero of mine) was nominated 19 times, but never won. I also learned that the United States had 78 people nominated (would not have expected that - did not know what the state of American chemistry was, pre-1950.) Pretty neat!

It's Nobel week, so I guess that if anyone wants to predict who is going to win the Biology Chemistry Nobel this year, put it in the comments. I have zero predictions, other than this: it will not be CRISPR. Between the patent fight and the Shuailiang Lin story, that's too much controversy for the Nobel Committee. (This post guarantees, of course, that Doudna, Charpentier and Zhang will be sharing the stage in Stockholm.)

14 comments:

  1. I think it's Breslow's time.

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    1. I don't disagree that he deserves it, but why do you think this is his year?

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  2. I'm actually surprised A. J. Arduengo never got it - the isolation of carbenes as stable, crystalline compounds is on par with Prof. Olah's discovery that carbocations are isolable species and can be characterized in superacid media. Plus, Arduengo's work subsequently led to Grubbs' Nobel Prize.

    I'm also saddened that Djerassi passed away without getting any recognition from the Nobel committee; his impact on humanity is on par with Haber, Bosch, and Borlaugh.

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    1. I would not be surprised if Arduengo gets it – the impact of carbenes on organic chemistry is huge, one of the biggest developments in the past 20 years. But who else? Hermann? perhaps the first to use NHCs in organometallics. As a bonus, there is also the NHCs as catalysts themselves in addition to the hundreds of reactions where they are ligands. Plus their role as polymerization catalysts and applications in surface science. A good prize, to be sure.

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    2. I agree NHCs are important, but I don't think it's fair to say Arduengo's work led to the Grubbs Nobel. That prize was shared with Schrock and Chauvin and is for working out the first well-defined catalysts (no NHCs) and the mechanism. Not for the 2nd generation catalysts.

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    3. Katz should have shared in metathesis instead of Chauvin

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    4. A big name in Europe I talked with once suggested that the French needed to be placated.

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  3. It's Goodenough's time. I'm going to say this every year till I'm right.

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    1. I agree and have agreed for a few years now, at the very least.

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    2. Why hasn't anyone made a pun with so many opportunities, eg. "now's a good enough time as any for Goodenough to get a Nobel". It's just not good enough.

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    3. Someone did...

      http://blogs.sciencemag.org/pipeline/archives/2016/10/03/nobel-season-2016#comment-274127

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    4. That's a real knee-slapper, what a zinger, great one.

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    5. Right up there with JACS="Jackass" and ACIEE="Ang-JEW-wantde" like whatshisname always liked.

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    6. Wrong again. I predict it again for next year....

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