Monday, December 27, 2021

NYT obituary of Robert Grubbs

I didn't know about the late Professor Grubbs' origins in agricultural chemistry (via the New York Times): 
He majored in agricultural chemistry at the University of Florida, combining his interest in science, developed in junior high school, and his boyhood passion for farming.

One summer, while working in an animal nutrition laboratory analyzing steer feces, he was invited by a friend to work in an organic chemistry laboratory being run by a new university faculty member, Merle Battiste. Around that time, Dr. Grubbs became absorbed in a book called “Mechanisms and Structure in Organic Chemistry,” by E.S. Gould, which explained how chemical reactions work. His lab experience and the book, he said, persuaded him to devote himself to chemistry.

Gotta say, I imagine you would be looking for jobs other than analyzing feces...  

1 comment:

  1. The stories I heard were that he had a very rural, almost "hillbilly" upbringing -- and that his first name was actually "Bobby" (he had it legally changed to "Robert" in adulthood)


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