Wednesday, June 23, 2021

NYT obituary of Professor Ei-ichi Negishi

Via the New York Times: 
Ei-ichi Negishi, who shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2010 for developing techniques now ubiquitous in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals, died on June 6 in Indianapolis. He was 85.

His death, at a hospital, was announced by Purdue University, where Dr. Negishi was a professor for four decades. No cause was given.
Interesting detail from Professor Tour: 
Dr. Tour said Dr. Negishi had pursued research that he thought was Nobel-worthy. “He dreamed about it,” Dr. Tour said. “He often discussed the Nobel Prize. And what would have to be done to win this.”

To that end, Dr. Negishi could be relentless. “He was extremely exacting,” Dr. Tour said. “He had no trouble pushing people to the point of tears at a blackboard.”
Didn't know it took a Fulbright to bring Prof. Negishi to America: 
After graduating from the University of Tokyo in 1958 with a bachelor of engineering degree, he worked as a research chemist at the Iwakuni Research Laboratories in Japan. By his account, he realized that he needed more academic training but felt that graduate school was financially out of reach.

His fortunes changed in 1960, however, when he won a Fulbright scholarship to attend the University of Pennsylvania.
Don't miss the detail about the Nobel Prize medal at the end. 


  1. “He had no trouble pushing people to the point of tears at a blackboard.”

    1. The mark of a true leader in academic chemistry.

  2. I dont think being abusive correlates well with leadership. It does correlate well with being a twit that only academia would tolerate.


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