Immigrant chemist's revolutionary finding advances medicine and plastics
University of Michigan chemist Moses Gomberg's discovery of organic free radicals will be designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark by the American Chemical Society, the world's largest scientific society, on June 25 at the university's Ann Arbor campus. When Gomberg announced in 1900 that he had isolated an organic free radical - a carbon molecule with an odd number of electrons - the chemistry establishment greeted the news with skepticism, then dismissed it as a curiosity. A century later, Gomberg's breakthrough has led to profound advances in biochemistry, biology and medicine, as well as the production of plastics for everything from children's toys to the space shuttle.
The American Chemical Society National Historic Chemical Landmarks program commemorates and preserves landmarks in the history of chemistry, and heightens public awareness of the key role chemistry has played in the history of the United States and nations around the world.
WHO: Dr. Daryle Busch, ACS President
University of Kansas
WHAT: Designation of Moses Gomberg's discovery of organic free radicals as a National Historic Chemical Landmark
WHEN: 5:15 p.m., Sunday, June 25, 2000
WHERE: University of Michigan central campus
1800 Chemistry Building
930 North University Street
Ann Arbor, Mich.