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Comments, experts and background on the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Comments by William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D.,

President, American Chemical Society

"Innovations like the metathesis reactions cited in this years Nobel Prize in Chemistry help to underscore the relationship of chemistry to the economic engine of our country. We need to train more chemists to follow in the footsteps of this years winners to sustain the growth of our economy and continue improving the quality of life for people everywhere.

"Metathesis is one of organic chemistrys most important reactions and, as noted in todays announcement by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, represents a great step forward for "green chemistry," reducing potentially hazardous waste through smarter production.

"Metathesis reactions are an important tool in the creation of new drugs to fight many of the worlds major diseases, including cancer, Alzheimers and AIDS. They also are used to develop herbicides, new polymers and fuels."

William F. Carroll, Jr., Ph.D., president of the American Chemical Society, is vice president of chlorovinyl issues at Occidental Chemical Corp. in Dallas, Texas.

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

This years recipients of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry Yves Chauvin, Robert Grubbs and Richard Schrock were instrumental in the discovery and refinement of the olefin metathesis reaction. This increasingly important organic process allows researchers to synthesize certain kinds of complex molecules that were previously difficult and inefficient to make. Their research has opened the door to faster, more efficient and greener methods for developing new drugs and polymers.

Metathesis reactions were first recognized in the 1950s but were poorly understood at the time. Diligent work by the Nobel winners and other chemists has formed a deeper understanding of these reactions and led to their role as efficient, reliable workhorses in the field of organic chemistry. Metathesis is n
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Contact: Michael Bernstein
m_bernstein@acs.org
202-872-4400
American Chemical Society
5-Oct-2005


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