Issue Date: September 17, 2012
University Of Lyon Honored For Grignard Reaction
During a symposium in June, the ACS Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST) awarded the Citation for Chemical Breakthrough to the University of Lyon, in France, in honor of the institution’s role in the discovery of the Grignard reaction in 1900. The award recognizes breakthrough publications, books, and patents worldwide in the field of chemistry and is presented to the institutions at which the work was performed.
François Auguste Victor Grignard, who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1912, was at the University of Lyon when he discovered the reaction bearing his name. The Grignard reaction involves the addition of alkyl or aryl magnesium halides (Grignard reagents) to a carbonyl group in an aldehyde or ketone and is important for the formation of carbon-carbon bonds. “We are proud of Grignard and of how his research fathered organometallic chemistry,” said Peter Goekjian, one of the symposium organizers and a chemistry professor at the University of Lyon.
Jeffrey I. Seeman, a past chair of HIST and founder of the award program, presented the university with a plaque bearing the reaction of methylmagnesium iodide with an aldehyde, reproduced from Grignard’s 1900 publication in Comptes rendus hebdomadaires des séances de l’Académie des Sciences. “What makes this presentation particularly exciting and memorable is the joining of such a large gathering of symposium participants and eminent speakers with so many members of the Grignard family,” Seeman said, noting that two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren bearing the Grignard name were present at the symposium.
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