Issue Date: June 29, 2015
More Chemistry Rock Stars
I enjoyed Bibiana Campos Seijo’s column on “rock stars” of chemistry (C&EN, April 13, page 5). I support Ben Feringa for inclusion in the list. His work has been both original and great science. He also meets your requirement for passion and charisma. I know him personally, but I think I can separate personal bias from scientific judgment.
I might add that since you expressed disappointment that the list of chemistry rock stars given on the occasion of the International Year of Chemistry did not include some worthy names (you mentioned Frederick Sanger), I was disappointed that the list did not include Louis Pasteur. Most people think of him as a microbiologist, but he was a chemist and made one of the most important discoveries in chemistry—molecular chirality. And he discovered it at a time (1848) when next to nothing was known about chemical structure and bonding.
I’d like to suggest a candidate for a rock star of chemistry. He is Robert Langer, who may have more awards than any other living chemical engineer. Now I would think a chemical engineer should be considered for this list, since the key word is “chemistry,” not “chemist.” And since the American Chemical Society does have a significant number of chemical engineers as members, I believe you speak for both chemists and for us.
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