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The Chemical Educator

ISSN: 1430-4171 (electronic version)

Table of Contents

Abstract Volume 17 (2012) pp 042-052
DOI 10.1007/s00897122412a

Victor Grignard (1871–1935) and Paul Sabatier (1854–1941), Pioneers in Organometallic Chemistry: A Retrospective View on the Centennial of the 1912 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Jean-Pierre Adloff and George B. Kauffman*

Honorary Professor, Université de Strasbourg, Strasbourg, France F-67100,; Department of Chemistry, California State University, Fresno, Fresno, CA 93740-8034,

Published: 23 March 2012

Abstract. In 1912 the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded half each to the French chemists Victor Grignard (1871–1935) and Paul Sabatier (1854–1941), who pioneered independently in the field of organometallic chemistry. It was the first recognition for successes in French provincial laboratories, both laureates having refused nominations to prestigious chairs in Paris. Although the topics of the two laureates involved organometallic compounds, their respective researches were unrelated. Therefore the achievements of the joint Nobel laureates are treated separately before reviewing their Nobel awards. The effect of the awards on French chemistry is also discussed.

Key Words: Chemistry and History; Nobel Prizes; biography; organic chemistry; organometallic reagents in synthesis; catalysis; world war I; world war II; chemistry in france; nationalism in science

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