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Talking With A New Nobel Laureate

Negishi, Credit: Purdue University

Last Wednesday morning, I was on my way to Purdue University to attend the US-China Analytical Chemistry Workshop. Imagine my surprise when I heard the news that Purdue professor Ei-ichi Negishi was one of three recipients of this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry. I was able to spend about an hour with him Thursday afternoon, after some of the initial frenzy of being a newly minted Nobelist had subsided. Here are just a few snippets of our conversation.

In the first clip, he explains why he chose to concentrate on organozinc reagents. (It may become obvious, but “this thing” that he refers to is a periodic table that he had on his desk.) In the second clip, he explains why he didn’t pursue organoboron coupling, even though he showed an example of it in his early palladium-coupling work. In the third clip, he talks about palladium coupling’s main historical rival, the Grignard reaction. In the final clip, he talks about why he named his house, which he designed, Palladium. (It’s not for the reason you might expect.)









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