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11 Jul 15:22

R. B. Woodward: A Larger-than-Life Chemistry Rock Star

by Jeffrey I. Seeman

R. B. Woodward


To mark the 100th birthday of R. B. Woodward (April 10, 1917–July 8, 1979), a discussion and analysis of Woodward's persona is given. The fundamental theme is that “Woodward experienced his own exceptionality,” as described by Albert Eschenmoser, Woodward's partner in the vitamin B12 project. Woodward's rock star personality is explored and discussed as one of his legacies in addition to his scientific achievements. Woodward presented himself to his students, colleagues, and fellow chemists with an aura of nobility and romanticism.

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This view of a very serious R. B. Woodward through the lens of a complex porphyrin encapsulates his lifelong commitment to scholarship and the thrill of discovering and communicating the complexity of nature. Picture from the February 1961 issue of National Geographic magazine.

23 Aug 10:30

Hidden Symmetry Enables a 15-Step Total Synthesis of Pactamycin

by Jessica K. Kisunzu, Richmond Sarpong
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Inside insight: Pactamycin has long been recognized as a potent bioactive compound and a formidable target for chemical total synthesis. Recently, Johnson and co-workers published a 15-step enantioselective synthesis of pactamycin that capitalized on the recognition of latent symmetry in the core structure.

23 Aug 10:12

A Concise Total Synthesis of (+)-Scholarisine A Empowered by a Unique C–H Arylation

by Myles W. Smith and Scott A. Snyder

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Journal of the American Chemical Society
DOI: 10.1021/ja406546k