The American Chemical Society has awarded Stanford University chemistry professor Carl Djerassi the 1991 Priestley Medal. The medal, which is ACS's highest honor and is widely regarded as the United States' most prestigious award in chemistry, will be presented to Djerassi next April at the society's national meeting in San Francisco.

World-famous for developing the first oral contraceptive--"the pill"--Djerassi, 67, has had great success in academia and industry, in developed and developing countries, and in science and literature. He has been a pioneer in the development of antihistamines and topical corticosteroids and in the isolation, structural elucidation, and partial synthesis of steroids, lipids, and antibiotics, among other natural products. In addition, he played a leading role in the introduction into organic chemistry of several physical methods, including mass spectrometry and chiroptical techniques.

"I find it very stimulating to do different things at the same time," says Djerassi, who calls himself...

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