The Houston-based Robert A. Welch Foundation has selected Gilbert Stork, a professor, emeritus, of chemistry at Columbia University, to receive its 1993 award in chemistry. The 39-year- old foundation presents the award annually to a chemist credited with significant research contributions that have had a positive influence on humankind. Stork will receive $225,000 and a gold medallion at a formal ceremony in Houston on October 25.
Stork's research has involved the organic synthesis of complex molecules. "This part of chemical science is more closely related to architecture than it is to physics or mathematics," he says. "What we deal with is really structure, often in three dimensions."
Stork, 71, introduced methods related to chemoselectivity, or how to get a reaction to take place at the site of one particular functional group of molecules.
"Putting together a building is more than just assembling the right number of windows, bricks, and doors,"...
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