Priestley Medal ... Derek H.R. Barton, a winner of the 1969 Nobel Prize in chemistry and a Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M University, College Station, has been selected to receive the 1995 Priestley Medal, the American Chemical Society's (ACS) highest honor. Designed to commemorate the work of Joseph Priestley, an 18th-century chemist from Great Britain, the gold medal will be presented to Barton at ACS's national meeting scheduled for next April in Anaheim, Calif.
Barton's special interest has been in the area of conformational analysis: forming theories on the three- dimensional shapes of molecules, and inventing new chemical reactions. "You think about them in your head and then try them out in the laboratory," says the 75-year-old organic chemist, who in 1959 devised reactions that made functional the unactivated methyl groups in steroids. This reaction enabled other scientists to synthesize aldosterone--an essential hormone controlling electrolyte balance in the...
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