Research: Scientists With The Right Chemistry To Win A Nobel Prize

What does it take to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry? Does the prize-winning research involve, for instance, discovering a never-before- seen molecular structure? Or must one do something bordering on alchemy? In this issue, The Scientist continues its three-part series on potential candidates for the Nobel Prizes. Two weeks ago, the focus was on physicists (The Scientist, Sept. 3, 1990, page 16). Now, The Scientist examines citation data compiled by the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scien

Angela Martello
Sep 16, 1990

What does it take to win the Nobel Prize in chemistry? Does the prize-winning research involve, for instance, discovering a never-before- seen molecular structure? Or must one do something bordering on alchemy?

In this issue, The Scientist continues its three-part series on potential candidates for the Nobel Prizes. Two weeks ago, the focus was on physicists (The Scientist, Sept. 3, 1990, page 16). Now, The Scientist examines citation data compiled by the Philadelphia-based Institute for Scientific Information to survey high-impact chemists who could be contenders for the 1990 Nobel Prize.

It should be noted that because a large number of citations tends to indicate scientists who have been active researchers for a number of years, younger--but perhaps as influential-- researchers may be overlooked. One such scientist is Ahmed Zewail of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. Zewail, 44, has attained recognition for his femto-chemistry studies, which involve...

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