Ernst Fischer (1974) - Transition metal-carbonyl-carbine-complexes (German Presentation)

Ernst Fischer (1974)

Transition metal-carbonyl-carbine-complexes (German Presentation)

Ernst Fischer (1974)

Transition metal-carbonyl-carbine-complexes (German Presentation)

Comment

When Ernst Otto Fischer came to Lindau for the first time in 1974, he might have known that German Nobel Laureates are invited every year, but he could hardly have known that he would attend the meetings every year for more than 30 years. Although he only gave a few lectures, he rapidly became involved in the organisation of the meetings and was for many years a member of the Committee (“Kuratorium”). In an interview from 1999 he is quoted as saying “There are many conventions I don’t bother to attend any more, but I always keep the Lindau week free.” He also expressed his delight in meeting both fellow Nobel Laureates and students under informal circumstances. His lecture in 1974 is a rather technical chemistry lecture with slides. It was given after a similar lecture by Geoffrey Wilkinson, with whom he had received the Nobel Prize the year before. Both Fischer and Wilkinson were still active chemists and did not tell the stories of how they made their prize-awarding work in the 1950’s, but rather reported from ongoing studies and developments within the general field of study between inorganic and organic chemistry. Both were interested in compounds made up of inorganic transition metals and organic carbon atoms, compounds that could be of great importance to the chemical industry as catalysts for a wide variety of products. It is interesting to note that in 1973, most of these transition metal catalysts were looked upon as dangers for the environment. But through the work of the Nobel Laureates in Chemistry of 2005, these catalysts instead became the fundamental starting point for the environmentally friendly metathesis method in organic synthesis, now accepted as part of what is today called Green Chemistry.

Anders Bárány

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