The 2005 Paul Karrer Gold Medallion has been awarded to Robert H Grubbs

The 2005 Paul Karrer Gold Medallion has been awarded to Robert H Grubbs, Victor and Elizabeth Atkins professor of chemistry at the California Institute of Technology, US. Grubbs who specialises in organometallic chemistry was chosen in recognition of his work in catalysts development, in particular, the olefin metathesis reaction.

As part of the award Grubbs will present a lecture at the University of Zurich, Switzerland, on 30 June 2005. The lecture, which is open to everyone, will take place before the award ceremony. The award will be presented by Hans Weder, president of the University of Zurich. Grubbs is also a member of the National Academy of Science and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The Grubbs reaction, named after his work with ruthenium-based catalysts is studied by undergraduates the world over.

’The list of previous Karrer medalists comprises many of the all time greats in chemistry, several among them pioneers who later went on to Nobel prize fame,’ said Jay Siegel, professor of organic chemistry at the University of Zurich and a member of the award’s selection panel. ’Robert Grubbs belongs to that cadre of creative scientists who shape the way we do chemistry and through his catalytic methods for the preparation of polymers and selective transformation of small molecules, affects the role chemistry plays in modern society,’ he told Chemistry World.

The award was founded in 1959 to recognise Paul Karrer’s contribution, as he retired following 40 years as professor of organic chemistry and director of the Institute for Organic Chemistry at the University of Zurich.

Vikki Allen