William Lipscomb


William Lipscomb

William Nunn Lipscomb, Jr. (born December 9, 1919) is an American inorganic chemist, working in experimental and theoretical chemistry and biochemistry.

He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, but his family moved to Lexington, Kentucky when he was an infant, and he lived there until he received his Bachelor of Science degree at the University of Kentucky in 1941. He went on to earn his Doctor of Philosophy degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1946.

From 1946 to 1959 he taught at the University of Minnesota. Since 1959, he has been a professor of chemistry at Harvard University.

He deduced the molecular structure of boranes using X-ray crystallography in the 1950s and developed theories to explain their bonds. Later he applied the same methods to related problems, including the structure of carboranes on which he directed the research of future Nobel Prize winner Roald Hoffmann. His later research focuses on the atomic structure of proteins, particularly how enzymes work.

He is a member of the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science. Professor Lipscomb is also a member of the Honorary Order of Kentucky Colonels. [cite book
last = Hargittai
first = Istvan
title = Candid Science III: More Conversations with Famous Chemists.
publisher = Imperial College Press
date = 2003
location = London, UK
pages = 27
]

He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1961, and awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1976.

Lipscomb, along with several other Nobel laureates, is a regular presenter at the annual Ig Nobel Awards Ceremony, most recently doing so in October 2008. [http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/howaboutthat/3128229/Ig-Nobel-awards-Irrelevant-scientific-research-honoured.html]

References

External links

* [http://www-chem.harvard.edu/faculty/lipscomb.html Research page at Harvard]
* [http://nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/1976/lipscomb-autobio.html Autobiography at Nobel Prize official site]
* [http://osulibrary.orst.edu/specialcollections/events/1995paulingconference/video-s3-4-lipscomb.html Video of a talk by Lipscomb titled "Reflections" (relates mostly to his interactions with Linus Pauling) ]


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