Famous 20th Century Organic Chemists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 20th Century Organic Chemists

 1 
Alexander Shulgin
(Rediscoverer of MDMA)

Alexander Shulgin
4
Birthdate: June 17, 1925
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berkeley, California, United States
Died: June 2, 2014

A pioneer of psychedelic drug synthesis, Alexander Shulgin came to be known as The Godfather of Ecstasy, for reinventing the drug MDMA, or ecstasy, for medical use. The Harvard drop-out, who later studied psychiatry and pharmacology, would often experiment his newly invented drugs on himself, his wife, and his friends.

 2 
Robert Burns Woodward
(Organic Chemist)

Robert Burns Woodward
5
Birthdate: April 10, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Died: July 8, 1979

 3 

Asima Chatterjee
0
Birthdate: September 23, 1917
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: November 22, 2006
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 4 
Bernard Feringa
(Organic Chemist)

Bernard Feringa
3
Birthdate: May 18, 1951
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Barger-Compascuum, Netherlands

 5 

Vladimir Prelog
3
Birthdate: July 23, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Died: January 7, 1998

Vladimir Prelog was a Croatian-Swiss organic chemist known for his research into the stereochemistry of organic molecules and reactions. He received his Sc.D under the guidance of prominent chemist and composer Emil Votoček. He had a successful academic career and received the 1975 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was also a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.  

 6 

Jean-Marie Lehn
2
Birthdate: September 30, 1939
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Rosheim, France

French chemist Jean-Marie Lehn is noted for his work on synthesis of cryptands and his early innovation in supramolecular chemistry. Efforts of Lehn, Donald Cram and Charles Pedersen in discovering and determining applications of cryptands and crown ethers, which paved way for launch of the field of supramolecular chemistry, led them to receive the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1987.

 7 
Charles J Pedersen
(Organic Chemist)

Charles J Pedersen
2
Birthdate: October 3, 1904
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Busan, South Korea
Died: October 26, 1989
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 8 

Robert Robinson
2
Birthdate: September 13, 1886
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Chesterfield, Derbyshire, England
Died: February 8, 1975

 9 

William Lipscomb
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1919
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Cleveland, Ohio, United States
Died: April 14, 2011

 10 

Donald J. Cram
2
Birthdate: April 22, 1919
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Chester, Vermont
Died: June 17, 2001

 11 
Kurt Alder
(Chemist)

Kurt Alder
1
Birthdate: July 10, 1902
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Königshütte (Chorzów), Silesia
Died: June 20, 1958

Kurt Alder was a German chemist whose work on the Diels-Alder reaction, which is named after him and his teacher Diels, earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1950. Alder is also remembered for working with Ferdinand Münz, the inventor of EDTA. Over the course of his career, Kurt Alder won many prestigious awards and honorary degrees.

 12 
Derek Barton
(Chemist)

Derek Barton
2
Birthdate: September 8, 1918
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Gravesend, Kent, England
Died: March 16, 1998

 13 
Christopher Kelk Ingold
(Organic chemist, Educator)

Christopher Kelk Ingold
0
Birthdate: October 28, 1893
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: London, United Kingdom
Died: December 8, 1970

 14 
Jonathan Clayden
(Educator, Chemist)

Jonathan Clayden
0
Birthdate: February 6, 1968
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kampala, Uganda

 15 
Adolf Windaus
(Chemist)

Adolf Windaus
1
Birthdate: December 25, 1876
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: June 9, 1959

 16 

Carl Shipp Marvel
0
Birthdate: September 11, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Waynesville, Illinois, United States
Died: January 4, 1988

 17 

Alfred P. Wolf
0
Birthdate: February 13, 1923
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: December 17, 1998

 18 
Alf Howard
(Explorer, Scientist)

Alf Howard
4
Birthdate: April 30, 1906
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Camberwell, Australia
Died: July 4, 2010