Born in Russia, biochemist Chaim Weizmann was a World Zionist Organization leader and later also became the first president of Israel. He had a major role in the Balfour Declaration. Remembered for his research on industrial fermentation, gasoline, and rubber, he also helped establish the Weizmann Institute.
Aleksandr Borodin was a Russian musical composer. He was one of the popular 19th-century group of musicians known as The Five, who worked together to create a national style of classical music. A chemist and doctor by profession, Borodin also made important contributions to organic chemistry. His best known work as a chemist is his work pertaining to organic synthesis.
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.
Robert Burns Woodward was an American organic chemist best remembered for winning the 1965 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Regarded as the most preeminent synthetic organic chemist of the 20th century, Woodward is also remembered for his contributions to organic synthesis. Robert Burns Woodward was also the recipient of the Copley Medal, National Medal of Science, and William H. Nichols Medal.
August Kekulé was a German organic chemist. Regarded as one of the most important chemists in Europe, Kekulé is credited with founding the theory of chemical structure, including the Kekulé structure of benzene. Kekulé is also credited with teaching future Nobel Prize winners, Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff Jr., Hermann Emil Louis Fischer, and Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Baeyer.
Adolf von Baeyer was a German chemist who is best known for synthesizing indigo. Interested in science from a young age, he studied chemistry at the University of Heidelberg, where his mentor was the prominent organic chemist August Kekulé. He went on to have a successful career and received the 1905 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Hermann Staudinger was a German organic chemist whose demonstration of the existence of polymers earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1953. He also played a key role in the development of pyrethroid insecticides as he was able to explain clearly the molecular structures of pyrethrin I and pyrethrin II. Hermann Staudinger is also credited with discovering ketenes.
Hans Fischer was a German organic chemist best known for his research into the constitution of haemin and chlorophyll, for which he was awarded the 1930 Nobel Prize for Chemistry. During the early years of his career, he worked at the First Berlin Chemical Institute under Emil Fischer. He later pursued an academic career.
Victor Grignard was a French chemist whose discovery of the Grignard Reagent earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1912. Subsequently, he was honored with a medal of the Legion of Honour, the highest French order of merit. As a chemist, he also played an important role during the First World War.
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.
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.
Charles J. Pedersen was an American organic chemist. He is best remembered for winning the 1987 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is one of only two Nobel Prize laureates born in Korea. Charles Pedersen is also remembered for spending his entire 42-year career at DuPont, where he gained inspiration from many famous chemists like Roy J. Plunkett and Julian Hill.
Donald J. Cram was an American chemist who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1987. He shared the award with Charles J. Pedersen and Jean-Marie Lehn and the trio was also responsible for founding the field of host–guest chemistry. Donald J. Cram was also honored with other prestigious awards including the National Medal of Science.
Paul Sabatier was a French chemist known for his work improving the hydrogenation of organic species in the presence of metals. Along with Victor Grignard, he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1912. He is also remembered for developing what is now known as the Sabatier process and the Sabatier principle of catalysis.
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.
Derek Barton was a British organic chemist best remembered for winning the 1969 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He won the prize alongside Odd Hassel for their contributions to the development of a concept called conformation and its applications in chemistry. Derek Barton also won several other prestigious awards, including the Corday-Morgan Prize, Davy Medal, Ernest Guenther Award, and Copley Medal.
Robert Robinson was a British organic chemist best remembered for winning the 1947 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his research on anthocyanins and alkaloids. Robinson is credited with inventing the symbol for benzene; discovering the molecular structures of penicillin and morphine; founding the journal Tetrahedron. Robert Robinson was also the recipient of the Davy Medal, Royal Medal, and Copley Medal.
Georg Wittig was a German chemist best remembered for winning the 1979 Nobel Prize in Chemistry alongside Herbert C. Brown. Wittig is also remembered for his association with the University of Tübingen, where he served as the chief of the organic chemistry department. Georg Wittig was also the recipient of the prestigious Otto Hahn Prize for Chemistry and Physics.
Russian chemist Vladimir Vasilyevich Markovnikov is best remembered for formulating the Markovnikov's rule or Markownikoff's rule, which elucidates the outcome of some addition reactions. His other contributions in the field of organic chemistry include finding carbon rings with over six carbon atoms and also displaying that although butyric and isobutyric acids have different structures, they have the same chemical formula (C4H8O2).
Otto Wallach was a German chemist best remembered for winning the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1910. He won the award for his work on alicyclic compounds. Wallach is also remembered for developing the Wallach rearrangement, the Leuckart-Wallach reaction, Wallach degradation, and Wallach's rule. In 1912, Otto Wallach was honored with the prestigious Davy Medal.
Heinrich Otto Wieland was a German chemist known for his research into bile acids, for which he won the 1927 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He studied under prominent chemist and professor Johannes Thiele at the University of Munich. He had a brilliant academic career and worked actively to protect Jewish students after the passage of the Nuremberg Laws.
Christopher Kelk Ingold was a British chemist. He is best remembered for his pioneering work on the electronic structure and reaction mechanisms of organic compounds, which was responsible for the institution of concepts like electrophile, inductive, nucleophile, and resonance effects into mainstream chemistry. Christopher Kelk Ingold is counted among the pioneers of physical organic chemistry.
Nobel Prize-winning Russian-born Swiss chemist Paul Karrer is best remembered for his research on carotenoids, vitamins A and B2, and flavins. Associated with the University of Zurich, he also worked as a chemist at the Georg Speyer Haus in Frankfurt. His penned the famous Textbook of Organic Chemistry, too.
Jonathan Clayden is a British chemist and educator. He is best known for his association with the University of Bristol, where he is currently working as a professor of organic chemistry. From 2005 to 2011, Jonathan Clayden served as the editor-in-chief of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry.
Danish organic chemist William Christopher Zeise initially aspired to study medicine but later switched to chemistry. He prepared one of the world’s first organometallic compounds, Zeise’s salt, and conducted pathbreaking research in the field of organosulfur chemistry. His achievements got him knighted by the Danish monarch.
Alf Howard was an Australian educator, scientist, and explorer. He is best remembered for his expedition to Antarctica on board the RRS Discovery; he served as the hydrologist and chemist aboard the RRS Discovery. At the time of his death in 2010, Alf Howard was the lone surviving member of the expedition.
Alfred P. Wolf was an American organic and nuclear chemist. His discoveries played an important role in the evolution of positron emission tomography (PET). Wolf is also remembered for making significant contributions to the field of organic radiochemistry. Alfred P. Wolf was honored with several prestigious awards, such as the Melvin Calvin Award and American Chemical Society's Nuclear Chemistry Award.