The recipient of the "Georg Wittig Lectureship" has been announced: it is Dr. Dr. h.c. Ryoji Noyori, professor at the University of Nagoya in Japan. The Directorate of the Organic Chemistry Department at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, and Dr. Stefan Marcinowski, member of the Board of Executive Directors of BASF and responsible for research, unanimously selected Dr. Noyori for this award endowed by BASF. In a phone conversation with Dr. Peter Hofmann, professor at the Organic Chemistry Department, Dr. Noyori said he would be honored to accept this distinction.
Dr. Noyori is a professor at the Department of Chemistry of the Graduate School of Science at the University of Nagoya, Japan, which lies about 150 miles west of Tokyo. Born in 1938, Dr. Noyori studied chemistry in Kyoto and earned his Ph.D. in 1967. He became an associate professor in Nagoya, and this was followed by a research position from 1969 to 1970 with Dr. Elias J. Corey, professor at Harvard University in the United States and the 1990 Nobel laureate for chemistry. In 1972, he was appointed professor at the University of Nagoya.
Dr. Noyori is working on new synthesis methods in organic chemistry, and he is particularly involved with homogeneous catalysis. For his pioneering work on stoichiometric and catalytic asymmetric synthesis as well as in the realms of physical organic chemistry and synthesis of natural substances, he has already received a number of highly coveted awards and prizes, such as the Chemical Society of Japan Award, the Centenary Medal from the Royal Society of Chemistry, the J.G. Kirkwood Award, the Tetrahedron Prize, the Japan Academy Prize and the A.C. Cope Scholar Award of the American Chemical Society. The Schering-Bohlmann Lecture and the King Faisal International Prize were added in 1999 to the roster of his accomplishments.
Dr. Noyori will be officially awarded the Georg Wittig Lectureship at a ceremonial symposium in Heidelberg, Germany on Wednesday, October 27, 1999. This event will be held at the auditorium of the Chemistry Department on the university campus, Neuenheimer Feld 252. Dr. Reinhard W. Hoffmann, professor of chemistry at the University of Marburg, will give a keynote lecture on Georg Wittig, for whom the BASF guest lectureship is named. Subsequently, Peter Hofmann and Stefan Marcinowski will jointly present the award to Dr. Ryoji Noyori. This will be followed by a speech by the guest of honor.
The "Georg-Wittig Lectureship BASF Guest Professorship for Chemistry at the University of Heidelberg", as the official title goes, falls under the auspices of the Organic Chemistry Department of Heidelberg University. BASF finances this lectureship as part of its commitment to promoting excellent research and teaching in academia. The Georg Wittig Lectureship is regarded as a highly distinguished recognition in the scientific community. The selection of the guest professor and award recipient is made jointly by the Directorate of the Organic Chemistry Department and the Research Executive Director at BASF.
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