Honorary Doctorate for American Scientist Prof. Dr. Carl Djerassi
11. Oktober 2011
Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences Honours Chemist’s Research
The American natural products chemist Prof. Dr. Carl Djerassi was awarded an honorary doctoral degree by the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences of Heidelberg University on Monday, 10 October 2011. The faculty thus paid tribute to the work of the researcher, who among numerous other achievements, laid the foundations for the development of the birth-control pill. Fifty years ago, on 1 June 1961, the first compound developed by him and his team was placed on the market. The honorary degree was conferred on the Professor Emeritus of Stanford University at a symposium held by the “Modelling of Molecular Properties” research training group.
Carl Djerassi, born in Vienna in 1923, is closely tied to Ruperto Carola not only through a long tradition of research into natural products at the university’s chemical institutes but a close relationship to the Heidelberg research training group, as highlighted in the faculty's remarks. To honour Carl Djerassi, the Germany Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics and the German Society for Gynaecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine published “50 Years of the Pill”, featuring contributions from authors from all over the world.
Prof. Djerassi’s speech, which was open to the public, was entitled “Blame the Chemist: The Divorce of Sex from Reproduction”. The Dean of the Faculty of Chemistry and Earth Sciences, Prof. Dr. Stephen K. Hashmi, presented him with the honorary degree. Prof. Dr. Helmut Schwarz, the Berlin chemist and President of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, gave the congratulatory remarks. The President of the German Society for Gynaecological Endocrinology and Reproductive Medicine and Heidelberg medical scientist, Prof. Dr. Thomas Rabe, presented the special publication to the honouree.
The “Modeling of Molecular Properties” symposium was the early closing programme of the research training group of the same name. The research training group began its work at Heidelberg University in April 2003 and will receive support from the German Research Foundation until March of next year, when the maximum funding period of nine years will be reached. The symposium brought together doctoral candidates and earlier members of the research training group and renowned scientists from Germany and abroad to exchange research in the field of molecular chemistry.