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Derek Barton

Derek BartonAKA Derek Harold Richard Barton

Born: 8-Sep-1918
Birthplace: Gravesend, Kent, England
Died: 16-Mar-1998
Location of death: College Station, TX
Cause of death: unspecified

Gender: Male
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Chemist

Nationality: England
Executive summary: Conformational analysis

English chemist Derek Barton won the 1969 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, shared with Norwegian chemist Odd Hassel. Barton's 1950 breakthrough in conformational analysis (study of the geometries and their associated energies for a given molecule) proposed that the rates of reaction in isomers are affected by the orientations in space of functional groups, and laid the groundwork for determining the three-dimensional shape of organic compounds. He also developed a new and simpler method of synthesizing the hormone aldosterone (vital for the treatment of Addison's disease), and conducted research into the oxidation of saturated hydrocarbons and the behavior of oxyradicals.

Father: William Thomas Barton (carpenter)
Mother: Maude Henrietta Barton
Wife: Jeanne Kate Wilkins (m. 1944, div., one son)
Son: W. G. L. Barton
Wife: Christiane Cognet (university professor, m. 1969, d. 1992)
Wife: Judith Cobb (m. 1993)

    High School: Tonbridge School, Kent, England (1936)
    University: Gillingham Technical College, Gillingham, England (attended)
    University: BS Chemistry, Imperial College London (1940)
    University: PhD Chemistry, Imperial College London (1942)
    University: DSc Chemistry, Imperial College London (1950)
    Teacher: Chemistry, Imperial College London (1945-46)
    Teacher: Organic Chemistry, Birkbeck College, University of London (1950-53)
    Professor: Organic Chemistry, Birkbeck College, University of London (1953-55)
    Professor: Regius Professor of Chemistry, University of Glasgow (1955-57)
    Professor: Organic Chemistry, Imperial College London (1957-70)
    Professor: Hofmann Professor of Organic Chemistry, Imperial College London (1970-78)
    Administrator: Institute of Chemistry of Natural Substances, Gif-sur-Yvette, France (1978-86)
    Professor: Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Texas A&M University (1986-95)
    Professor: Dow Distinguished Professor of Chemical Invention, Texas A&M University (1995-98)

    Imperial Chemical Industries Research (1946-49)
    Guinness Research, Distillers Co Ltd. (1940-42)
    RSC Corday-Morgan Prize 1951
    ACS Fritzsche Award 1956
    ACS Roger Adams Medal 1960
    Davy Medal 1961
    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1969 (with Odd Hassel)
    RSC Longstaff Prize 1972
    Royal Medal 1972
    Knight of the British Empire 1972
    Copley Medal 1980
    Priestley Medal 1995
    French Legion of Honor
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences Foreign Member
    American Chemical Society Foreign Member
    British Association for the Advancement of Science
    German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina Foreign Member, 1967
    International Union of Pure and Applied Physics
    National Academy of Sciences Foreign Associate
    Royal Society 1954
    Royal Society of Edinburgh 1956
    English Ancestry

Author of books:
Comprehensive Organic Chemistry (1979, textbook; with W. D. Ollis)
Some Recollections of Gap Jumping (1991, science)
Half a Century of Free Radical Chemistry (1993, science; with Shyamal I. Parekh)
Reason and Imagination: Reflections on Research in Organic Chemistry (1996, science)


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