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Richard R. Schrock

AKA Richard Royce Schrock

Born: 4-Jan-1945
Birthplace: Berne, IN

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

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: Metathesis

American chemist Richard R. Schrock found an efficient metal-compound catalyst that triggers metathesis, a phenomenon discovered in the 1950s, and first explained by Yves Chauvin in 1971. In metathesis -- which means, literally, trading places -- special catalyst molecules trigger double bonds to break and reconstruct between carbon atoms, causing atom clusters to change partners. Metathesis is now widely used in the chemical industry, both in development of new pharmaceuticals and in the manufacture of advanced plastic materials. Two years after Schrock found a catalyst for metathesis, Robert H. Grubbs devised an even more efficient catalyst, and all three men shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2005.

Father: Noah J. Schrock (d. 1980 leukemia)
Mother: Martha A. Habegger Schrock (m. 1933)
Brother: Luther Schrock (engineer, b. 1934)
Brother: Theodore Schrock (physician, b. 1939)
Wife: Nancy F. Carlson (librarian, dated 1969-71, m. 1971, two sons)
Son: Andrew Schrock
Son: Eric Schrock

    High School: Mission Bay High School, San Diego, CA (1963)
    University: BA Chemistry, UC Riverside (1967)
    University: PhD Chemistry, Harvard University (1971)
    Scholar: Chemistry, Cambridge University (1971-72)
    Teacher: Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1975-80)
    Professor: Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1980-)

    Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2005 (with Yves Chauvin and Robert H. Grubbs)
    Dow Chemical 1966
    DuPont 1972-75
    National Science Foundation Board of Directors (1971-72)
    American Academy of Arts and Sciences
    National Academy of Sciences
    American Chemical Society
    Science Debate 2008

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