Field of Science

Right mind at right place at right time

"But at the time, there were many smart people doing physical organic chemistry and there was this new field called organometallic chemistry. There were few people looking at the mechanistic side and it looked like an area where you could take the tools of physical organic chemistry and solve problems. Plus, it looked like it could be a good way to make new reagents for organic reactions. And you could get into the field real fast - you only had to read three papers and you were an organometallic chemist!"
Interview with Bob Grubbs.
Ah, the good old days...I wonder what field is like that right now...

I have incidentally seen Bob Grubbs talk and interact two times, and he does not fit the image of the distinguished Nobel Prize winner at all. Very simple, unassuming, straightforward, friendly guy.


  1. "Ah, the good old days...I wonder what field is like that right now..."

    Very interesting question. Those are the most risky, and potentially most rewarding fields. They're the areas where people will laugh at you if you say you're working in them. To succeed doing that, you have to be comfortable working on the fringes of respectability.

    "Nanotechnology" used to be one of those areas where you could read three papers and get started. Not too terribly long ago, gold catalysis was another.

  2. Yeah, hard to separate the truly promising from the hype I guess.


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