Nobel Prize Winner receives Honorary RSC Fellowship and delivers inaugural lecture at Imperial College
07 December 2006
Nobel Chemistry Prize winner Professor Yves Chauvin has delivered the first ever joint lecture of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) and the Société Française de Chimie (SFC).
Prof Chauvin was also awarded an Honorary RSC Fellowship by president Prof Jim Feast prior to his talk at Imperial College.
Accompanying the Nobel Laureate at the event were both the president and chief executive of the SFC - Professors Armand Lattes and Jean-Claude Brunie - as well as Dr René David, counsellor for science and technology from the French Embassy, representing the French ambassador.
Nobel Chemistry Prize winner Professor Yves Chauvin receives his Honorary RSC Fellowship from RSC president Professor Jim Feast
RSC chief executive Dr Richard Pike, immediate past president Dr Simon Campbell and a number of RSC council members also attended the lecture. Many young chemists from various institutions across London also came to hear the Nobel Prize Winner speak.
Prof Chauvin talked about his long and distinguished career, much of which was spent at l'Institut Française du Pétrole. He talked at length about his desire to do something different with his career, and go beyond what at the time was done "just because it always had been."
He said: "I chose chemistry rather by chance, because I firmly believe that you can be become passionately involved in your work whatever it is.
"My motto is 'If you want to find something new, look for something new!'".
Prof Chauvin was also presented with a lectureship certificate by Prof Feast, and a cheque for 1,000 Euros.
The partnership between the RSC and SFC will see an annual lecture, alternating between the UK - where it will be delivered by an eminent French chemist, and France - where an eminent UK chemist will speak.
(L-R) Dr René David, Dr Richard Pike, Prof Armand Lattes, Prof Yves Chauvin, Prof Jean-Claude Brunie, Prof Jim Feast
Born and raised in Flanders, Belgium, Prof Chauvin, now 76, won the Nobel Chemistry Prize in 2005, for his work in organic chemistry - namely a technique called metathesis.
Metathesis is where double bonds between carbon atoms in a molecule are broken, and groups of atoms within that molecule subsequently change place.
The technique has opened the door to new methods of developing many different compounds, including pharmaceuticals, painting, plastics and food additives.
He was awarded the prize jointly with American Professors Robert Grubbs and Richard Schrock.
The award of the Nobel Prize to Prof Chauvin was extremely popular throughout the scientific world, since he was and remains among his peers a perfect example of how basic science can be used to benefit people, society and the environment.
Yves Chauvin Nobel Prize Interview
Professor Yves Chauvin's career history and reaction to the award of the Nobel Prize
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