A delightful surprise

What a nice choice for this year’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry (https://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/chemistry/laureates/2016/press.html)! I am particularly glad that we now have an example of research, which, at the time of conception, was not rooted in anything utilitarian. This is pure science, castles in the sky sort of stuff at its best, which is particularly welcome at a time when students of synthetic chemistry are too preoccupied with the ultimate application of their work. The language they pick up from the literature is a decent indicator. It seems to me that every other draft I see has some “broadly applicable” wording in it. I think that the pragmatic, application-driven science has been a bit of an overkill. The works of Sauvage, Stoddard, and Feringa serve as a reminder that asking fundamental, curiosity-driven questions is a what it’s all about. In closing, here is an interesting fact: Ben Feringa, one of the winners, founded Organic and Biomolecular Chemistry (OBC), the journal where I currently serve as the Chief Editor. Ben has published 41 papers in OBC and we hope to see more!

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