Tuesdays meetings included an awards symposium extravaganza in the organic division. F. Dean Toste was the recipient of the Elias J. Corey Award for Original Contribution in Organic Synthesis by a Young Investigator. Illuminati of the likes of Trost, Sarpong, and Grubbs gave their talks in honor of the awardee. Toste’s talk was on his work in the area of Au(I) catalysis. These gold (I) catalysts show an extraordinary propensity for coordination of alkynes and facilitating nucleophilic addition to the triple bond.

The reactivity of Au(I) is attributed to relativistic effects causing contraction of the 6s orbital and destabilization of the 5d orbitals. The result is a large aptitude for pi->M coordination and relatively low M->pi* backbonding.

Relative to Pt and Rh, gold is cheap.