10/5/10. Which chemists do you suppose will get the call from Sweden this year?
I’ll guess Breslow or Whitesides again.
But then, what about some catalyst guys? Heck, Tsuji, Suzuki, Sonogashira, to name a few? (D’oh!! Are they all alive?) Think about how normal it has become to do an aryl coupling reaction with a boronic acid and a PGM or Ni. Look at the wide variety of boronates on the market as well as the endless array of catalysts and ligands for coupling transformations.
This is what happens to industrial chemists mid-career. We lose track of what is hot in the field as a whole. We’re burrowed deep into the hide of one kind of proprietary technology or other and locked into place by the golden shackles of confidentiality. Pretty soon there are entire fields of endeavor that you’ve never heard of and thirty year old rock star professors who sport big grants and hoards of enthusiastic young acolytes.