D-Day: 2010 Nobel Prize in ChemistryOctober 5th, 2010
T+0:40:00 — Committee member says it took a long time (years) to sort out who deserved this prize. “There are many players”.
T+0:36:00 — Excellent pick by the Nobel committee. Now this one can be crossed off the short list.
T+0:31:00 — Press conference over. Paging David Pendlebury. David Pendlebury, please pick up the white courtesy phone.
T+0:29:00 — Reporter: “Why is the United States good for your research?” Negishi: “If you look back 50 years, America was a truly outstanding country.” “One obvious choice [for a young Negishi]: learn English, come to this country…the dominant country of the time.”
T+0:26:00 — Reporter is asking about the true significance of this discovery to humankind. Tough to explain in a soundbyte for laymen.
T+0:22:00 — Let’s all raise a glass to Sonogashira, Tsuji, and Kumada (among others).
T+0:17:00 — Negishi began “dreaming about this prize a half a century ago”. “If I do something well, the prize could be a consequence of that.” “I would like to use the prize money to further propel my research.”
T+0:11:00 — Negishi on the phone from Indiana. Said he was called at 5 am, while sound asleep. He was “not sure about” whether he was expecting the call, but “some people have been mumbling about that”.
T+0:10:00 — Major shoutout to the synthesis of discodermolide.
T+0:03:00 — Had a feeling when Backvall walked through the door.
T+0:00:00 — PALLADIUM! Heck, Negishi, and Suzuki!!!!
T–0:03:50 — Here they come!
T–0:05:02 — The broadcaster is running out of material. He keeps repeating that Ada Yonath won last year, and the previous female laureate in chemistry was Dorothy Hodgkin in 1964. Unfortunately, no females currently listed on our rundown of odds.
T–0:08:31 — The audience doesn’t seem very excited. Let’s get some chants going, people.
T–0:12:20 — I am going to hire this broadcaster to sing lullabies to me.
T–0:13:45 — E.J. Corey got a shoutout on the Webcast earlier.
T–0:18:50 — If you speak Swedish, you will know who won thirty seconds before I do. I am jealous.
T–0:38:09 — The Webcast has begun. It currently features shots of empty podiums (podia?) backed by airy techno music.
T–2:17:59 — If you’re on the committee and want the best shot at avoiding ridicule, I’ve got to believe that the “safest” pick is palladium catalysis. No one’s going to argue that it’s not important or that it’s not chemistry.
T–2:59:41 — I’m not the only one with Nobel fever. Tuesday’s traffic was over five times greater than a typical day on ChemBark.
T–3:09:32 — I don’t buy into the theory that the Swedes are using this year’s prizes to make a statement about science funding in the UK, but Sir Alan Battersby is tempting at 99-1.
T–5:07:10 — Exciting! Just over five hours to go. You can watch the announcement here, live.