SHKP and CUHK Present Nobel Chemist Lecturing on the Road to Nobel Prize
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) presented a public lecture today (21November) on ‘Pursuit of My Dreams for Half-a-Century’ by Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi, 2010 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry. The lecture attracted about 700 academics, students and members of the public.
CUHK Pro-Vice-Chancellor Prof. Henry Wong thanked SHKP for its support over the past seven years. He added, ‘2011 is designated the International Year of Chemistry (IYC) by the United Nations with the theme “Chemistry, Our Life, Our Future”. It is most appropriate for the University to echo the year-long activities associated with the discipline with a lecture given by a Nobel Laureate in Chemistry – Professor Negishi, whose groundbreaking research has greatly influenced many areas in synthetic chemistry such as the chemical synthesis of drugs and new materials, which has far-reaching impact on our life and our future.’
In his lecture, Professor Negishi reminisced how he had overcome many increasingly challenging competitions over 75 years to be finally recognized with a 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The statistical odds of winning a Nobel Prize may be estimated to be 1/10,000,000. One way of looking at this infinitesimally small figure is to think of it as winning ‘one-in-ten’ competitions seven times in a row. For example, as one of the top few in a class of a few hundred students, one may already be 1/100 or so. His competition level must continuously move up. After winning the fifth- or sixth-level competition, he may already be vying for a Nobel Prize or something equivalent to it in some other area.
Prof. Ei-ichi Negishi, H.C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, Purdue University, grew up in Japan and received his Bachelor’s degree from the University of Tokyo in 1958. After he obtained his Ph.D. degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1963, he joined Professor H.C. Brown’s Laboratories at Purdue as a Postdoctoral Associate in 1966 and was appointed Assistant to Professor Brown in 1968. Professor Negishi went to Syracuse University as Assistant Professor in 1972 and began his life-long investigations of transition metal-catalyzed organometallic reactions for organic synthesis. He was promoted to Associate Professor at Syracuse University in 1976 and invited back to Purdue University as Full Professor in 1979. In 1999 he was appointed the inaugural H.C. Brown Distinguished Professor of Chemistry.
Professor Negishi has received various awards, with the most representative being the 1996 Chemical Society of Japan Award, the 1998 ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry, 1998–2001 Alexander von Humboldt Senior Researcher Award, Germany, 2000 Sir Edward Frankland Prize, Royal Society of Chemistry, UK, the 2007 Yamada-Koga Prize, Japan, the 2010 ACS Award for Creative Work in Synthetic Organic Chemistry, 2010 Japanese Order of Culture, and the 2010 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
The lecture was shown live at local universities to reach a broader audience. A hyperlink to the webcast was also provided by Hong Kong Education City for online viewing by secondary school teachers and students. There was also a live feed to the Fudan, Shanghai Jiao Tong, Zhejiang, Nanjing and SunYat-sen Universities on the mainland.
The Sun Hung Kai Properties Nobel Laureates Distinguished Lectures were inaugurated in 2004 with The Chinese University of Hong Kong. The series brings Nobel Laureates to speak to a broad cross-section of the community, to promote the discovery and the dissemination of knowledge, encouraging life-long learning and innovation. After this 18th installment of the series, 25 Nobel Laureates or renowned scholars have lectured in Hong Kong.
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