ORGLIST: George H. Buchi, 77, Organic Chemist

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From: George D. McCallion (chem$##$bellatlantic.net)
Date: Wed Sep 09 1998 - 01:22:38 EDT


This is from the obituaries of The New York Times of Sept. 8, 1998.
*******************
September 8, 1998


              George H. Buchi, 77, Organic Chemist

              By WOLFGANG SAXON

                    George Hermann Buchi, an organic chemist who laid
the groundwork for what became modern organic photochemistry,
                    died on Aug. 28 while hiking with his wife in his
native Switzerland, according to the Massachusetts Institute of
                    Technology. He was 77 and lived in Cambridge, Mass.,
and Jackson, N.H.

              Buchi retired from MIT as the Dreyfus professor of
chemistry emeritus in 1991.

              His research contributed to organic chemistry and its
myriad industrial applications. His work in the 1950s on the effects of
light
              on reactions among carbon-based compounds helped convert
the largely barren field of organic photochemistry into a fruitful area
              of research.

              Buchi determined the structure of some 55 natural
substances and the synthesis of more than 75 complex natural products.
Many
              of the syntheses covered in his more than 200 scientific
papers produced quantities of a compound in just a few simple steps.

              He was also a productive teacher. During his tenure at
MIT, Buchi trained 70 Ph.D.'s and more than 100 postdoctoral students,
              many of whom rose to leadership positions in academia and
industry around the world.

              In 1991, MIT gave him its prestigious James R. Killian Jr.
Award and Lecture, saying: "His contributions in research and
              education have added to the quality of life globally, and
his colleagues and students have derived direct benefit from his wisdom,

              dedication to excellence and friendship."

              Born in Baden, Switzerland, George Buchi graduated in
chemical engineering from the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich
              in 1945 and earned a doctorate in organic chemistry there
two years later.

              He was a Firestone postdoctoral fellow at the University
of Chicago before accepting a faculty appointment at MIT in 1951. He
              advanced to full professor in 1958 and was named Dreyfus
professor in 1971.

              The recipient of many awards and honorary doctorates, he
was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 1965. He was a
              consultant to chemical companies in the United States and
Switzerland and held more than 30 U.S. patents.

              Buchi is survived by his wife of 43 years, Anne Barkman
Buchi, and a brother, Heinrich, of Bern.
*******************
--
George D. 'Merlin' McCallion, Research Chemist
Division of Metabolism
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Post Office Box 143
Bala-Cynwyd, PA 19004-0143

Office: 1.215.590.3372
Fax: 1.215.590.3364
Email: chem$##$bellatlantic.net


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