William N. Lipscomb Jr.

William N. Lipscomb Jr., who won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1976 for his study of the structure of boranes, is the subject of a delightful obituary written by Glenn Rifkin of the New York Times.

Dr. Lipscomb, whom I did not know, seems to have been a wonderful, fun-loving scientist. In a paragraph that made me laugh out loud, Rifkin writes:

He was not above dropping comical elements into his scientific publications. In one 1972 paper, he noted: “We admittedly made this observation with the benefit of hindsight. This science is known as retrospectroscopy.”


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