Angus Pinkerton


The Nobel Prize. Alfred Nobel created the prize in 1901, and it has grown into one of the most coveted and awards in most fields of scholarly research. Many consider it to be the most prestigious form of recognition someone can receive for their work, often making it the pinnacle of someone’s career.1 The Nobel Prize is awarded annually in Stockholm, Sweden to researchers who make outstanding contributions to humanity in the fields of chemistry, economics, physics, literature, medicine, and peace. Starting in 1947, Herbert Charles Brown taught and conducted research at Purdue until his death in 2004. Over the course of his long career, he worked on a wide variety of projects within the department of chemistry, focusing primarily on exploring new possibilities in the field of organic chemistry. Many of his discoveries and achievements became common practice for modern day organic chemical education, earning him a plethora of awards. The pinnacle of his career came in 1979 when he won the Nobel Prize for research on using boron in organic synthesis. This recognition made Brown the first active Purdue professor to win the award. The road to Stockholm came with difficulty. His ability to overcome the struggles of his early life eventually led him to Purdue, where he achieved success in teaching and research, shaping his legacy both on campus and in the world of Chemistry. Due to his personal struggles and modesty, Brown’s win benefited both himself and the common man.