UC Riverside

Richard Schrock '67

Richard Schrock

A Lifetime of Chemistry

What do the creation of "green chemistry," new drugs, and advanced plastics owe to a budding eight-year old chemist and UCR alumnus?

As a youth in Indiana, Richard Schrock got his start in chemistry when his brother gave him a chemistry set for his eighth birthday. Schrock spent his paper route money to stock the lab.

Following his graduation from UCR in 1967 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in chemistry, he went on to discover the metathesis process, which helps reduce the need for and generation of hazardous substances in chemical processes. For this research, Schrock was given the Nobel Prize in 2005.

Schrock is currently the Frederick G. Keyes professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he has had an illustrious career of more than three decades. The distinguished UCR alumnus has also received the university's highest honor, the Chancellor's Medal, for his discovery and contributions to society.

The 2005 Nobel Laureate's "metathesis" process is so efficient and effective that drugs, plastics, food and fuel additives, synthetic fibers, and a host of other products can be made more cheaply and cleanly than by other methods. The method has played a role in the creation of "green chemistry." This is what Alfred Nobel had in mind when he created the Nobel Prize — basic research making life easier and better for humankind.

Read Professor Richard Schrock's profile on the Nobel Prize website.

Watch a video from the 2006 Most Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony.

Read a press release about Schrock's Nobel Prize.

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