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Published May 15, 2018 | Published
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Jack Halpern (1925–2018): Pioneer of homogeneous catalysis


Jack Halpern, a preeminent scholar and father of modern organometallic chemistry and homogeneous catalysis, died January 31, 2018 at the age of 93. Homogeneous catalysis by transition metal complexes, a field that has many important scientific and technological applications, can be traced to his early contributions. Jack developed methodologies to investigate the mechanisms and thermodynamics of fundamental chemical transformations that underpin organometallic and bioinorganic chemistry. Perhaps most notably, he reported the first molecular catalyst for hydrogenation of olefins and later elucidated the principles of catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation of olefins. Halpern helped, more so than any other chemist, to define the intellectual basis of modern catalytic science.

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© 2018 The Author(s). Published under the PNAS license. Author contributions: J.E.B. wrote the paper. The author declares no conflict of interest.

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