This book is an enthusiastic account of Pierre Laszlo's life and pioneering work on catalysis of organic reactions by modified clays, and his reflections on doing science from the 1960s to 1990s. In this autobiography, readers will discover a first-hand testimony of the chemical revolution in the second half of the 20th century, and the author's perspective on finding a calling in science and chemistry, as well as his own experience on doing science, teaching science and managing a scientific career.
During this period, Pierre Laszlo led an academic laboratory and worked also in three different countries: the US, Belgium and France, where he had the opportunity to meet remarkable colleagues. In this book, he recalls his encounters and collaborations with important scientists, who shaped the nature of chemistry at times of increased pace of change, and collates a portrait of the worldwide scientific community at that time. In addition, the author tells us about the turns and twists of his own life, and how he ended up focusing his research on clay based chemistry, where clay minerals were turned in his lab to catalysis of key chemical transformations. Given its breath, the book offers a genuine information on the life and career of a chemist, and it will appeal not only to scientists and students, but also to historians of science and to the general reader.
is a French science writer and Professor of Chemistry Emeritus at the University of Liège (Belgium) as well as the École Polytechnique (Palaiseau, France) with earlier positions at Princeton University and the Université d'Orsay, and visiting professorships at the Universities of Connecticut, Kansas, California (Berkeley), Chicago, Colorado, Johns Hopkins, Lausanne, Hamburg, Toulouse and Cornell. He is especially known for his extensive work on nuclear magnetic resonance methodologies and catalysis of organic reactions by modified clays. As a writer, in addition to 10 scientific monographs and textbooks, his books to communicate science to the general public were awarded in 1999 the Maurice Pérouse Prize from the Fondation de France, and in 2004 the Paul Doistau- Emile Blutet Prize from the French Academy of Sciences. Among Pierre Laszlo's latest published books, the reader can find "Communicating Science. A Practical Guide" which was published by Springer in 2006.