|William N. Lipscomb, Jr.|
|Born||(1919-12-09)December 9, 1919
Cleveland, Ohio, US
|Died||April 14, 2011(2011-04-14) (aged 91)
Cambridge, Massachusetts, US
|Fields||Nuclear magnetic resonance
|Institutions||University of Minnesota
|Alma mater||University of Kentucky
California Institute of Technology
|Doctoral advisor||Linus Pauling|
|Doctoral students||Richard E. Dickerson
Russell M. Pitzer
Thomas A. Steitz
Don C. Wiley
David A. Dixon
John H. Hall
F. Peter Boer
|Other notable students||Martha L. Ludwig
Raymond C. Stevens
|Notable awards||Peter Debye Award (1973)
Nobel Prize in Chemistry (1976)
I think the intuitive processes of discovery are the same, very much the same, in the arts as in the sciences.
A lot of people think the orchestra is playing and the conductor doesn’t do very much, but the conductor’s the person that gives shape to the music, gets the phrasing, and if he has really fine musicians in solo spots, the question is does he try to help them phrase, or does he let them go?
The problem is how do molecules react. Because if you want to transform a molecule into something useful or something you’re interested in, it helps a lot to understand the structure. That means you can explore much more complicated systems, much more complicated reactions.
When I was 11 years old, my mother bought me one of those chemistry sets, and I stayed with it.
The artist must ask you to think of the world in a different way, and sometimes it’s a more abstract way; sometimes it’s a completely different kind of colouring.
I learned from Linus Pauling it’s not a disgrace in science to publish something that’s wrong. What’s bad is to publish something that’s not very interesting.
Sometimes I get too wound up in my chemistry, but if you play chamber music, it’s impossible to think about chemistry.
For me, the creative process, first of all, requires a good nine hours of sleep a night. Second, it must not be pushed by the need to produce practical applications.
Suppose you want to be a great archeologist, and you join a successful archeologist as a student assistant, and he tells you where to dig. You dig up a marvelous discovery. Now I ask you, who should get the credit: the director or the digger?
There’s a lot of music in my life, and I found it a very important part of my life.