Science Birthdays, September 7

Today is the birthday of August Kekule, born in 1829, he is the founder of the theory of chemical structure, he announced in 1857 that carbon was tetravalent and in 1865 proposed the structure of benzene. It is said he discovered the structure of benzene while riding on a bus and dreaming of a snake grabbing it’s tail. His students decorate his monument at the University of Bonn each year on Valentine’s Day. He died in 1896 at age 67.

John “Kappa” Cornforth, born in 1917, was a co-recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the stereochemistry of enzyme catalyzed reactions. He died in 2013 at the age of 96.

August Toepler, born in 1836, worked on electrostatics, he died in 1912 at age 76.


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