Department of Chemistry

Department of Chemistry University of Oxford

Sir Jack Baldwin FRS

Sir Jack Baldwin FRS

Memorial service for Professor Sir Jack Baldwin
We are sorry to announce that the Memorial Service for Professor Sir Jack Baldwin will have to be postponed to later in the year. An announcement of the new date will be made as soon as possible

It is with great sadness that we inform you that Prof. Sir Jack E. Baldwin passed away last weekend. JEB was one of the heroes of Organic Chemistry and will be missed across the globe.
Sir Jack E. Baldwin FRS (8 Aug 1938- 5th Jan 2020), JEB to his group, was a colossus of Organic Chemistry. Following PhD work at Imperial College with Sir Derek Barton (who described him as his best student), he took up positions at Pennsylvania State University then MIT, where he met his beloved wife, Christine. In 1978 he was appointed Waynflete Professor of Chemistry, a position he held until retirement in 2005, and Head of the Dyson Perrins Laboratory. Along with Perkin, Robinson, and Jones he was one of only four holders of the Waynflete chair in the 20th century. He made many contributions to Organic Chemistry, famously in defining widely used rules for ring closure reactions, providing the first chemical insight into how penicillins are made, inventing reactions, biomimetic studies, and many beautiful total syntheses, as described in more than 700 papers. As Head of the Dyson Perrins Laboratory he upgraded its facilities and revolutionised the type of work done there, building links between Organic Chemistry and basic biological research. JEB's passion for mechanistic aspects of Organic Chemistry was communicated to generations of young coworkers, who have gone on to successful careers in academia and industry across the globe. As in work, he lived retirement with Christine to the full, in particular enjoying extensive scientific reading, good food, fine wine, fast cars, and his Labrador dogs.
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