Posts Tagged ‘chemical knowledge’

WATOC2014 Conference report. Concepts for Organizing Chemical Knowledge

Monday, October 6th, 2014

I am attending a conference. Plenaries at such events can sometimes provide interesting pointers on things to come (and sometimes they simply point to things past). At WATOC2014 in Santiago Chile, the first plenary was by Paul Ayers with the impressive title “Concepts for organising chemical knowledge” which certainly sounds as if it is pointing forward!


Secrets of a university tutor. An exercise in mechanistic logic, prequel.

Saturday, October 27th, 2012

The reaction below plays a special role in my career. As a newly appointed researcher (way back now), I was asked to take tutorial groups for organic chemistry as part of my duties. I sat down to devise a suitable challenge for the group, and came upon the following reaction[1]. I wrote it down on page 2 of my tutorial book, which I still have. I continue to use this example in tutorials to this day, some 35 years later.



  1. T.C. Clarke, and R.G. Bergman, "Olefinic cyclization at a vinyl cation center. Inversion preference for intramolecular nucleophilic substitution by a double bond", Journal of the American Chemical Society, vol. 94, pp. 3627-3629, 1972.