- Category : Science-Chemistry
- Type : PE
- Profile : 3/5 - Martyr / Heretic
- Definition : Triple Split
- Incarnation Cross : RAX Unexpected 3
Austrian-American chemist, novelist, and playwright best known for his contribution to the development of oral contraceptive pills and the use of physical methods in organic chemistry as well as on structure elucidation of natural products (notably steroids), an area in which he published over 1000 papers. Djerassi is emeritus professor of chemistry at Stanford University.
He participated in the invention in 1951, together with Mexican Luis E. Miramontes and Mexican-Hungarian George Rosenkranz, of theprogestin norethindrone—which, unlike progesterone, remained effective when taken orally and was far stronger than the naturally occurring hormone. His preparation was first administered as an oral contraceptive to animals by Gregory Pincus and Min Chueh Changand to women by John Rock.
Djerassi is also the author of several novels in the "science-in-fiction" genre, including Cantor's Dilemma, in which he explores the ethics of modern scientific research through his protagonist, Dr. Cantor. He also wrote Chemistry in Theatre: Insufficiency, Phallacy or both which demonstrate the potential pedagogic value of using dialogic style and plot structure of plays with special focus on chemistry.
He is one of the few American scientists to have been awarded both the National Medal of Science (for the first synthesis of a steroid oral contraceptive--“the Pill”) and the National Medal of Technology (for promoting new approaches to insect control). A member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as many foreign academies, Djerassi has received 32 honorary doctorates together with numerous other honors, such as the first Wolf Prize in Chemistry, the first Award for the Industrial Application of Science from the National Academy of Sciences, the Erasmus Medal of the Academia Europeae, the Perkin Medal of the Society for Chemical Industry, the Gold Medal of the American Institute of Chemists, and the American Chemical Society’s highest award, the Priestley Medal. An Austrian postage stamp with his image was issued in 2005.