Robert G. Bergman
Robert George Bergman (born May 23, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois) is an American chemist.
Robert Bergman was the son of Joseph J. and Stella Bergman, née Horowitz. In 1963 he graduated from Carleton College with a degree in chemistry. Under the supervision of Jerome A. Berson, he received a Ph.D. in 1966 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. From 1966 to 1967 he was a postdoctoral student at Ronald Breslow's laboratory at Columbia University, New York City. Subsequently he joined the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena where he was an Arthur Research Instructor (1967-1969), assistant professor (1969-1971), associate professor (1971-1973), and full professor (1973-1977). From 1977 to 2002 he was a chemistry professor at the University of California, Berkeley and since 1978 has also been a researcher at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Since 2002 he has been Gerald E. K. Branch Professor of Chemistry.
Bergman works in the field of organic chemistry. He first investigated the reaction mechanisms of organic reactions at Caltech. He developed methods for the representation of very reactive molecules, for example 1,3-diradicals and vinyl cations. In 1972, he discovered the thermal cyclization of cis-1,5-hexadiyne-3-ene to 1,4-dehydrobenzene diradicals known as Bergman cyclization. This reaction played a major role in understanding the mode of action of endiin antibiotics in the 1980s. Since the mid-1970s, Bergman has also been working in the field of organometallic chemistry. He contributed to the synthesis and reaction of organometallic complexes and investigated organometallic compounds with metal-oxygen and metal-nitrogen bonds. He also discovered the first soluble organometallic complexes of the transition metals, to which the addition of a saturated hydrocarbon (C-H activation, C-H insertion) succeeded.
Since June 17, 1965, Bergman has been married to Wendy L. Street. They have two sons, David R. and Michael S. Bergman.
Bergman published more than 400 papers in scientific journals.
Awards and honours
- 1970–1975: Teacher-Scholar Award (Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation)
- 1978: Student Government Award for Excellence in Teaching (California Institute of Technology)
- 1985: Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award (Carleton College)
- 1985: John Bailar Medal (University of Illinois)
- 1986: ACS Award in Organometallic Chemistry (American Chemical Society)
- 1987: Arthur C. Cope Scholar award (American Chemical Society)
- 1990: Edgar Fahs Smith Award (American Chemical Society)
- 1990: Ira Remsen Award (American Chemical Society)
- 1991: Merit Award (National Institutes of Health)
- 1993: Ernest Orlando Lawrence Award (U.S. Department of Energy)
- 1995: honorary doctorate of the Carleton College
- 1996: Arthur C. Cope Award (American Chemical Society)
- 1999: Chemical Pioneer Award (American Institute of Chemists)
- 2001: Edward Leete Award for Teaching and Research in Organic Chemistry (American Chemical Society)
- 2002: Teaching Award (UC Berkeley Department of Chemistry)
- 2003: James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry (American Chemical Society)
- 2003: Monie A. Ferst Award (Sigma Xi)
- 2004: Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory)
- 2007: NAS Award in Chemical Sciences (National Academy of Sciences)
- 2013: George A. Olah Award in Hydrocarbon or Petroleum Chemistry
- 2014: Welch Award in Chemistry
- 2014: Robert Robinson Award
- 2017: Wolf Prize in Chemistry
- 1963: Phi Beta Kappa
- 1964: Phi Lambda Upsilon
- 1966: Sigma Xi
- 1984: National Academy of Sciences
- 1984: American Academy of Arts and Sciences
- 1995: California Academy of Sciences
- 1999: American Association for the Advancement of Science
- American Chemical Society
- Richard R. Jones, Robert G. Bergman: p-Benzyne. Generation as an intermediate in a thermal isomerization reaction and trapping evidence for the 1,4-benzenediyl structure. In: Journal of the American Chemical Society. Volume 94, Nr. 2, 1972, p. 660–661.
- A. H. Janowicz und R. G. Bergman: C-H activation in completely saturated hydrocarbons. Direct observation of M + R-H right arrow M(R)(H). In: Journal of the American Chemical Society. Volume 104, 1982, p. 352–354; almost at the same time with J. K. Hoyano und W. A. G. Graham: Oxidative addition of the carbon hydrogen-bonds of neopentane and cyclohexane to a photochemically generated iridium(I) complex. In: Journal of the American Chemical Society. Volume 104, 1982, p. 3723–3725.