The Hoye Group at the University of Minnesota

This (18 minute) series of clips comes from a lecture by Professor Robert B. Woodward, given at Harvard on November 27, 1972. He announced there the total synthesis of cobyric acid, which constituted a formal synthesis of vitamin B12. The work was carried out collaboratively with members of his laboratory and that of Professor Albert Eschenmoser at the ETH.

At this lecture Woodward was introduced by Professor David Dolphin, a member of the Harvard chemistry faculty at the time. That nearly 35 minute informative and entertaining discourse [chronicled, in part, in Aldrichimica Acta, 1977, 10 (1), 3-9] -- complete with the preparation of a pitcher of daiquiris by Denny, the Faculty Club bartender -- was followed by Professor Woodward's three-hour presentation of the B12 synthesis.

I want to especially acknowledge the efforts of Professor Addison Ault of Cornell College, Mt. Vernon, Iowa. He stewarded copies of the original tapes of this lecture, had them ported to DVD, and generously provided a copy of those to me. Thus, he made it possible for this resource available here.

Thomas R. Hoye
University of Minnesota
November 17, 2010

Timestamp (min)Contents

Excerpts in the above ca. 18-minute clip include:
0.0–0.2Thanks to Professor Ault
0.2–3.0Several portions of the Dolphin introduction
~1.0daiquiris by Denny
~2.0Presentation to RBW of a "very lovely object"
3.0–10.7Woodward's opening comments:
E.g., "Thank you David, for that very fulsome introduction ... and for making it possible for me, at long last, to speak here at Harvard." and "Now, I'm glad that David has set a relatively leisurely pace for this evening's proceedings."
10.7–18.0Woodward's closing remarks
~13.5The people; the flags
~17.0The New Yorker cartoon "Oh stop complaining. It's an honor to be associated with an enterprise of this magnitude."

Thanks to Stephen S. Humble, Rajan N. Vatassery, and Daniel J. Marell for assistance in creation and uploading of this iMovie file.