The Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 2010 goes to Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki for giving people a reason to care about palladium. OK, it might not be the only reason– I’m not actually sure what palladium is used for other than organic synthesis and cold fusion– but it’s the context in which I’m most likely to hear the element mentioned.
I don’t pay that much attention to the Chemistry prize, so my reaction to this was mild surprise that it hadn’t already won. Palladium catalyzed reactions turn up often enough when people are talking about making organic molecules for some reason or another that it seems like a really obvious winner, but it didn’t turn up in the betting pool.
This basically taps out my knowledge of the subject– I have no idea of the history of the reaction in question, or if these three are the appropriate winners or not. That’s what we have blog comments for, though, so if you have relevant knowledge, feel free to enlighten me.