It’s that time of the year again. Speculations abound. The first place to look is Thomson/Reuters who put out predictions largely based on citations and gut feeling. They have been right at least sometimes
However, first on their list are Barton, Giese and Schuster, for their works about electron charge transfer along pi-stacked nucleobases if I recall correctly. I really don’t think so, and not just the word “controversial” pops up whenever the topic is discussed.
Then there’s Ben List of MPI Mülheim. He is one of several chemists who contributed to asymmetric organic catalysis. Also, a catalysis Nobel would also send a strong message concerning the ever-growing contribution of advanced catalysis to the well-being of mankind. If List gets it, he will probably share with Macmillan.
Thomson/Reuters also floats Grätzel, who invented silicon-free photovoltaics and will, by the way, be a plenary speaker at EuCheMS 2010. Though I like the idea of having the latest laureate in Nürnberg, I don’t think Grätzel will win it this year or even within the next decade. Derek Lowe seems to think of him as a likely choice.
The Chem Blog has single-molecule spectroscopy as front-runner, which sounds far more reasonable than the Thomson/Reuters selection, but my money is on Palladium catalysis. Suzuki will share it with Heck. This one is not just uncontroversial, it should have been awarded a long time ago.
At the very least I think the prize will stay in classical chemistry this year. After the GFP people won their Nobel, the molecular scientists will have to wait at the sidelines this year.
OK, floor’s open. What’s your pick?