Richard Willstatter, German chemist

Richard Willstatter, German chemist

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Richard Martin Willstatter (1872-1942), German chemist. From 1890, Wilstatter studied and then worked at the University of Munich, investigating the structure of plant alkaloids such as atropine and cocaine. From 1905 he worked in Switzerland, and then from 1912-1914 in Berlin. It was in these two years that he finalised his research into the plant pigment chlorophyll, work for which he was awarded the 1915 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, one of many awards he recieved. He retired in 1924 in protest against the anti-semitism he saw around him. He fled Germany to Switzerland in 1938, where he wrote his biography in his final years.

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