When Richard Heck was in his early teens, his father moved the family from Massachusetts to a brand-new house on a barren lot in California. Heck, an only child, was given the task of landscaping.
"We had an empty yard, and it was my job to select and install the plants," he says. "I got concerned with fertilizers and sprays and realized I needed to know more about the nutrients and
pigments in plants. That got me into chemistry, and I followed it into high school and the university, and I haven’t regretted it."
On Dec. 10, 2010, in a stately ceremony in
Stockholm, Heck, the Willis F. Harrington Professor Emeritus in the University of Delaware Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, was presented the Nobel Prize in Chemistry by King Carl XVI Gustaf of Sweden. ...