The cycle of discovery in total synthesis is a dynamic process which requires only a catalytic amount of inspiration and involves the coupling of imagination with the challenges offered by novel molecular complexity. The lessons acquired during the course of a total synthesis almost always transcend the process itself and lead to new insights and discoveries in organic chemistry.
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“The chemist who designs and completes an original and esthetically pleasing multistep synthesis is like the composer, artist or poet who, with great individuality, fashions new forms of beauty from the interplay of mind and spirit.”
“This is an important point: neither biology nor chemistry would be served best by a development in which all organic chemists would simply become biological such that, as a consequence, research at the core of organic chemistry and, therefore, progress in understanding the reactivity of organic molecules, would dry out. Progress at its core in understanding and reasoning is not only essential for organic chemistry itself, but for life science as a whole. Life science needs an Organic Chemistry that remains strong.”
– Albert Eschenmoser (2008)