PerspectiveRetrospective

Paul F. Barbara (1953–2010)

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Science  26 Nov 2010:
Vol. 330, Issue 6008, pp. 1191
DOI: 10.1126/science.1199894

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Summary

Paul F. Barbara, 57, passed quietly on Sunday, 31 October 2010, from complications following cardiac arrest. He made deep contributions to understanding how molecular shapes and reactivities are induced by their environments. Paul's intense focus on understanding molecules at their most fundamental level had very early roots. After his election to the National Academy of Sciences, he was asked to comment on what brought him to science (1). He replied, “The first book I ever got was a book on molecules, and I think that was in fourth grade.” He went on to talk about his early fascination with molecules: “I constantly imagined that they were there and that if you had an ideal microscope, you'd be able to see them and they'd be everywhere around you.”