Jerome A. Berson

Sterling Professor Emeritus
Member of Yale faculty since 1969


Research Our recent research has emphasized studies of reaction mechanisms and the synthesis of molecules to stimulate and test theory. The latter effort has resulted in the synthesis of a number of π-conjugated non-Kekulé molecules and the elucidation of their reactivity.


Some Non-Kekulé Molecules

The history and philosophy of chemistry are developing interests in my current work. The intention is to bring to bear insights from the practicing chemist’s experience to explore some of the important problems of those disciplines.

B.S. City College of New York, 1944
M.A. Columbia University, 1947
Ph.D. Columbia University, 1949
NRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Harvard University, 1949-50

Member, National Academy of Sciences
Fellow, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Townsend Harris Medal, City College Alumni Association
American Chemical Society

California Section Award
James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry
William H. Nichols Medal
Roger Adams Award in Organic Chemistry
Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award
Oesper Award

Literature Prize of the German Association of Chemical Industry

Recent Publications
Non-Kekulé Molecules as Reactive Intermediates, chapter in Reactive Intermediate Chemistry, R.A. Moss, M.S. Platz, and M. Jones, Jr., eds, Wiley, 2004.

Chemical Creativity: Ideas from the Work of Woodward, Meerwein, and Hückel, Wiley-VCH, 1999.

Chemical Discovery and the Logicians’ Program: A Problematic Pairing, Wiley-VCH, 2003.

Fundamental Theories and their Empirical Patches, keynote address to the International Society for the Philosophy of Chemistry, Foundations of Chemistry, 2008, 10, 147.

Jerome A. Berson

Research Interests