Brice Bosnich

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Brice Bosnich
Brice Bosnich.jpg
Born(1936-06-03)3 June 1936
Died13 April 2015(2015-04-13) (aged 78)
Other namesBoz[1]
Scientific career
ThesisSubstitution at an octahedral metal centre (1962)
Doctoral advisorFrancis Patrick Dwyer

Brice Michael Bosnich FRS[2] (3 June 1936 – 13 April 2015)[3] was an Australian inorganic chemist. He gained recognition for the design of complex ligands useful in homogeneous catalysis.[1]


He graduated from University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1958, and from Australian National University with a PhD in 1962, where he studied with Francis Patrick Dwyer.[1] Contemporaries included Alan Sargeson.[4][5][6]

Career and research[edit]

After leaving ANU, he taught at University College London.[7] He then moved to the University of Toronto, where he remained from 1970 to 1987. Thereafter he became Gustavus F. and Ann M. Swift Distinguished Service Professor at University of Chicago.[8][9] After his retirement he became a Visiting Fellow at his alma mater, Australian National University.[1]

As an independent scientist at the University of Toronto, he developed a rational approach to chiral diphosphine ligands, the premier member being chiraphos. Unlike previous chiral ligands, the chirality of chiraphos arose from the backbone of the chelate. This concept underpins many of the C2-symmetrical ligands subsequently developed in asymmetric hydrogenation.[10][11][12] Other areas of research included hydroacylation catalysis and the development of ligands that mimic the spectroscopic properties of the blue copper proteins.[13]

After his retirement Prof Bosnich made clear his views questioning the Royal Society's position on climate change.[14]

Awards and honours[edit]

Bosnich was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 2000.[2][15] His biography reads:

Bosnich made many important contributions to inorganic and organometallic chemistry. A central theme of much of his research had been the stereochemistry of inorganic and organometallic complexes and of reactions mediated by such complexes. His design, synthesis and studies of the ligands, chiraphos and prophos, represent a major accomplishment and have contributed enormously to our understanding of the mechanisms of chiral recognition and asymmetric catalysis. Before his death, his research interests expanded to encompass the mechanistic aspects of a wide range of reactions, including allylic alkylations, metal catalysed Claisen rearrangements, hydroacylation and hydrosilation, as well as cooperative phenomena in binuclear metal complexes.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d Crowley, James D.; Jackson, W. Gregory; Wild, S. Bruce (2016). "Professor Brice Bosnich, FRS (1936–2015)". Australian Journal of Chemistry. 69 (5): 485. doi:10.1071/CHv69n5_FO.
  2. ^ a b c "Professor Brice Bosnich FRS". London: Archived from the original on 20 June 2016. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the website where:

    "All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License." --"Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies". Archived from the original on 25 September 2015. Retrieved 9 March 2016.CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)

  3. ^ Anon (2015). "Notices 2015". London:
  4. ^ Bosnich, B. (2011). "Alan McLeod Sargeson FAA. 13 October 1930 -- 29 December 2008". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 58: 265–282. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2011.0017.
  5. ^ Bosnich, B.; Dwyer, F. P.; Sargeson, A. M. (1960). "Rate of Ligand Exchange with its Metal Complex by a Polarimetric Method". Nature. 186 (4729): 966. doi:10.1038/186966a0. S2CID 4224326.
  6. ^ Bosnich, B. (1962). "Bimolecular Substitution in Octahedral Transition Metal Ions, and the Concept of Amphiphilicity". Nature. 196 (4860): 1196–1197. doi:10.1038/1961196a0. S2CID 4266781.
  7. ^ "The UCL Periodic Table of the Lecturers: Brice Bosnich". University College London.
  8. ^ "Chemistry Department – University of Chicago".
  9. ^ "Faculty receive named, distinguished appointments".
  10. ^ Fryzuk, M. D.; Bosnich, B. (1977). "Asymmetric synthesis. Production of optically active amino acids by catalytic hydrogenation". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 99 (19): 6262–6267. doi:10.1021/ja00461a014. PMID 893889.
  11. ^ Fryzuk, M. D.; Bosnich, B. (1978). "Asymmetric synthesis. An asymmetric homogeneous hydrogenation catalyst which breeds its own chirality". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 100 (17): 5491–5494. doi:10.1021/ja00485a037.
  12. ^ Fryzuk, M. D.; Bosnich, B. (1979). "Asymmetric synthesis. Preparation of chiral methyl chiral lactic acid by catalytic asymmetric hydrogenation". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 101 (11): 3043–3049. doi:10.1021/ja00505a035.
  13. ^ Amundsen, Alan R.; Whelan, John; Bosnich, B. (1977). "Biological analogs. Nature of the binding sites of copper-containing proteins". J. Am. Chem. Soc. 99 (20): 6730–6739. doi:10.1021/ja00462a042. PMID 893902.
  14. ^ "An open letter to Sir Paul Nurse".
  15. ^ Bennett, Martin A. (2019). "Brice Bosnich. 3 June 1936—13 April 2015". Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. 67: 59–87. doi:10.1098/rsbm.2019.0019.