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Snakes and Ladders on the Pathway to Mechanism

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Andrea Chlebikova.

The talk will take stock what we mean by ‘organic reaction mechanism’, why it is useful, and how we explore it. Over the last 50 years or so, there has been a tremendous evolution of the instrumentation and technology available, with various tools coming into use, and others going out of fashion. Indeed, much can now be quickly elucidated using standard laboratory facilities and instrumentation. Nonetheless, it still remains easy to be to be fooled by mechanism, even of what are very simple processes in the context of the dazzling array of methodologies now available for organic synthesis. Drawing predominantly on case studies from my laboratories, there will be examples of successful investigations, as well as the pitfalls en route, perhaps with some indications on how to avoid falling into similar ones yourself.

This talk is part of the ChemSoc - Cambridge Chemistry Society series.

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