Professor Carl Djerassi ForMemRS

Carl Djerassi

Professor of Chemistry Emeritus, Stanford University.

Carl Djerassi is eminent in organic and medicinal chemistry, and in the popularization of science. With colleagues, he achieved the first synthesis of cortisone, providing treatment for rheumatoid arthritis, inflammation and eczema. He received the National Medal of Science and the first Wolf Prize in chemistry for the creation of a progesterone analogue approved in 1960 as the contraceptive pill. He developed (with others) mass spectrometry in organic chemistry, and greatly advanced natural product chemistry. In the latter part of his career, he has promoted science to the general public through books and plays.

Our mission

To recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

Our priorities

  • Promoting science and its benefits
  • Recognising excellence in science
  • Supporting outstanding science
  • Providing scientific advice for policy
  • Fostering international and global cooperation
  • Education and public engagement