Robert H. Grubbs


Interview, September 2008

Interview with the 2005 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, Robert H. Grubbs, 30 August, 2008. The interviewer is Adam Smith, Editor-in-Chief of

Robert Grubbs explains how a family interested in learning and a junior high school science teacher interested in controversy laid the foundation for his own interest in science, how orange pulp was indirectly responsible for his decision to study synthetic organic chemistry (4:38), how establishing Materia, Inc., promoted commercial applications for metathesis based products (18:07), how being a professor is the “world’s greatest job” (33:50), how he explains metathesis simply (36:37), and how global warming may positively change the public perception of chemicals (40:50).

Interview, December 2005

Interview with the 2005 Nobel Laureates in Chemistry Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock, by Joanna Rose, science writer, 6 December 2005.

The Laureates talk about their experiences after the announcement of the Nobel Prize; how they became interested in science (2:46); their discovery and the work behind it (5:53); the relation between applied and fundamental science (12:49); patent problems (17:11); and the public’s view of science today (19:35).

Read the interview

Nobel Minds 2005

The Nobel Laureates of 2005 met at the Bernadotte Library in Stockholm in December 2005 for the traditional round-table discussion and TV show ‘Nobel Minds’. The programme presenter is Nik Gowing, principal programme anchor for the BBC’s international television news channel BBC World. Among other things the Laureates talk about competition versus co-operation and the need of mentoring in scientific research.

Interview, October 2005

Telephone interview with Professor Robert H. Grubbs following the announcement of the 2005 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 5 October 2005. The interviewer is science writer Joanna Rose.

Interview transcript

– Hello.

– Hello. Dr Grubbs?

– Yes.

– This is Joanna Rose from …

– Okay …

– … the official site of the Nobel Foundation.

– Yes?

– I wanted just to record some questions and answers from you, about the Prize.

– Okay.

– Congratulations to the Prize.

– Thank you.

– How did you receive this message?

– I was … at home, recovering from a lecture tour in New Zealand and at home I have … They put us up in Christchurch; I’m in Christchurch as an Erskine Fellow, giving a lecture course. And I’m just sitting in my home; it’s now 11.30 at night, so I … the end of a long day.

– When did you get the message?

– Just a few minutes ago, a short time ago.

– Did you expect it in any way?

– No. You know, it’s one of the things no one ever expects to happen, not usually. But you never expect it.

– It never occurred to you that you could be a Nobel Prize-winner?

– No. You know, that’s not one of the things that I’d even …

– Do you think it will change your future research, or …?

– I hope not, of course. It’s still too early, but I don’t think so. I’ve been enjoying doing what I’m doing for a very long time, so I see no reason to change.

– Do you think that this means some new responsibilities, becoming a Nobel Prize-winner?

– It probably does. But I haven’t thought about those yet. I guess so. It’s so soon and … I’m sure that will happen over the next little while.

– I see. Do you have any idea what you will do with the Prize money?

– No, I haven’t thought about that. I’m sure we’ll find some interesting things to do.

– Are you going to celebrate the Prize now?

– Well, as I say, I’m pretty exhausted and so I will probably have a few drinks and try to get some sleep tonight.

– Thank you very much for being with us tonight.

– Okay. Thanks.

– Goodbye.

– Bye.

Did you find any typos in this text? We would appreciate your assistance in identifying any errors and to let us know. Thank you for taking the time to report the errors by sending us an e-mail.


To cite this section
MLA style: Robert H. Grubbs – Interview. Nobel Prize Outreach AB 2023. Sun. 1 Oct 2023. <>

Back to top Back To Top Takes users back to the top of the page

Watch the 2023 Nobel Prize announcements

Don't miss the Nobel Prize announcements 2-9 October!

Watch the live stream of the announcements.

Explore prizes and laureates

Look for popular awards and laureates in different fields, and discover the history of the Nobel Prize.