[This post is a continuation-in-part of the previous post]
Henry: What Wilkinson first gave the world now goes by a name. It's called hapticity.
Me: I know what hapticity is, but I didn't realize the word was Cotton's idea.
Henry: Yep. Cotton was Geoff Wilkinson's first student.
Me: Did you know him?
Henry: Of course! Both of them.
Henry: I suppose the notion was there all along, sort of half-baked.
Me: What was?
Henry: Hapticity-the notion that a metal could latch onto several carbons simultaneously. I mean, there was Zeise's salt, known since the 1820's, yet nobody knew its structure. That sure changed quickly. Then along came Dewar and Chatt, your heroes, to explain it all! [Henry laughs]
Me: They're not my heroes! Well maybe Dewar was.
Henry: And then there was Reihlen's iron butadiene complex. That was like an open-faced sandwich! [Henry laughs again]. Geoff knew all his work too--even though the war hid some of it. It still does.
Me: You make it all sound so obvious!
Henry: No, Geoff just proved Pasteur's old dictum that chance favors the prepared mind.