Networks of organic chemical reactions are important in life and probably played a central part in its origin. Network dynamics regulate cell division, circadian rhythms, nerve impulses and chemotaxis, and guide the development of organisms. George M. Whitesides was born August 3, 1939 in Louisville, KY. He received an A.B. degree from Harvard University in 1960 and a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology (with J.D. Roberts) in 1964. He was a member of the faculty of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1963 to 1982. He joined the Department of Chemistry of Harvard University in 1982, and was Department Chairman 1986-89, and Mallinckrodt Professor of Chemistry from 1982-2004. He is now the Woodford L. and Ann A. Flowers University Professor.