The Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan. The discovery of a new type of catalysis that allows the use of organic molecules is rewarded with a simpler and more efficient procedure.
Benjamin List, 53, was born in Frankfurt, Germany, where he graduated in 1997. He currently heads the Max Planck Institute specializing in catalysis research. David W. C. Macmillan is 53 years old, born in 1968 in Belchill Great Britain. He studied in the United States, graduating in 1996 from the University of California, Irvine and currently studying at Princeton University.
List and MacMillan’s papers were awarded the new technique the two researchers independently developed, called organic catalysis. This allows the molecules to combine to get new molecules, which prevents contamination from occurring during the reaction. Thanks to this technology, it is possible to obtain, for example, new molecules of pharmaceutical interest, a new generation of solar cells or more efficient batteries. Another important result is that it is an environmentally friendly, functional technology of so-called “green chemistry”. –
From 1901 to 2020, a total of 112 Nobel Prizes in Chemistry were awarded, according to the Nobel Foundation website, and were won by a single researcher. Only one researcher, Frederick Sanger, won it twice, in 1958 and 1980.
Even in this specialty, women awarded so far have been in the minority: only seven.
Frédéric Joliot was the youngest Nobel Prize winner in Chemistry, at the age of 35, in 1935; It was John B.
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