Science & Technology

Chemistry Nobel 2021 goes to 2 scientists for environmentally friendly molecule building tool

Their creation paved the way for a completely new avenue to put together molecules, according to the Nobel committee

 
By DTE Staff
Published: Wednesday 06 October 2021
Chemistry Nobel Prize goes to Benjamin List and David MacMillan for tool for building molecules. Photo: NobelPrize / Twitter

The Nobel Prize for Chemistry was given to Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan for creating a tool for building molecules that helped reduce chemistry’s footprint on the environment and develop new drugs. 

List, a German scientist and MacMillan, a Scottish chemist, both 53 years old, worked independently to develop “asymmetric organocatalysis”. The duo was awarded a prize money of 10 million krona (Rs 8.5 crore). 

List is a director at the Max Planck Institute in Germany and MacMillan is a professor at Princeton University in the United States.

Their creation paved the way for a completely new avenue to put together molecules, according to the Nobel committee. 

The toolkit can make molecules that can capture light in solar cells, the committee informed. 

The prize was founded by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in 1896.

The Nobel Committee at the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said:

Many research areas and industries are dependent on chemists’ ability to construct molecules that can form elastic and durable materials, store energy in batteries or inhibit the progression of disease.

Last year, Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna received the Chemistry Nobel for creating tools to edit the DNA.

More Nobel awards will be handed over this week and the next: Literature on Thursday, Peace on Friday and Economics on Monday. 

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.