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Benjamin List, David Macmillan win Nobel Chemistry Prize



German Benjamin List and Scottish-born David Macmillan won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

German Benjamin List and Scottish-born David Macmillan won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis, a “new and simple tool for molecule manufacturing”.

“Biological catalysts can be used to drive many chemical reactions,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement. “Using these reactions, researchers can now efficiently manufacture anything from new pharmaceuticals to molecules that can capture light in solar cells.”

It said these catalysts were both environmentally friendly and cheap to produce.

The more than a century old prize is awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences and is worth 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.14 million).

The Nobel Prizes for achievements in science, literature and peace were created and funded in the bequest of Swedish dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel. He has been awarded since 1901, the first in 1969 the Economics Prize was given.

The Chemistry Prize is the third of this year’s crop of Nobel Prizes and follows the awards for Medicine or Physiology, and Physics 2021-nobel-prize-physics-2021-10-05, announced earlier this week.

Past winners of the Chemistry Prize have included Marie Curie and Fredrik Sanger, who won twice.

Seven women have won, including last year’s award winners Emmanuel Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, who were awarded the prize for creating genetic ‘scissors’ that edit DNA.


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