Scientists List and MacMillan win Nobel Chemistry Prize

Nobel Prize is a set of five prizes awarded to those who have granted a tremendous advantage to humankind. The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is granted yearly by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in numerous domains of chemistry.

Till now, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been allotted 113 times to 188 Nobel Prize laureates between 1901 to 2021. There were so many predictions this year about who is going to win the award but not many people assumed that the Nobel Prize would be awarded to this duo.

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German Scientist Benjamin List and Scottish-born Scientist David MacMillan were awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 on Wednesday. Benjamin List, also recognized as Ben List, is a German scientist who is the senior professor of organic chemistry at the University of Cologne and also affiliated with Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung. David William Cross MacMillan FRS FRSE is a Scottish-born chemist residing in the United States of America. He is James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University. He was the Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 2010 to 2015 at Princeton University. Previously he had also been awarded the Corday–Morgan Prize, Member of the National Academy of Sciences.

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The duo received the Nobel Chemistry Prize on Wednesday for developing new equipment for constructing molecules that will assist the formulation of new medications and are also extra eco-friendly.

Scientists Benjamin List and David MacMillan together evolved inventive equipment to build molecules that can be utilized to push the volumes of chemical reactions. The duo earned the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their progress in asymmetric organocatalysis. It is a fresh and creative tool for molecule building.

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In 2000, the duo discovered that there is another new third type of catalyst known as an asymmetrical organocatalyst. Previously, it was believed that only metals and enzymes can act as catalysts and speed up chemical reactions.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences claimed that Organic catalysts can be utilized to push multitudes of chemical reactions. It further augmented that by utilizing these reactions, researchers can directly and efficiently construct anything from new drugs to molecules that can capture light in solar cells. They said these catalysts were both eco-friendly and inexpensive to manufacture.

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Wittung-Stafshede, a member of the Nobel Prize in chemistry said that this asymmetric organocatalyst is a new toolbox that is utilized vastly in drug discovery, and fine chemicals generation and is already aiding humankind greatly.

The new asymmetrical organocatalysts have been utilized in numerous ways in the past two decades. Its application included creating new pharmaceuticals and building molecules that capture light in solar cells. The committee attributed the duo of Scientists, Benjamin List and David Macmillatoith “bringing the greatest benefit to humankind.”

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Benjamin List, after being announced as the winner, said that he hoped he lives up to this tribute and continues discovering amazing things.

This prize is older than a century and is granted by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. The prize is worth 10 million Swedish crowns which are 1.14 million US Dollars.

The Nobel prizes, for accomplishments in literature, science, and peace, were established and sponsored in the will of Swedish dynamite inventor and businessman Alfred Nobel. They have been allotted ever since 1901, with the economics prize initially allocated in 1969.

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The Nobel Prize for medicine and physiology was awarded first, and physics announced the award earlier this week followed by the Nobel Prize for Chemistry on Wednesday.

Former winners of the Chemistry Nobel prize are Marie Curie and Fredrick Sanger, who not only won the prize once but twice.

Seven women scientists have won the Nobel prize in Chemistry, encompassing last year’s laureates Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna. This duo was granted the prize for inventing genetic ‘scissors’ that can edit DNA.

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This write-up has been contributed by Farid Khan. He is a sports journalist, who’s currently Head of Digital Media at Cricwick & Cricingif. He is a former Social Media Manager for Peshawar Zalmi. He has covered HBL PSL, Lanka Premier League, and T10 League among other franchise comps. He can be reached at @NotFareed on Twitter.

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