Nobel in Chemistry Honors ‘Greener’ Way to Build Molecules

The work of Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan has allowed scientists to produce molecules more cheaply, efficiently, safely — and with significantly less environmental impact.

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Goran K Hansson, Permanent Secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, centre, announces the winners of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, in Stockholm, Sweden, Wednesday, Oct. 6, 2021. Professor Pernilla Wittung-Stafhede, is seated at left and Professor Peter Somfai at right. Two scientists have won the Nobel Prize for chemistry for finding an “ingenious” new way to build molecules that can be used to make everything from medicines to food flavorings. Benjamin List of Germany and Scotland-born David W.C. MacMillan developed “asymmetric organocatalysis.” Goran Hansson of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Wednesday that work has already had a significant impact on pharmaceutical research. (Claudio Bresciani/TT New Agency via AP)
Image via AP Photo/Claudio Bresciani

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STOCKHOLM (AP) — Two scientists won the Nobel Prize for chemistry Wednesday for finding an “ingenious” new way to build molecules that can be used to make everything from medicines to food flavorings. The work of Benjamin List of Germany and Scotland-born David W.C. MacMillan has allowed scientists to produce those molecules more cheaply, efficiently, safely — and with significantly less environmental impact. “It’s already benefiting humankind greatly,” said Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, a member of the…

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