Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to Benjamin List and David WC MacMillan “for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis".
Benjamin and David have developed a new and ingenious tool for molecule building: organocatalysis. Its uses include research into new pharmaceuticals and it has also helped make chemistry greener.
Researchers long believed that there were just two types of catalysts available: metals and enzymes. Independently of each other Nobel Prize laureates Benjamin List and David MacMillan developed a third type – asymmetric organocatalysis – which builds upon small organic molecules.
The discovery – asymmetric organocatalysis – has taken molecular construction to an entirely new level. It has not only made chemistry greener, but also made it much easier to produce asymmetric molecules, the official handle of The Nobel Prize said.
Over the coming days prizes will also be awarded for outstanding work in the fields of literature, peace and economics.