2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry Awarded to Benjamin List and David MacMillan The Nobel Prize in chemistry has been awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan, for creating “an ingenious tool for building molecules” that has helped develop new drugs and made chemistry greener. The pair were awarded the prize in Stockholm, Sweden “for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.”
According to Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, a member of the chemistry Nobel committee, their discoveries “initiated a totally new way of thinking for how to put together chemical molecules.”
Catalysts are “fundamental tools for chemists, but researchers long believed that there were, in principle, just two types of catalysts available: metals and enzymes. Benjamin List and David MacMillan are awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2021 because in 2000 they, independent of each other, developed a third type of catalysis,” the Nobel committee said in a press release.
“This concept for catalysis is as simple as it is ingenious, and the fact is that many people have wondered why we didn’t think of it earlier,” says Johan Åqvist, who is chair of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry.