Nobel Laureates in Chemistry


October 17, 2021

Nobel Prize Laureates in Chemistry - laureates of the prize awarded annually to persons who have made a scientific discovery or invention in the field of chemistry (one of the five in which this prize was established), thus doing the greatest blessing of mankind. In the beginning, usually one person was awarded in a given year, then more and more often it was two or three people. The criterion for assessing the achievements of Nobel Prize candidates was formulated by Alfred Nobel (1833–1896) in his will. The prize fund comes from interest on the founder's assets, which are managed by the Nobel Foundation. Decisions on awards are made by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in accordance with a strictly described procedure. Award ceremonies have been held since 1901, always on December 10, which is a celebration of the anniversary of the founder's death (December 10, 1896).

Historical Overview

Alfred Nobel - an inventor and entrepreneur (author of 355 patents) - was a man of versatile interests, but he accumulated a great fortune mainly thanks to his studies in chemical engineering and contacts with many chemists known at the time. The most famous of his inventions - dynamite - contributed to a breakthrough in mining and tunnel construction. He decided to allocate the accumulated property to supporting science and inventiveness. He ordered that the foundation, which manages its assets well, should divide its annual profits into five equal parts and allocate them to cash prizes, including: The division of the field of activity of scientists and inventors from the time of Alfred Nobel quickly became obsolete. On the borderline between physics, chemistry and medicine, new scientific disciplines arose and developed: physical chemistry, chemical thermodynamics, astrochemistry, biochemistry, molecular medicine, medical physics and many others. Already the first of the awarded works in the field of chemistry concerned physicochemical issues (Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, for discovering the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure). Over the years, achievements in various aspects of the "chemistry of life" (biochemistry, biotechnology) have become more and more dominant. Increasingly, there were simultaneous submissions of individual scientists' achievements to different committees (for awards in the fields of chemistry, physics and medicine). The list of Nobel laureates in the field of chemistry, as well as the corresponding lists of laureates in other fields, have become a record of over a hundred years of history of the development of new fields of science and the growing role of team research (cooperation of scientists representing various disciplines and various scientific centers in the world). In the years 1901–2020, 185 people were among the 112 laureates of the Nobel Prizes in the field of chemistry, 63 of whom received individual distinctions. Frederick Sanger, a specialist in the field of molecular biology, was awarded twice (1958 and 1980). The average age of laureates at the time of receiving the award was 61 (youngest laureates: Frédéric Joliot-Curie, 35; oldest: John B. Goodenough, 97). The award went to 7 women: Maria Skłodowska-Curie (1911), Irene Joliot-Curie (1935), Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1964), Ada Jonath (2009), Frances Arnold (2018) and Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna (2020).

List of laureates


External Links

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Nobel Prize Outreach AB [accessed 2019-10-11].

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