GS Paper - 3 (Science)

German Benjamin List and Scottish-born David MacMillan won the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their development of asymmetric organocatalysis, a “new and ingenious tool for molecule building”. “Organic catalysts can be used to drive multitudes of chemical reactions,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.


  1. Using these reactions, researchers can now more efficiently construct anything from new pharmaceuticals to molecules that can capture light in solar cells.
  2. It said these catalysts were both environmentally friendly and cheap to produce.
  3. The chemistry award is the third of this year’s crop of Nobel prizes and follows the prizes for medicine or physiology, and physics, announced earlier this week.
  4. Previous winners of the Chemistry prize include Marie Curie and Fredrick Sanger, who won twice.
  5. Seven women have won, including last year’s laureates Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna who were awarded the prize for creating genetic ‘scissors’ that can edit DNA.