Nobel Prize in Chemistry for Benjamin List

Our Advisory Board member and Guest Editor Benjamin List showcases the science that led to his award in the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry

The Nobel Prize Committee announced that Prof. Benjamin List, Director of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung (Max Planck Institute for Coal Research), will be awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Together with Prof. David W. C. MacMillan from Princeton University, this is to honor their work on asymmetric organocatalysis.

Prof. List is a distinguished Advisory Board member and Guest Editor of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry. Notably, he edited the thematic issue “Organocatalysis”, which highlights the relevance and challenges of the research area that was recognized by the Nobel Prize Committee.

In brief, organocatalysis is an efficient, circular process in which low-molecular-weight organic compounds, rather than metals, are the driving force. They facilitate a set of important reactions with relevance to environmental challenges and various industries. Certain transformations that cannot be done through enzymes or metals are feasible only with organocatalysis. Of note is that the small organic molecules that Benjamin List introduced as catalysts are particularly suited for asymmetric synthesis, one of the supreme disciplines in organic chemistry.

The team of the Beilstein Journal of Organic Chemistry and the Beilstein-Institut congratulate Benjamin List for the award of the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry and thank him for his advice and collaboration over the years.

08 Oct 2021

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