Nobel Prize winners have been announced recently and the latest win goes to Richard Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi and Akira Suzuki. The trio was honored in the field of chemistry for the team’s discovery of palladium-catalyzed cross couplings.
With all the talk of the 2010 Nobel Prize winners, many of us are left wondering exactly what the Nobel Prize is all about. From Nobelprize.org,
Every year since 1901 the Nobel Prize has been awarded for achievements in physics, chemistry, physiology or medicine, literature and for peace. The Nobel Prize is an international award administered by the Nobel Foundation in Stockholm, Sweden. In 1968, Sveriges Riksbank established The Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, founder of the Nobel Prize. Each prize consists of a medal, personal diploma, and a cash award.
Now back to chemistry. The Nobel Prize 2010 winners — one American and two Japanese scientists — discovered a method four decades ago that is used today to make medicines such as cancer drugs in addition to reducing the size of computer screens. In layman’s terms, they were able to join carbon atoms together which is a crucial step in the process of building complex molecules. Their methods are now used worldwide to manufacture electronics and in the commercial production of pharmaceuticals, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said.
Negishi, 75, said he started dreaming about winning the prize “half a century ago” and that “the Nobel Prize became a realistic dream of mine when I was in my 20′s.” He said he would put a third of his cash prize towards continued research.