- BBC News World
asymmetric organocatalysis. This is the name of the chemical process discovered and developed by professors Benjamin List and David MacMillan that earned them the 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Along with the recognition, the laureates receive a cash prize amounting to 10 million crowns (about US$1.06 million).
Now, MacMillan has revealed that he used his prize money – half of that $1.06 million – to help underprivileged students in Scotland for who attend college.
This Princeton University professor graduated in chemistry from the University of Glasgow, before moving to the United States for postgraduate studies.
He recently told the BBC that he had established a foundation in honor of his parents through which it channels aid to students.
Its discovery has greatly facilitated the production of asymmetric moleculessome chemical substances that exist in two versions, where one is a mirror image of the other.
This has made it possible to discover new drugs and manufacture molecules that can capture light in solar cells.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland’s “Off the Ball” programme, Professor MacMillan, 54, said he is donating all the money from his Nobel prize, including the money he is paid to give various talks throughout the year after receive the award.
“I have donated all the Nobel money to a charitable cause,” he said.
“And also all the fees from all the talks I’m giving for the first year.”
“What we’re doing is giving it to underprivileged youth in Scotland trying to get into college.
For that he has created a charity, the May and Billy MacMillan Foundation, to honor his parents’ support for his education.
MacMillan attended two public schools and said he was “very, very proud” of his “working class” upbringing.
The scientist who now lives in Hawaii with his wife and three children attended a soccer game as the guest of honor on Sunday in Scotland.
He wore his solid gold Nobel medal to the BBC studios for his second appearance on the irreverent football show since becoming a Nobel laureate.
Professor MacMillan said that listen to the program online from the United States every week, and described being interviewed on it as an “absolute dream come true”.
He also admitted that he still owed Professor Benjamin List $1,000, “the German guy I stole the idea from.”
“In fact, he phoned me in the morning to tell me we had won. But I didn’t believe him,” he said.
“So I bet $1,000 that it wasn’t true and went back to sleep.”
List “reminded me of that debt but I haven’t paid it off yet.”
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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry who donated all the prize money to students to attend university – BBC News World