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HIST announces recipients of 2021 Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Awards

by Jeff Seeman, HIST
January 29, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 4

The American Chemical Society Division of the History of Chemistry (HIST) has announced the recipients of its 2021 Citation for Chemical Breakthrough Awards. The awards recognize breakthrough publications, books, and patents worldwide in the field of chemistry. The advances must have been revolutionary in concept, broad in scope, and long term in impact.

The 2021 winners include Yale University for J. Willard Gibbs’s 1876 paper explaining the laws of thermodynamics; Kyoto University for Kenichi Fukui’s 1952 paper on his discovery of frontier molecular orbital theory; and Nagoya University, the Institute for Molecular Science, and Takasago International for Ryōji Noyori and collaborators’ discovery of chirally catalyzed hydrogenations.

The year 2021 was the 16th year of this award program. The awards recognize chemical discoveries that have had broad implications for fields related to chemistry, such as biology and genetics, the environment, and human health.

The awards are given to the institutions at which the research was performed, not to the researchers themselves. The plaques are hung in public spaces so that students, faculty, and staff can learn of and celebrate important chemical achievements that happened in their institutions.


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