Nobel Prize Winner Benjamin List Receives Honorary Doctorate from Freie Universität Berlin
News from Nov 02, 2023
Professor Benjamin List, who received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2021, was presented with an honorary doctorate from Freie Universität Berlin on October 24, 2023. List, director at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr, received the honorary doctorate for his groundbreaking work in developing a more sustainable type of organic catalysis. He is considered one of the founders of asymmetrical organocatalysis, a process for synthesizing molecules that does not require the use of catalysts that are potentially damaging to health or the environment, such as metals. Born in Frankfurt, List completed his first degree (Diplom) in chemistry in 1993 at Freie Universität Berlin. He was presented with the honorary doctorate as part of the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy’s introductory event for first-semester students on October 24, 2023. His collaborative partner and head of the total synthesis working group at Freie Universität’s Organic Chemistry Division, Professor Mathias Christmann, gave the laudatory speech.
The dean of the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Professor Beate Paulus, said: “We are delighted that a graduate of our department has made and continues to make important contributions toward making synthesis more environmentally friendly. We are very proud that he received the Nobel Prize for his work. By awarding him an honorary doctorate as part of the department’s introductory event for first-semester students, we hope to inspire students beginning their studies here to believe in themselves and their ideas.”
After completing his studies in chemistry at Freie Universität and obtaining his doctorate (begun at Freie Universität Berlin, completed at Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main), List worked as a researcher at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California. In 2003 he returned to Germany to become a research group leader at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung in Mülheim an der Ruhr, where he has headed the Homogeneous Catalysis group since 2005. The working group focuses on developing sustainable catalysts in order to streamline important chemical reactions. Benjamin List and David MacMillan were jointly awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 2021 for “the development of asymmetric organocatalysis.”
List was awarded an honorary doctorate as part of Freie Universität Berlin’s Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy’s introductory event for first-semester students. During the ceremony, List also held a presentation entitled “From Dahlem to Stockholm and Back: Organocatalysis for the World.”
Prof. Dr. Beate Paulus, Dean of the Department of Biology, Chemistry, Pharmacy, Freie Universität Berlin, Email: email@example.com