# Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry
(Swedish: Nobelpriset i kemi)
Awarded forOutstanding contributions in chemistry
LocationStockholm, Sweden
Presented byRoyal Swedish Academy of Sciences
Reward(s)9 million SEK (2017)
First awarded1901
Currently held byBenjamin List and David MacMillan (2021)
Most awardsFrederick Sanger (2)
Websitenobelprize.org
• ← 2020

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded annually by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences to scientists in the various fields of chemistry. It is one of the five Nobel Prizes established by the will of Alfred Nobel in 1895, awarded for outstanding contributions in chemistry, physics, literature, peace, and physiology or medicine. This award is administered by the Nobel Foundation, and awarded by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences on proposal of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry which consists of five members elected by the Academy. The award is presented in Stockholm at an annual ceremony on 10 December, the anniversary of Nobel's death.

The first Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded in 1901 to Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, of the Netherlands, "for his discovery of the laws of chemical dynamics and osmotic pressure in solutions". From 1901 to 2021, the award has been bestowed on a total of 188 individuals. The 2021 Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded to Benjamin List and David McMillan for the development of asymmetric organocatalysis. Only seven women have received the prize, including Marie Curie, her daughter Irène Joliot-Curie, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1964), Ada Yonath (2009), Frances H. Arnold (2018), Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna (2020).

## Nobel Laureates in Chemistry by Nationality

Country (laureates)
United States (78)
Germany (34)
United Kingdom (34)
France (10)
Japan (8)
Switzerland (7)
Israel (6)
Sweden (5)
Netherlands (4)
Hungary (3)
Austria (2)
New Zealand (2)
Norway (2)
Poland (2)
Argentina (1)
Australia (1)
Belgium (1)
Czech Republic (1)
Denmark (1)
Egypt (1)
Finland (1)
India (1)
Italy (1)
Mexico (1)
Romania (1)
Russia (1)
Turkey (1)
Taiwan (1)

## Scope of award

In recent years, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry has drawn criticism from chemists who feel that the prize is more frequently awarded to non-chemists than to chemists. In the 30 years leading up to 2012, the Nobel Prize in Chemistry was awarded ten times for work classified as biochemistry or molecular biology, and once to a materials scientist. In the ten years leading up to 2012, only four prizes were awarded for work strictly in chemistry. Commenting on the scope of the award, The Economist explained that the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences is bound by Nobel's bequest, which specifies awards only in physics, chemistry, literature, medicine, and peace. Biology was in its infancy in Nobel's day and no award was established. The Economist argued there is no Nobel Prize for mathematics either, another major discipline, and added that Nobel's stipulation of no more than three winners is not readily applicable to modern physics, where progress is typically made through huge collaborations rather than by individuals alone.

In 2020, Ioannidis et al. reported that half of the Nobel Prizes for science awarded between 1995–2017 were clustered in just a few disciplines within their broader fields. Atomic physics, particle physics, cell biology, and neuroscience dominated the two subjects outside chemistry, while molecular chemistry was the chief prize-winning discipline in its domain. Molecular chemists won 5.3% of all science Nobel Prizes during this period.