Trio Share Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Researchers from Harvard, Stanford and USC get kudos for work in chemical modelling

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Claudio Bresciani / AFP / Getty Images

From left: Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to three scientists for “the development of multi-scale models for complex chemical systems,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences announced Wednesday.

Martin Karplus of Harvard, Michael Levitt of Stanford and Arieh Warshel of the University of Southern California will share the 8 million Swedish Krona ($1.2 million) prize.

“Chemists used to create models of molecules using plastic balls and sticks. Today, the modelling is carried out in computers,” the Royal Swedish Academy said in its announcement. The three scientists “laid the foundation for the powerful programs that are used to understand and predict chemical processes. Computer models mirroring real life have become crucial for most advances made in chemistry today.”




your loss has been humanities gain, celebrate!


Nice to note that two of this amazing trio (Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel) are proud to be Israelis (Warshel was born here, levitt, immigrated and spent 3 years at the Weizmann Institute, before going on to US). Less nice is to note that Israeli academia can't compete with rich American universities in attracting the best of the best. Brain drain is our toughest intellectual challenge, but we're immensely proud nevertheless.