Chemistry History

Historical Events

Nobel Prize

1902-12-10 German organic chemist Emil Fischer is award the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on sugar and purine syntheses

Nobel Prize

1906-12-10 Frenchman Henri Moissan is presented with the Nobel prize for Chemistry for isolating Fluoride

Nobel Prize

1911-12-31 Marie Curie receives her second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, for her work with radioactivity

  • 1915-11-12 Theodore William Richards is 1st American to win Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Nobel Prize

1922-11-09 Frederick Soddy wins the 1921 Nobel Prize in Chemistry (announced in 1922 due to a technicality)

Nobel Prize

1930-12-10 German chemist Hans Fischer is awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his work on haemin

  • 1934-11-15 Nobel for chemistry awarded to Harold C Urey (deuterium)

Nobel Prize

1935-12-10 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Irene Joliot-Curie (daughter of Marie Curie) and her husband Frédéric Joliot for the discovery of artificial radioactivity

  • 1936-12-10 Stockholm: physicist PBJ Debije receives Nobel prize for chemistry

Nobel Prize

1954-12-10 Linus Pauling wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his research into the nature of the chemical bond and its applications

Nobel Prize

1960-12-10 Willard Libby wins the Nobel prize in Chemistry for his work developing carbon-14 dating (radiocarbon dating).

Nobel Prize

1963-12-10 Karl Ziegler and Giulio Natta receive the 1963 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for their work on the technology of high polymers

Nobel Prize

1964-12-10 Dorothy Hodgkin is the first British woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work on penicillin and vitamin B12

  • 1965-10-21 Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to Robert B Woodward
  • 1966-12-10 Nobel Prize in chemistry awarded to Robert S. Mulliken
  • 1968-10-30 Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to Lars Onsager (thermodynamics)
  • 1974-10-15 Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to Paul J. Flory for work on macro molecules
  • 1976-10-18 Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to American William Lipscomb
  • 1984-10-17 Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to Bruce Merrifield
  • 1985-10-16 Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to Herbert Hauptman & Jerome Karle
  • 1988-10-19 3 Americans win Nobel in physics; 3 W Germans win chemistry Nobel
  • 1993-10-13 Nobel prize for chemistry awarded to Kary Mullis & Michael Smith
  • 1997-10-15 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Jens Christain Skou, Paul D. Boyer and John E. Walker for their work on enzymes in the body

Nobel Prize

2003-10-08 Peter Agre and Roderick MacKinnon win the 2003 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for discoveries concerning channels in cell membranes

Nobel Prize

2012-10-10 Robert Lefkowitz and Brian Kobilka win the 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for work on G protein-coupled receptors

  • 2013-10-09 Martin Karplus, Michael Levitt and Arieh Warshel win the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry for their work on multiscale models for complex chemical systems
  • 2014-10-08 Eric Betzig, Stefan Hell and William Moerner win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for the development of super-resolved fluorescence microscopy
  • 2015-10-07 Nobel prize in Chemistry awarded to Tomas Lindahl (Sweden), Paul Modrich (US) and Aziz Sancar (Turkey) for work on cells DNA repair
  • 2017-10-04 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson for their work on cryo-electron microscopy
  • 2018-10-03 Nobel Prize in Chemistry awarded to Frances Arnold, Gregory Winter and George Smith for their use of evolution to produce new enzymes and antibodies [1]
  • 2019-10-09 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino for development of lithium-ion batteries, Goodenough oldest-ever winner at 97
  • 2020-10-07 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Emmanuelle Charpentier, and Jennifer A. Doudna “for the development of a method for genome editing”
  • 2021-10-06 Nobel Prize for Chemistry awarded to Benjamin List and David W.C. MacMillan for development of asymmetric organocatalysis (tool for building molecules)

Famous Birthdays

  • 1743-08-26 Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry (identified oxygen and hydrogen), born in Paris, France (d. 1794)
  • 1768-11-30 Jędrzej Śniadecki, Polish writer, physician, chemist (creation of modern Polish terminology in the field of chemistry), born in Żnin, Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth (d. 1838)
  • 1778-12-17 Humphry Davy, English chemist, studied electro-chemistry, invented the Davy lamp), born in Penzance, Cornwall, England (d. 1829)
  • 1803-05-12 Justus von Liebig, German agricultural and biological chemist who is considered the founder of organic chemistry, born in Hesse-Darmstadt, Germany (d. 1873)
  • 1805-12-21 Thomas Graham, British chemist and father of colloid chemistry (d. 1869)
  • 1817-10-30 Hermann Kopp, German chemist (Jahresbericht of Chemistry), born in Hanau, Hesse-Kassel, Germany (d. 1892)
  • 1833-01-07 Henry Enfield Roscoe, English Chemist (vanadium and photochemistry), born in London, England
  • 1860-03-31 Isidor Traube, Hildesheim Hanover, German Chemist (founded capillary chemistry, research on liquids)
  • 1870-06-21 Clara Immerwahr, German chemist, first woman to be awarded a doctorate in chemistry in Germany, born in Polkendorf, Silesia Province, Kingdom of Prussia (d. 1915)

Hans Fischer

1881-07-27 Hans Fischer, German organic chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1930), born in Hoechst, Germany (d. 1945)

  • 1881-11-16 Joel H. Hildebrand, American chemist and educator (research led to new treatments for divers with the 'bends' through the use of helium and oxygen breathing mixtures), born in Camden, New Jersey (d. 1983)
  • 1881-12-31 Colin G Fink, American chemist (electro chemistry), born in Hoboken, New Jersey
  • 1887-11-19 James B. Sumner, American chemist (Nobel 1946 - discovered that enzymes can be crystallized), born in Canton, Massachusetts (d. 1955)
  • 1894-06-20 Lloyd Hall, African-American chemist and pioneer in food chemistry (science of food preservation), born in Elgin, Illinois (d. 1971)

Irene Joliot-Curie

1897-09-12 Irene Joliot-Curie, French physicist, (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1935), born in Paris, France (d. 1956), daughter of Marie Curie

  • 1897-11-09 Ronald G W Norrish, British chemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1967), born in Cambridge, England (d. 1978)
  • 1904-10-03 Charles J. Pedersen, American organic biochemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1987), born in Busan, Korean Empire (d. 1989)
  • 1910-05-12 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, British biochemist who developed protein crystallography to study molecular structure, including that of vitamin B12 (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1964), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1994) [1]
  • 1914-05-19 Max Perutz, Austrian-born molecular biologist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (d. 2002)
  • 1918-09-08 Derek Barton, British organic chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1969), born in Gravesend, Kent (d. 1998)
  • 1918-10-08 Jens Christian Skou, Danish scientist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1997), born in Lemvig, Denmark (d. 2018)
  • 1919-12-09 William Lipscomb, American chemist working in nuclear magnetic resonance, theoretical chemistry, boron chemistry, and biochemistry (Nobel 1976), born in Cleveland, Ohio (d. 2011)
  • 1920-09-29 Peter D. Mitchell, English chemist, (1978 Nobel Prize for Chemistry), born in Mitcham, England (d. 1992)
  • 1922-07-25 John B. Goodenough, American scientist (lithium-ion battery), 2019 Novel Prize for Chemistry, born in Jena, Germany
  • 1923-03-09 Walter Kohn, Austrian-born American scientist (Nobel Prize Chemistry 1998), born in Vienna (d. 2016)
  • 1925-08-17 John Howard Purnell, Welsh chemist (Royal Society of Chemistry), born in Rhondda, South Wales (d. 1996)
  • 1926-06-30 Paul Berg, American biochemist (development of recombinant DNA techniques, Nobel Chemistry 1980), born in NYC, New York
  • 1926-07-16 Irwin Rose, American biologist (Nobel Prize Chemistry 2004), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 2015)
  • 1926-08-11 Aaron Klug, Biochemist (Nobel prize for Chemistry 1982), born in Lithuanian (d. 2018)
  • 1927-06-28 F. Sherwood Rowland, American Nobel laureate in chemistry 1995, born in Delaware, Ohio (d. 2012)
  • 1936-10-10 Gerhard Ertl, German surface chemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2007), born in Stuttgart, Germany
  • 1936-11-19 Yuan T. Lee, Taiwanese-American chemist (1986 Nobel Prize for Chemistry), born in Hsin-chu, Taiwan
  • 1937-12-31 Avram Hershko, Hungarian-born Israeli biochemist and Nobel laureate in Chemistry, born in Karcag, Hungary
  • 1940-08-23 Thomas A. Steitz, American Biochemist (2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ribosome discoveries), born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin (d. 2018)
  • 1941-03-10 George Smith, American Chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2018), born in Norwalk, Connecticut
  • 1943-03-19 Mario Molina, Mexican chemist, 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (CFC's effect on the ozone layer), born in Mexico City, Mexico (d. 2020)

Robert Lefkowitz

1943-04-15 Robert Lefkowitz, American physician (Nobel Prize for Chemistry), born in NYC, New York

  • 1948-01-30 Akira Yoshino, Japanese chemist (lithium-ion battery), 2019 Nobel Prize for Chemistry, born in Suita, Japan
  • 1951-04-14 Gregory "Greg" Winter, British biochemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018) known for the therapeutic use of antibodies, born in Leicester, England

Brian Kobilka

1955-05-30 Brian Kobilka, American Nobel Prize winning chemistry professor (G protein-coupled receptors), born in Little Falls, Minnesota

  • 1956-07-25 Frances Arnold, American Chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 2018), born in Edgewood, Pennsylvania
  • 1958-09-25 Eamonn Healy, Irish professor of chemistry, organic chemistry, and biochemistry at St. Edward's University in Austin, Texas, born in Newcastle West, Ireland
  • 1959-08-03 Koichi Tanaka, Japanese scientist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 2002), born in Toyama, Japan
  • 1964-02-19 Jennifer Doudna, American biochemist (2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for CRISPR Gene Editing), born in Washington D.C.
  • 1968-01-11 Benjamin List, German chemist (2021 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for asymmetric organocatalysis), born in Frankfurt, Germany
  • 1968-12-11 Emmanuelle Charpentier, French scientist, Director of Max Planck Institute (2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry), born in Juvisy-sur-Orge, France

Famous Deaths

  • 1794-05-08 Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier, father of modern chemistry (identified oxygen and hydrogen), guillotined at 50
  • 1829-05-29 Humphry Davy, English chemist, studied electro-chemistry, invented the Davy lamp), dies at 50
  • 1838-05-12 Jędrzej Śniadecki, Polish writer, physician, chemist (creation of modern Polish terminology in the field of chemistry), dies at 69
  • 1853-04-23 Auguste Laurent, French chemist who laid the foundations of organic chemistry, dies of tuberculosis at 45
  • 1873-04-18 Justus von Liebig, German agricultural & biological chemist who is considered the founder of organic chemistry, dies at 69
  • 1915-05-02 Clara Immerwahr, German chemist, first woman to be awarded a doctorate in chemistry in Germany, dies at 44
  • 1943-10-27 Isidor Traube, German Chemist (founded capillary chemistry, research on liquids), dies at 83

Hans Fischer

1945-03-31 Hans Fischer, German organic chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1930), commits suicide at 63

  • 1950-08-05 Emil Abderhalden, Swiss physiologist and biochemist, dies at 73
  • 1953-09-16 Colin G Fink, US chemist (electro-chemistry), dies
  • 1954-03-07 Otto Diels, German organic chemist (1950 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for cyclic organic compounds), dies at 78
  • 1962-09-08 Hermann Staudinger, German chemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1953 for polymers), dies at 84
  • 1971-01-02 Lloyd Hall, African-American chemist & pioneer in food chemistry (science of food preservation), dies at 76
  • 1978-12-11 Vincent du Vigneaud, American chemist and (1955 Nobel Prize for Chemistry - for work on sulphur compounds), dies at 77
  • 1989-10-26 Charles J. Pedersen, American organic biochemist (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1987), dies at 85
  • 1992-04-10 Peter D. Mitchell, English chemist, (1978 Nobel Prize for Chemistry), dies at 71

Dorothy Hodgkin

1994-07-29 Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, British biochemist who developed protein crystallography to study molecular structure, including that of vitamin B12 (Nobel Prize in Chemistry, 1964), dies of a stroke at 84 [1]

Linus Pauling

1994-08-19 Linus Pauling, American chemist, engineer and peace activist (1954 Nobel prize for Chemistry, 1962 Nobel Peace Prize), dies at 93

  • 1995-05-14 Christian B. Anfinsen, American biochemist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1972 for ribonuclease,) dies at 79
  • 1996-01-12 John Howard Purnell, Welsh chemist (Royal Society of Chemistry), dies at 70
  • 1998-01-09 Kenichi Fukui, Japanese Nobel Prize for Chemistry (1981) dies at 79
  • 2003-05-28 Ilya Prigogine, Russian-born physicist and chemist, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (b. 1917)
  • 2011-04-14 William Lipscomb, American chemist working in nuclear magnetic resonance, theoretical chemistry, boron chemistry, and biochemistry (Nobel 1976), dies at 91
  • 2011-10-23 Herbert A. Hauptman, American Mathematician whose models for determining the chemical crystal structures vital for life revolutionized chemistry, dies at 94
  • 2012-03-10 F. Sherwood Rowland, American Nobel laureate in chemistry 1995, dies from Parkinson's disease at 84
  • 2015-06-02 Irwin Rose, American biologist (Nobel Prize Chemistry 2004), dies at 88
  • 2016-04-19 Walter Kohn, Austrian-born American scientist (Nobel Prize Chemistry 1998), dies at 93
  • 2018-05-28 Jens Christian Skou, Danish scientist (Nobel Prize for Chemistry 1997), dies at 99
  • 2018-10-09 Thomas A. Steitz, American Biochemist (2009 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for ribosome discoveries), dies at 78
  • 2018-11-20 Aaron Klug, Lithuanian born British biochemist (Nobel prize for Chemistry 1982), dies at 92
  • 2020-10-07 Mario Molina, Mexican scientist, 1995 Nobel Prize for Chemistry (CFC's effect on the ozone layer), dies at 77 [1]