Professor Mario J. Molina: Winner 1999

Professor Mario J. Molina's pioneering contributions to the field of atmospheric chemistry have established him as one of the world's leading authorities on the effect of human activities on the atmosphere, and have led to a better understanding of the issue.

In 1974 he published with F. Sherwood Rowland, a seminal paper on the threat to the ozone layer from chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). Under laboratory conditions, he and his colleagues demonstrated by a previous unknown chemical reaction whereby chlorine is activated on the surface of ice cloud particles in the polar stratosphere. Thanks to his leadership, the Montreal Protocol was made a reality. The speed with which countries ratified this international agreement was due in great part to the role he played in communicating the implication of his scientific research.He took the issue to policy makers, the media and to the general public.

For his work, Prof. Molina was awarded the Nobel Prize in chemistry with professors Rowland and Paul Crutzen. He donated two thirds of his share of the prize money to set up fellowships to help scientists from developing countries conduct research in environmental sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and other institutions in industrialized nations. Prof. Molina continues his research on stratospheric chemistry and is pursuing interdisciplinary work on tropospheric pollution issues, including the pollution problems of rapidly growing cities.

In addition to the Nobel Prize, Prof. Molina is the recipient of the NASA Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement, the Pew Scholar Award on Conservation and Environment, the Willard Gibbs Medal and the American Chemical Society's Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Sciences. In 1993, he was elected to the USA's National Academy of Sciences and in 1996 to the Institute of Medicine.

Contact Address:

Mario J. Molina
Massachusetts Institute of technology (MIT)
Room 54-1814
77 Massachutsetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States of America

Tel: 1 (617) 253 5081
Fax: 1 (617) 258 6525
E-mail: mmolina@mit.edu