Nobel Prize for chemistry means Scotland has a worthy addition to list of its greatest inventions and discoveries – Scotsman comment

“Wha’s like us? Gey few, and they’re a’ deid.”

Princeton University professor David WC MacMillan attends a press conference after he was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry (Picture: Kena Betancur/Getty Images)

Scotland is proud of its track record on inventions and discoveries, and to the lists printed on many a tea towel can now be added one worthy of a Nobel Prize.

Not only that but Professor David MacMillan, who shared the prize for chemistry with German scientist Professor Benjamin List, said his success would not have happened if he had not been Scottish.

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Now based at Princeton University in the US, he said: “Growing up in Scotland, you learn how to talk and you learn how to tell a joke and you can get to a punchline, and one of the things about being over here, or anywhere, you can convey ideas quickly… from growing up in Scotland, you’re good at it.

"So we were able to convey to people that this was actually a pretty interesting and valuable concept that people could use in science and it certainly helped my career and certainly helped the science move forward, but it wouldn’t have happened if I was not Scottish.”

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Success wouldn’t have happened if I wasn’t Scottish, says Nobel Prize winner

The award was in recognition of a new way of building molecules, a process called catalysis, which has already been used to make medicines more quickly, with the development of drugs for Alzheimer’s, cancer and heart disease.

So, while it may prove difficult to sum up succinctly enough for a tea towel, it is an invention most worthy of celebration and we would like to extend our congratulations to both Professor MacMillan and Professor List.

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