Mario J. Molina
Chemist
Born: Mexico City, Mexico

Mario Molina is one of the world’s foremost authorities on the effects of chemical pollutants on the earth’s protective ozone layer. In 1995, he and two colleagues received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for their groundbreaking work in atmospheric chemistry.

“You can be a scientist and still enjoy and participate in cultural activities.”

As a child, Molina dreamed of becoming a professional violinist. But he became fascinated with science after looking at amoebae through a toy microscope, an interest his parents and his aunt, a chemist, encouraged. At 11, Molina was sent to boarding school in Switzerland so that he could learn German, an important language for a chemist to know at that time.

“After graduate school, I decided to apply my research interests to environmental issues. It's very rewarding to work with problems that directly affect society.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Mario J. Molina, chemist. Photograph by Luis Mallo, taken in the Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge , Massachusetts

Mario J. Molina, chemist. Photograph by Luis Mallo, taken in the Department of Chemistry, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts

 

In 1973, Molina began the collaboration that would result in the breakthrough theory about chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) depleting the Earth's ozone layer. In 1995, he became the first Mexican American Nobel Laureate when he and two colleagues received the Nobel Prize for their work. Their findings led to the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement that called for a complete ban on CFC production after 1995.

“Ozone depletion is a global problem. It's important that Latino communities, as representatives of developing countries, participate very actively in solving the problem because that's the only hope we have.”

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

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