Google Doodle celebrates the 80th birthday of Mario Molina, scientist who helped save the ozone layer
Google celebrated the 80th birthday of legendary Mexican chemist Dr. Mario Molina on Sunday with a colorful doodle. Co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Mr. Molina is recognized for having succeeded in convincing governments to unite to save the planet’s ozone layer. He was one of the researchers who exposed how chemicals deplete the Earth’s ozone shield, which is vital in protecting humans, plants and wildlife from harmful ultraviolet rays.
Mario Molina was born on March 19, 1943 in Mexico City. As a child, he was so passionate about science that he turned his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory. Nothing could compare to the joy of watching tiny organisms glide across his toy microscope, Google noted.
”I was already fascinated by science before entering high school. I still remember my excitement when I first looked at paramecia and amoebas through a rather primitive toy microscope,” Dr. Molina wrote in a biography on the Nobel site.
He then obtained a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico and a higher degree from the University of Freiburg in Germany. After completing his studies, he moved to the United States to conduct postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and later at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
In the early 1970s, Dr. Molina began studying the impact of synthetic chemicals on the Earth’s atmosphere. He was one of the first to discover that chlorofluorocarbons break down ozone and cause ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface.
He and his co-researchers published their findings in the journal Nature, which won them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995. The groundbreaking research became the foundation of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that successfully banned the production of nearly 100 substances that deplete the ozone layer. chemical products.
In 2013, President Barack Obama also awarded Dr. Molina the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.
Dr. Molina died of a heart attack at the age of 77 on October 7, 2020. The Mario Molina Center, a leading research institute in Mexico, continues its work to create a more sustainable world.