German Chemical Society to confer Wöhler Prize on Yale’s Anastas

Paul Anastas, director of Yale’s Center for Green Chemistry and Green Engineering, will receive the German Chemical Society’s Wöhler Prize for his contributions to the design, discovery, and development of new chemistries and conceptual frameworks for advancing sustainability.

Paul Anastas
Paul Anastas has been described as the “father of green chemistry.” (Photo by Michael Marsland)

The prize is named after Friedrich Wöhler, considered one of Germany’s most important chemists. He carried out the first synthesis of an organic molecule and discovered several elements including silicon. Anastas will receive the prize from the society’s president, Barbara Albert, on June 22.

“With the publication of the work ‘Green Chemistry: Theory and Practice’ in 1998, Paul Anastas … transformed wishful thinking for soft chemistry into soft chemistry with a rational, pragmatic basis,” the society said, in announcing the award. “This is how the term ‘green chemistry’ established itself as a groundbreaking scientific and technological approach, aligning all stages of the chemical value-added chain with the principles of sustainability.”

Anastas, often called the “father of green chemistry,” said he was honored “to be recognized with an award that has been previously given to so many chemists that I have such a deep respect for,” and that the prize “recognizes not only my work, but that of my colleagues and collaborators through the years, especially the students and researchers of Yale.”


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