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Benjamin List elected as new member of the Leopoldina

Benjamin List elected as new member of the Leopoldina

The German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina has a new member from Mülheim an der Ruhr: Benjamin List, Director of the Department of Homogeneous Catalysis at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung, has now been elected into the Chemistry Section of the Academy. Founded in Schweinfurt in 1652, Leopoldina is one of the oldest academies of science in the world and is “dedicated to the advancement of science for the benefit of humankind and to the goal of shaping a better future”. In addition, the academy advises the German government regarding scientific, political and social questions. Admission to the Leopoldina is one of the highest scientific awards. Currently about 1577 scholars from all over the world are members of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. Besides Benjamin List, the Directors of the MPI für Kohlenforschung Frank Neese, Alois Fürstner and Ferdi Schüth as well as the emeritus directors Walter Thiel and Manfred Reetz also belong to the circle of natural scientists.

About Benjamin List

Benjamin List is best known for his innovative work in the field of organocatalysis. He studied chemistry at Freie Universität Berlin, earned his doctorate with Professor Johann Mulzer at the University of Frankfurt am Main and then moved to the renowned Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California for a postdoctoral stay. There, as a young assistant professor, Benjamin List discovered the effectiveness of the natural amino acid proline as an efficient and widely applicable catalyst with a well-defined mode of action. Over the years, List has developed further complex organocatalysts which represent an alternative to standard metal catalysts and are of great importance for the production of chemical products. He has received many prestigious scientific awards such as the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize, two successive ERC Advanced Grants from the European Commission, the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award and the Mukaiyama Award, and is one of the most cited scientists in chemistry. Benjamin List's admission to the Leopoldina is a further honour and a recognition of his scientific excellence.