Benjamin List and his „love at second sight”

City of Mülheim honours its second Nobel Laureate

The city of Mülheim honoured Ben List, second Nobel Laureate in town, with a special reception in the town hall. It was the second time for List to put his signature into the Golden Book of the city. 

As Ben List, director at the Max Planck Institut für Kohlenforschung, received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2021 together with his colleague David MacMillan, the city of Mülheim honored him with a small reception and a Signature in the Golden Book of the City. Mayor Marc Buchholz welcomed approximately 80 invited  guests in the town hall. Among them were local politicians, directors of the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Energy Conversion and, of course, the board of directors of the Max-Planck-Institut für Kohlenforschung.

It was one of them, Ferdi Schüth, who gave a touching laudation on his friend and colleague Benjamin List. Not only did he explain the principle of catalysis and Ben List’s contributions to that field in easy words. He spoke about the person Ben List as well. If somebody believed Ben to be a detached intellectual, Schüth proved him wrong. He described the brilliant scientist Ben List – and the passionate football fan. “Only a few people know that Ben wore his Eintracht Frankfurt badge for the Nobel Ceremony”, revealed Schüth. 

Benjamin List was moved by his friend’s words and by the warm reception of his hometown Mülheim. “I have to admid that Mülheim and me – that wasn’t love at first sight”, List admitted. But the institute, his amazing colleagues, the friendly people of Mülheim and the picturesque riverside had taught him to love his new home. “It was love at second sight – and it is a strong kind of love”, said List.

By the way: It was List’s second time to put his signature into the Golden Book of the City of Mülheim. The first time was in 2013, when he received the “Ruhr Prize for Art and Science” together with his friend Eberhard Ross. Next year, mayor Marc Buchholz promised, there will be another reception for Ben List. The city will offer him the official honorary citizenship. Only five people were honoured with that title so far – among them was chemist Karl Ziegler, Mülheim’s first Nobel Laureate and former director of the Max Planck Institute für Kohlenforschung.

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