06 October 2016 | General
COST Action member awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016

Prof Bernard L. Feringa, participant in the COST network Emergence and Evolution in Complex Chemical Systems, has received together with Jean-Pierre Sauvage and Sir J. Fraser Stoddart the Nobel Prize for developing the world’s smallest machines.

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016 to Jean-Pierre Sauvage (University of Strasbourg, France), Sir J. Fraser Stoddart (Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA) and Bernard L. Feringa (University of Groningen, the Netherlands) " for the design and synthesis of molecular machines ".

Prof Feringa was among the small group of scientists who initiated the COST Action Emergence and Evolution in Complex Chemical Systems that has been running since 2013, and was involved in many project activities. This network of researchers investigates Systems Chemistry, including far-from-equilibrium systems, self-replicating systems and self-assembling and reproducing compartments.

According to the Chair of the Action, Prof Sijbren Otto, also from the University of Groningen, chemical systems that can do work are becoming increasingly important in Systems Chemistry and the pioneering work by Prof Feringa on molecular motors fuelled by light has had a tremendous impact on the area. Prof Otto also adds: “COST has been absolutely essential for ensuring the growth and coherence of the Systems Chemistry community in Europe, and our Action is looked upon with admiration from beyond Europe” .

The Systems Chemistry research is studying the organisational principles of complex chemical and biological systems. Scientists from different fields try to shed light on emergent properties in chemical systems, which also include identifying scenarios for the origin of living systems.



Photo: Tim Ereneta, Flickr

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