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In April 2018, the Nobel Prize Inspiration Initiative St. Paul took Laureates to the University of Minnesota, the Science Museum of Minnesota and 3M’s Global Headquarters. Mario Molina, 1995 Nobel Laureate in Chemistry, took part in two days of diverse events.

"Doing science is more rewarding if it's for the benefit of society." Nobel laureate Mario Molina

Thursday, April 26, 2018

When Mario Molina won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for his research on CFCs, the award came with a new responsibility: To communicate science and influence policy.

Nobel laureate teaches the tricky work of talking about climate change


November 15, 2017

Office of the Governor & the California Museum announce the California Hall of Fame 11th Class

The Office of Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. and First Lady Anne Gust Brown, in partnership with the California Museum,  announced the 11th class of the California Hall of Fame. The new inductees will join 104 inspirational Californians previously inducted for embodying the state’s spirit of innovation.

The inductees of the California Hall of Fame 11th class are: entertainer Lucille Ball; bioscientist Susan Desmond-Hellmann; artist and activist Mabel McKay; atmospheric chemist Mario J. Molina; quarterback Jim Plunkett; poet Gary Snyder; filmmaker Steven Spielberg; musician Michael Tilson Thomas and vintner Warren Winiarski.

“These Californians represent the dynamic spirit and imagination that is the hallmark of the Golden State,” said Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. “Their exceptional skill and craft enrich our culture and inspire us all.”

California Hall of Fame inductees are selected by the Governor and First Lady for achievements and contributions in areas such as science, philanthropy, sports, business, entertainment, the arts, literature, technology, activism and politics.

For more information:

Prof. Molina will be inducted into the California Hall of Fame

October 11, 2017

In the scientific community, the big question is not whether action on climate change is required, but what form it should take — and the part that scientists should play. Three Nobel laureates and three early-career researchers gave their thoughts to Nature on the current state of climate action worldwide and the place of science in society.

September 2017

New Climate Risk Classification Created to Account for Potential “Existential” Threats by UCSD´s Scripps Institution of Oceanography

August 1, 2017

Dr. Mario Molina is co-author of the paper recently featured in PNAS: “Reassessing the atmospheric oxidation mechanism of toluene”.


Aromatic hydrocarbons account for 20 to 30% of volatile organic compounds and contribute importantly to ozone and secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation in urban environments. The oxidation of toluene, the most abundant aromatic compound, is believed to occur mainly via OH addition, primary organic peroxy radical (RO2) formation, and ring cleavage, leading to ozone and SOA. From combined experimental and theoretical studies, we show that cresol formation is dominant, while primary RO2 production is negligible. Our work reveals that the formation and subsequent reactions of cresols regulate the atmospheric impacts of toluene oxidation, suggesting that its representation in current atmospheric models should be reassessed for accurate determination of ozone and SOA formation. The results from our study provide important constraints and guidance for future modeling studies.

"Reassessing the atmospheric oxidation mechanism of toluene" -PNAS


Nobel laureate teaches the tricky work of talking about climate change

When Mario Molina won the Nobel Prize in 1995 for his research on CFCs, the award came with a new responsibility: To communicate science and influence policy.

Stopping an environmental disaster before it’s too late. How UC research sounded the alarm on the ozone layer.

In 1974, two experts in atmospheric chemistry from UC Irvine, Mario Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland, made international headlines with their discovery that the widespread use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in aerosol spray cans was destroying the Earth’s ozone layer, the shield that protects us from harmful ultraviolet radiation.


Throughout the training, participants had the opportunity to learn from renowned speakers, such as chemist Dr. Mario Molina, who was the first Mexico-born person to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995. Dr. Molina, who is now a professor of chemistry and biochemistry at the University of California San Diego, gave an insightful presentation on science and policy and reminded trainees about society’s responsibility to tackle climate change.


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