Google doodle on Sunday celebrated the 80th birth anniversary of Dr. Mario Molina, a Mexican chemist who pioneered the task of convincing governments to come together to save the planet’s ozone layer. “A co-recipient of the 1995 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Dr. Molina was one of the researchers who exposed how chemicals deplete Earth’s ozone shield, which is vital to protecting humans, plants, and wildlife from harmful ultraviolet light,” noted Google.
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Top five points to know about Dr. Mario Molina:
1. Mario Molina was born on March 19, 1943, in Mexico City. As a child, he was so passionate about science that he turned his bathroom into a makeshift laboratory. Nothing could compare to the joy of watching tiny organisms glide across his toy microscope, wrote Google while dedicating the doodle.
2. He went earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and an advanced degree from the University of Freiburg in Germany. After completing his studies, he moved to the United States to conduct postdoctoral research at the University of California, Berkeley, and later at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
3. In the early 1970s, Dr. Molina began researching how synthetic chemicals impact Earth’s atmosphere. He was one of the first to discover that chlorofluorocarbons were breaking down the ozone and causing ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth’s surface.
4. He and his co-researchers published their findings in the Nature journal, which later won them the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995. The groundbreaking research became the foundation of the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty that successfully banned the production of nearly 100 ozone-depleting chemicals.
5. On October 7, 2020, Molina died aged 77 of a heart attack in Mexico. The Mario Molina Center, a leading research institute in Mexico, carries on his work to create a more sustainable world.