T his year's Nobel Prize in Chemistry went to Sherwood Rowland, SM'51, PhD'52, making him the 25th U of C alumnus to win a Nobel. Rowland--along with Mario Molina of MIT and former U of C professor Paul Crutzen of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Germany--won for "pioneering contributions to explaining how ozone is formed and decomposes through chemical processes in the atmosphere," said the Royal Swedish Academy.
Rowland's 1974 discovery that chlorofluorocarbons were destroying the Earth's protective ozone layer was initially met with skepticism and hostility. Yet, as a direct result of his work, a worldwide ban on CFC production will go into effect next year.
Rowland, who teaches at the University of California, Irvine, won an honorary doctor of science degree from Chicago in 1989. His daughter, Ingrid Rowland, is an assistant professor of art at the U of C.
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