THE NOBEL PRIZE IN CHEMISTRY

A 1986 DNA model used by Aziz Sancar, who was awarded the 2015 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

About the prize

“The said interest shall be divided into five equal parts, which shall be apportioned as follows: /- - -/ one part to the person who shall have made the most important chemical discovery or improvement...”  (Excerpt from the will of Alfred Nobel.)

Chemistry was the most important science for Alfred Nobel’s own work. The development of his inventions as well as the industrial processes he employed were based upon chemical knowledge. Chemistry was the second prize area that Nobel mentioned in his will.

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry is awarded by The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, Stockholm, Sweden.

See all chemistry laureates or learn about the nomination process.

Explore prizes and laureates

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2018 with one half to Frances H. Arnold ”for the directed evolution of enzymes” and the other half jointly to George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter ”for the phage display of peptides and antibodies”.

Read the press release

Frances H. Arnold, George P. Smith and Sir Gregory P. Winter

Ill. Niklas Elmehed. © Nobel Media

Did you know?

Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017

The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017 was awarded to Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson “for developing cryo-electron microscopy for the high-resolution structure determination of biomolecules in solution.”

Chemistry Illustration
Illustration of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2017

Image: The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences

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Other discoveries

Learn more about Svante Arrhenius, who first made the connection between carbon dioxide levels and global temperature.

Sea level rise, NASA
A map of the Earth with a six-metre sea level rise represented in red

Credit: NASA

Watch the Nobel Lecture by one of 2016’s laureates Jean-Pierre Sauvage, who helped develop molecular machines.

Jean-Pierre Sauvage
Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2016

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

Frederick Sanger received the prize twice: in 1958 for his work on the structure of proteins and in 1980 for DNA sequencing.

Frederick Sanger Calibration catalogue of amino acids (1)
The double Nobel-awarded laureate Frederick Sanger‘s calibration catalogue of amino acids

© Nobel Media. Photo: Alexander Mahmoud

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