Ryoji Noyori has spent more than 40 years in selfless devotion to science, engaged in work that has yielded substantial technical advances with highly practical implications. Two years ago he shared the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his accomplishments.
During the 1970s, Noyori's pioneering research yielded a new molecule called BINAP, whose properties opened up new possibilities in chemistry and chemical engineering, and made existing processes more efficient.
This innovation was especially welcome in Nagoya, a major Japanese manufacturing centre for hundreds of years. Noyori has been a faculty member at the Nagoya University since 1968 and is currently director of the university's Research Centre for Materials Science. In addition to sitting on the editorial boards of more than 30 international journals, he has also served as science advisor for the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology.