Catalysis and the 2006 Nobel Prize in chemistry

Updat­ed: 12:08 p.m. ET Oct. 5, 2005
STOCKHOLM, Swe­den — Amer­i­cans Robert H. Grubbs and Richard R. Schrock and Yves Chau­vin of France won the Nobel Prize in chem­istry Wednes­day for dis­cov­er­ies that let indus­try cre­ate drugs and advanced plas­tics in a more effi­cient and envi­ron­men­tal­ly friend­ly way.

The trio won the award for their devel­op­ment of the metathe­sis method in organ­ic syn­the­sis — a way to swap groups of atoms between mol­e­cules that the Roy­al Swedish Acad­e­my of Sci­ences likened to a dance in which cou­ples change part­ners.