David WC MacMillan of Princeton University and German scientist Benjamin List of the Max Planck Institute both received the medal for chemistry.
They received recognition for their efforts in creating asymmetric organocatalysis, a novel method of constructing molecules.
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences’ secretary-general, Goran Hansson, revealed the winners on Wednesday.
According to the Nobel committee, List and MacMillan separately created a new method of catalysis in 2000.
According to Pernilla Wittung-Stafshede, a member of the Nobel panel, it has already had a significant positive impact on humanity.
Following the news, List stated that the honor came as a “big surprise.
I really didn’t expect this,” he added, adding that when the contact from Sweden came through, he and his family were on vacation in Amsterdam.
According to List, he was unaware that MacMillan was working on the same topic at the time and believed his intuition might be foolish until it came to pass.
I did think this had the potential to be significant,” he admitted.
It is typical for multiple people who are employed in comparable fields to split the award. Last year, Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer A. Doudna of the United States shared the chemistry prize for creating a gene-editing tool that transformed science by making it possible to change DNA.
The honorary recognition includes a gold medal and 10 million Swedish crowns (over USD 1.14 million). The prize money was funded by a bequest made by Alfred Nobel, a Swedish inventor who established the award and died in 1895.
David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian, two Americans, received the Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine on Monday for their research on how the body responds to touch and temperature.
The in physics was given to three people on Tuesday for their work in finding order in what appeared to be chaos. This work helped to explain and anticipate complex natural phenomena, including improving our understanding of climate change.
Prizes for excellent work in the domains of literature, peace, and economics will also be given out during the next few days.