2021 Banners ChemistryService

2021 Banners ChemistryService

Susan Solomon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, received the 2021 NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society.

Solomon is known for her influential and incisive application of atmospheric chemistry to understand our most critical environmental issues – ozone layer depletion and climate change – and for her effective communication of environmental science to leaders to facilitate policy changes.

Solomon is globally recognized as a leader in atmospheric science, notably for her insights in explaining the cause of the Antarctic ozone “hole.” She and her colleagues have made important contributions to understanding chemistry-climate coupling, including pioneering research on the irreversibility of global warming linked to anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions, and on the influence of the ozone hole on the climate of the southern hemisphere. 

This research has had an enormous effect on policy and society, including the transition away from ozone-depleting substances and to environmentally benign chemicals. The work set the stage for the Paris Climate Agreement, and has even saved millions of people from contracting skin cancer.

Solomon also notably played critical roles in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and continues to educate policy makers, the public, and the next generation of scientists.

Established by E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Company, the NAS Award for Chemistry in Service to Society is awarded biennially for contributions to chemistry, either in fundamental science or its application, that clearly satisfy a societal need. The award is given in alternate years to chemists working in industry and to those in academia, government, and nonprofit organizations. The award is presented with a $20,000 prize.


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