The Sky Is Falling

October 11, 1995. Professor Mario Molina is at his desk at MIT when he gets a long distance call from Sweden. It’s the Nobel Committee, telling him he’s won that year’s prize in chemistry, making this chemistry prize the first awarded to a Mexican-born scientist and the first recognizing environmental science work. The Nobel Committee thanks Molina and the other winners for having "contributed to our salvation from a global environmental problem that could have catastrophic consequences." How did two scientists with no background in atmospheric chemistry identify a dangerous, invisible reaction that was putting the planet in peril? And why was the whole world able to pull together to prevent the worst?

Special thanks to our guests, Don Blake, Richard Stolarski, and A.R. Ravishankara, and to the Science History Institute for sharing its oral history interview with Mario Molina.

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