The ACS announced the 2021 winners of 60 different awards. Among them are three scientists working at EPFL Lausanne and two at ETH Zurich. Considering that only ten ACS awards went to scientists outside the USA, EPFL and ETHZ winning a total of five is pretty impressive. The American Chemical Society (ACS) is one of the largest scientific societies in the world, numbering nearly 157’000 members. Each year, the ACS gives various awards and honors to researchers to recognize their contributions across various fields of chemistry.

Prof. Marinella Mazzanti receives the F. Albert Cotton Award in Synthetic Inorganic Chemistry, which recognizes “distinguished work in synthetic inorganic chemistry”. Professor Mazzanti is also the first recipient of the award working outside the USA.

Prof. Majed Chergui receives the Ahmed Zewail Award in Ultrafast Science & Technology, which recognizes “outstanding and creative contributions to fundamental discoveries in ultrafast science & technology.”

Prof. Yimon Aye receives an Arthur C. Cope Scholars Award, which recognizes and encourages “excellence in organic chemistry.”

In addition, Prof. Wendy Queen has been included among the 2020 Talented 12 of the ACS magazine “Chemical & Engineering News”, which every year highlights “a dozen young rising stars who are using chemical know-how to change the world.”.


Prof. Helma Wennemers, the current Chair of the Laboratory of Organic Chemistry at ETH Zurich, receives the Arthur C. Cope Scholar Award for her overall research accomplishments, especially in the field of bioinspired asymmetric catalysts and the use of functionalized molecular scaffolds in supramolecular chemistry and chemical biology. Less than a dozen Europe-based scientists have been recognized with this award in its long history (350 awardees). Helma Wennemers is the first female scientist who has pursued her entire independent academic career in Europe to win this award.

Prof. Peter Chen, ETH Zurich, receives the James Flack Norris Award in Physical Organic Chemistry. In his research he combines detailed physical measurements with the planning and synthesis of molecules, making it possible to design and test intuitive models of the energetics and reactivity of reactive intermediates in organic and organometallic chemistry. According to Professor Chen, the behavior of these intermediate products provides the key to the understanding and the control of the chemical process. Source: and


Céline Wittwer, SCS