Today, Google’s Doodle celebrates the life and achievements of Dr. Mario Molina, a renowned Mexican chemist who played a crucial role in saving the planet’s ozone layer. Dr. Molina was born on March 19, 1943, in Mexico City, and today marks his 80th birthday.
Dr. Molina received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the National Autonomous University of Mexico in 1965. He went on to pursue his doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, where he obtained his Ph.D. in physical chemistry in 1972. After completing his Ph.D., Dr. Molina joined the faculty of the University of California, Irvine, where he began his groundbreaking research on the effects of man-made pollutants on the environment.
In the mid-1970s, Dr. Molina, along with his colleague Sherwood Rowland, discovered that certain chemicals, particularly chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), were depleting the Earth’s ozone layer. The ozone layer is a crucial protective layer in the Earth’s atmosphere that shields us from harmful ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Dr. Molina and Rowland’s discovery had significant implications for the environment and the health of the planet.
Dr. Molina’s research led him to become an advocate for environmental protection and public policy. He successfully convinced governments and policymakers around the world to take action to ban the use of CFCs, which were widely used in refrigerants, aerosol sprays, and other products. In 1987, the Montreal Protocol, an international agreement to phase out the use of CFCs, was signed by 197 countries. It has since been hailed as one of the most successful international environmental agreements in history.
Dr. Molina’s work on the ozone layer earned him numerous awards and accolades, including the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1995, which he shared with Rowland and Paul Crutzen. He was the first Mexican citizen to receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry and the third Mexican to receive a Nobel Prize overall.
In addition to his work on the ozone layer, Dr. Molina was also an advocate for sustainable energy and climate change. He worked to promote the use of renewable energy and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Dr. Molina passed away in 2020, but his legacy lives on. His work serves as a reminder of the power of science to inform public policy and to bring about positive change for the environment and the health of the planet. Today’s Doodle is a fitting tribute to a man whose work has had a profound impact on the world.