2022 Nobel prize winner in Chemistry inspires science, sparks passion among faculty, researchers and students

On April 20, 2023, University of Science and Technology of Hanoi (USTH), VAST, welcomed Prof. Morten P. Meldal, the winner of the 2022 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, to visit and share a public lecture with the topic "Click Chemistry" in front of lecturers, researchers and students inside and outside the University.

“Click chemistry” or “Click reaction” are chemical processes that quickly and efficiently connect small structural molecules to larger molecules through functional groups. Click reaction has high precision, selectivity, reaction efficiency and no byproduct formation.

In a lecture with the scientific community at USTH, Prof. Morten briefly introduced combinatorial chemistry and Click reaction. He emphasized that the development of Click Chemistry will usher in a new era of chemical synthesis with purpose-designed product structures that have proven effective in the "functionalization" of biological objects. DNA mapping, pharmaceutical development, electronics, functional polymer materials… and in many other applications.

Prof. Morten lectures on "Click Chemistry"

Prof. Meldal shared: “One of the reasons I think Click Chemistry was chosen for the Nobel Prize is because it is so green,” Meldal said. It can be done under very simple conditions, very environmentally friendly, for example, the solvent is water, without too many complicated conditions like what the temperature should be… That's why but I think it is necessary to explore more such clicks, to develop more 'green' chemistry, more environmentally friendly, to solve more problems of life."

"Golden" time for young people to approach Chemistry

Before coming to Vietnam, Prof. Morten learned about Vietnam's Chemistry. This subject is usually taught starting in grades 7-8. Meanwhile, Chemistry is the foundation of other sciences and it can be said that everything revolves around it. Therefore, he thinks that teaching and learning Chemistry around 8th grade - the age when children begin to form their personality and have certain judgments about the world around them - is a bit late. “It is necessary to teach Chemistry to young people as soon as possible, especially at an age when children are still very active, observing surrounding phenomena will be very good for children to be able to absorb new information more easily. more” – Prof. Morten shared.

Photos of the sharing session at USTH attracts many young people to participate

“Chemistry is needed for the intelligent production, use and storage of clean energy,” he said. In Vietnam there are a lot of natural resources, if there is a smart approach to Chemistry, it will be a great resource for development. There are also great opportunities for young people to choose Chemistry to pursue. There are many opportunities to change the world with Chemistry, but the first important thing is to get young people excited about it.” Therefore, encouraging young people to have early access to Chemistry promises to bring breakthroughs in this field.

Overcomes failure to prolong passion

It is not easy to pursue a research path. Failure stories happen often to scientists, especially young people. Recalling his time as a PhD student, Professor Mortel also encountered many difficulties. “After a year and a half of research, we realized we couldn't do that. This is a problem many young scientists face. I believe so. And I choose the way to overcome it, which is to find other sources of energy to balance and continue to work even harder,” – Prof. Morten said.

In addition, the lack of funding is also one of the problems that young chemists face. The solution he proposed was to seek more cooperation opportunities through maintaining good relationships with colleagues, especially instructors.

Prof. Morten gives press and television interviews

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Dinh Thi Mai Thanh, - Rector of the University, emphasized that it is extremely meaningful to invite Prof. Morten P. Meldal to lecture at a school specializing in training in the field of science and technology. USTH has really become a prestigious destination for the world's leading "big trees" in this field. Besides, through Professor Morten's lectures, students and scientists are inspired to continue extending their scientific research careers. At the same time, his sharing helped listeners imagine the arduous journey to conquer the glorious peak of outstanding scientists. Above all, this event shows the University's constant efforts to create the best conditions, providing an ideal teaching and learning environment for lecturers and students.


Translated by Quoc Khanh
Link to Vietnamese version

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