Nobel prize-winning chemist to speak on science of the future

Nobel Prize winner and President of the RIKEN research organisation in Japan, Professor Ryoji Noyori, will discuss the science and technology of the future as part of the University’s ‘Science and Society’ lecture series.

RIKEN is Japan’s flagship research organisation, carrying out research into physics, chemistry, engineering, infectious diseases, medicine, brain science, biology, and plant science.

During Professor Noyori’s visit, the University and RIKEN will launch a joint international graduate programme which will enable PhD students studying biological and physical sciences at Liverpool to spend up to two years working at one of RIKEN’s institutes. As part of their research, students will have access to the Spring-8 and the X-ray Free Electron Laser – two of the brightest light sources for visualising molecules with very high precision. The technology is helping scientists to understand the causes of human diseases as well as design smart new materials.

Executive Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Science and Engineering, Professor Stephen Holloway, said: “Our new graduate programme with RIKEN will offer students an unrivalled opportunity to study with some of the best scientists in the world utilising frontier technology. We’re also looking forward to developing our research links with RIKEN and collaborating on key projects to help tackle some of the global challenges facing us today.”

The University already collaborates with RIKEN on a number of research projects in biological sciences. Professor Samar Hasnain is working with colleagues at RIKEN’s institutes in Yokohama and Harima to understand the mechanisms that underpin the sustenance of life through the development and use of X-rays.

Professor Noyori, an organic chemist, won a Nobel Prize in 2001 for the development of asymmetric metal-catalyzed hydrogenation reactions. He has contributed significantly to the promotion of ‘green chemistry’ through the discovery of hydrogen peroxide oxidation and his study of supercritical carbon dioxide as a reaction medium.

Professor Noyori’s lecture ‘Science and Technology for Future Generations’ will take place in the Leggate Theatre in the University’s Victoria Gallery and Museum on Monday, 4 October from 5pm to 6pm. Tickets are free, but places should be booked by registering at

Notes to editors:

1. There will be an opportunity for informal networking after the event.

2.  The University of Liverpool is a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive institutions in the UK. It attracts collaborative and contract research commissions from a wide range of national and international organisations valued at more than £98 million annually.

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