Mario Molina, 77, Dies; Sounded an Alarm on the Ozone Layer


José Mario Molina-Pasquel y Henríquez was born on March 19, 1943, in Mexico Metropolis to Roberto Molina Pasquel and Leonor Henríquez Molina. His father was a lawyer and choose who served as Mexican ambassador to Ethiopia, the Philippines and Australia. His mom was a homemaker.

He was fascinated by science from his youngest days, as he wrote in a memoir that appears on the Nobel site: “I nonetheless keep in mind my pleasure after I first glanced at paramecia and amoebae by means of a fairly primitive toy microscope.” He transformed a little-used rest room in his residence right into a laboratory for his chemistry units, guided by an aunt, Esther Molina, who was a chemist.

His household, following their custom, despatched him overseas for his schooling, and at 11 he was in a boarding faculty in Switzerland, “on the belief that German was an essential language for a potential chemist to study.”

He determined that of his two passions, chemistry and the violin, science was what he would dedicate himself to, and in 1960 he enrolled within the chemical engineering program on the Nationwide Autonomous College of Mexico. After finding out in Paris and Germany, he started graduate research on the College of California, Berkeley, in 1968. He acquired his doctorate in bodily chemistry there in 1972.

The expertise of finding out at Berkeley was not simply essential to his growth as a scientist, he would recall; he arrived within the wake of the free-speech motion, and political consciousness was a part of on a regular basis life. He initially labored within the younger area of chemical lasers, however he discovered himself “dismayed” to search out that some researchers at different establishments had been growing high-powered lasers to make use of as weapons.

“That was essential,” Felipe José Molina, Dr. Molina’s son and an assistant professor of drugs at Harvard Medical Faculty, stated in an interview. Because of Dr. Molina’s experiences at Berkeley, his son stated, he felt pushed to do work “that had a profit to society, fairly than simply pure analysis, or issues that would probably be dangerous.”