Remembering Mario Molina, Nobel Prize-winning chemist who pushed Mexico on clean energy — and, recently, face masks

<span class="caption">Molina speaking about climate change at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico, Nov. 2018. </span> <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/news-photo/nobel-prize-recipient-mario-molina-speaks-to-the-audience-news-photo/1074094970?adppopup=true" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Leonardo Alvarez/Getty Images">Leonardo Alvarez/Getty Images</a></span>
Molina speaking about climate change at the Guadalajara International Book Fair in Mexico, Nov. 2018. Leonardo Alvarez/Getty Images

Dr. Mario Molina, the Nobel Prize-winning scientist who died on Oct. 7 at age 77, did not become a scientist to change the world; he just loved chemistry. Born in Mexico City in 1943, Molina as a young boy conducted home experiments with contaminated water just for the fun of it.

But Molina came to understand the political importance of his work on atmospheric chemistry and ozone layer depletion, which won him the Nobel in 1995, along with Paul J. Crutzen and F. Sherwood Rowland. Getting that surprise call from Sweden completely changed how he saw his role in the world, Molina said in 2016. He felt a responsibility to share his knowledge of clean energy, air quality and climate change broadly and to push decision-makers to use that information to protect

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