Today's prize in chemistry went to three scientists, Richard F. Heck, Ei-ichi Negishi, and Akira Suzuki, who independently did pioneering work on the element palladium in the 1960s and 1970s. Specifically, they were working on using palladium to bind together large amounts of carbon atoms. This is important for many things, like plastics, industrial chemicals, and, most importantly, drugs. An estimated 25 percent of all new drugs are made using methods made possible by the discoveries of the three winners.
Tomorrow, we start the big ones: The literature and peace prizes will fill out the week.