The third Nobel prize in the basic scientists is given for chemistry. This year’s award is to a single recipient, Gerhard Ertl, according to Andy Mitchison of Sceptical Chymist blog and an associate editor at Nature (link above) "one of the fathers of the area, famous for his seminal work on hydrogen adsorption to metal surfaces, the mechanism of the Haber-Bosch process and the oxidation of carbon monoxide on platinum". Here is the Nobel foundation’s summary of Ertl’s work.
Andy goes on to ruminate: "I’ll be curious to see how much coverage the chemistry prize gets in the national press [tomorrow morning]. The prize for medicine certainly attracted a lot of attention in the UK (but of course, one of the prizewinners was a Brit). The physics prize seems to have had less coverage, despite being branded as “The Physics of the iPod”. This year’s chemistry prize has perhaps the most obvious real-world relevance of recent Nobel awards for the subject – but will that be enough to inspire the press?"
There is a bit more updated chat about the Nobels at The Great Beyond, the Nature news blog.