In this video interview by Ed Goldwyn, Nobel Laureate Richard Schrock talks about his life and work starting with his family background. He explains that he grew up in community of Swiss German farmers who had settled in Indianapolis, USA. The community practiced religion - a Mennonite sect (they called themselves Plain People). He describes his background as poor although he said his family always had enough food to eat. At home the family spoke Swiss German.
From his background where is mother and father worked very hard he developed a strong work ethic and an interest in making things. He enjoys woodwork (his father was a cabinet maker), cooking and gardening. He says that carries out chemistry in the same way - making molecules through experimentation.
Schrock goes on to talk about his research work and in particular methods of fixing nitrogen in order to produce ammonia for fertilizers. His method - the natural method uses strong reducing agents and protons. In the long term future this method although still blue sky research at present could allow the production of fertilizers locally cutting out the need for transportation.
Schrock says that he believes in the importance of science, chemistry in particular. `Our future is science` he enthuses. He says that he would love to come back in 100 years time and see what scientific advances have been made.
Finally he finishes on the politics of science!