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Chemistry Nobel Prize Winner 2019
"WHAT DEFINES YOU?" NTD REPORTER SHIWEN RONG SPEAKS WITH THE INVENTOR OF RECHARGEABLE LITHIUM BATTERIES. Now 78, Dr. Michael Stanley Whittingham... still excited... about batteries. Even now, visiting labs, and teaching around the globe "So people say when you're going to retire so now I like what I'm doing. I'm gonna keep doing it. " "my wife says the same thing. We keep teaching. And my doctor says don't retire." A key figure in history, Whittingham developed the first "we started building a battery just in the test tube, don't have any special environment and got some clues that it would work. We knew there was something there. We didn't know how big it would be" Coming from a little town—Lincolnshire, England. His high school teacher got him excited about Chemistry. "Those days you could make chemicals blow things up and that things that you can't allowed to do. So I got excited about chemistry" After his PhD in Oxford— while many went to North America and Canada—he decided to follow the sunshine...And came to Stanford University. After two years of postdoctoral research he started to work for Exxon. That was the place where he discovered the first lithium battery. "the wish was electric vehicles and reality with all small electronic devices. So they started making small cells for watches" He never thought his invention would change the world: "Even 15 years ago, the phone, you need a whole briefcase to carry it. And I think lithium batteries helped all these little devices" After decades, Stanley won the 2019 Chemistry Nobel prize along with two other scientists. "You're gonna make mistakes. Don't worry about that. Now if you don't make mistakes, you won't make the big breakthrough. You have to persevere." However, research and academia is something he always wanted to come back to. So he took up professorship at Binghamton University in the late 80s and continued his research on batteries "I really wanted to do research because lots of academia you get 18-year-olds every year coming in. So it keeps you younger you working with younger people." But, he said, in the end what really matters is that you like what you do…. "I think you're successful if you're happy what you're doing" And that is also how he motivates his students; "They got to do something they enjoy doing. Don't do it for the money, that won't work. " Now 30 years later, he is still teaching, and it's his passion that keeps him young...