Paul Josef Crutzen
Paul Josef Crutzen Crutzen was unable to finance a university education and his grades were not good enough for a scholarship. He attended an institution of intermediate technical education instead and, after marrying a Finnish wife, he became a computer programmer for the Meteorological Institute Stockholm University (MISU) in Sweden. This institute was willing to fund his university education. In 1963 he graduated and started a PhD. A colleague asked for his assistance in a research project that looked at oxygen dispersion in the atmosphere, and this first got him interested in the ozone layer.
The ozone layer remained Crutzen's major scientific theme. He received numerous honours for his work and was involved in all the international committees aimed at finding solutions for the contamination of the atmosphere. He was a part-time professor at Utrecht University when he received his Nobel Prize in 1995. The prize was generally seen as recognition of the new science of atmospheric chemistry.
Crutzen expects that the measures taken to counter the degradation of ozone will be effective. 'In thirty or forty years, the hole in the ozone layer will have disappeared' he said in September 2000 in an interview in the German paper Bild am Sonntag.
Paul Josef Crutzen died on 28 January 2021 at the age of 87.