Rudolf Surya Bonay: The First Step to Nobel Prize in Chemistry

The children in Papua are no different from other children in other provinces of Indonesia. They have the same right for education and a bright future. Like any child, they also have strong passion to learn many things. Many of them are intelligent and full of passion, although most of them live far away from their school. However, it doesn’t cease their motivation to go to school. Surprisingly, many of them have gained spectacular achievements in subjects that many children would usually avoid, such as Physics, Chemistry and Math. In May 2006, a genius student from Papua, Rudolf Surya Bonay has won The First Step to Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Rudolf Surya Bonay was born in Jayapura on 7 December 1988. He came from a modest family. His father, Erens Bonay, is an Indonesian National Armed Forces retiree, and her mother, Liswaty Elisabeth, is a tailor. They own a small kiosk at home. He studied at SMAN 5 Jayapura. After he has finished high-school, he continued his study in the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Gadjah Mada University and took Chemistry as his major.

In 2006, he followed a science competition for high-school students, The First Step to Nobel Prize in Chemistry (FSNPC) by submitting his research on “Finding The Potential of Chlorophyll Phototoxic as a Natural Larvacide and Antimicrobial”. His research is based on the conditions of his surrounding. He understands that there are still many infectious diseases that are cause by bacteria and Malaria in Papua. 

The First Step to Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Pandan Leaves via Kompas.com

A number of researches on chlorophyll by the experts have proven that chlorophyll (the Green substance on the leaves) has amazing benefits for our health. There are a lot of plants with green leaves in Papua with the potential to be used as medicine. He then tried to find other potentials of chlorophyll. Hence, he took Pandan and Betel leaves that grow in his surrounding as his research subjects. The chemical reaction of the chlorophyll turned out positive and he found out that chlorophyll could serve as a natural larvacide and antimicrobial to exterminate the wigglers and other bacteria. This natural potential of chlorophyll is good for the prevention of malaria as well as other bacterial infections.

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The First Step to Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Betel Leaves via Kompas.com

His research is very useful for the world health and it has brought him as the winner of The First Step to Nobel Prize in Chemistry in Poland. He also received Satya Lencana Wirya Karya Presidential Medal from the President of Indonesia in August 2006. There are many other Papuan youths who are intelligent and have outstanding achievements. This also a prove that the Papuan youths have great chance to  make more achievements as long as they have persistence and discipline.

Other genius students from Papua with brilliant achievements is Septinus George Saa. Regardless of his far from privileged background, he has a strong will in pursuing his dreams. He has proven his belief in the law of cause and effect which has resulted in a good manifestation in his life. In 2004, he won the First Step to Nobel Prize in Physics.