Yes, it does sound like it’s in environmental economics. From the Sun-Times:
Two Americans and a French scientist won the Nobel Prize in chemistry Wednesday for developing a chemical “dance” that makes molecules swap atoms, a process now used to create medicines, plastics and other products with more efficiency and less environmental hazard.
Excellent. A little more detail from the Mercury-News:
Metathesis, which means to “change places,” has been likened to a “change places” square dance in which double bonds between carbon atoms are broken and then reformed, allowing different components to swap positions like dancers moving around a dance floor, creating new materials. During the awards announcement Wednesday, two men from the Nobel committee moved to the floor of the wood-paneled academy hall to dance with two women, exchanging partners to illustrate how the process works.
That’s great! And it reminds me of how when we were dating, the KP Spouse would explain electron-phonon coupling in a similarly dance-like fashion.
It also has implications for streamlining the process of developing new drugs and compounds. Very cool.