Society: Arts and Science – December 13

Today is International Thanksgiving Day! A day to celebrate your life in a special way…

Swedish and Norwegian committees bestow Nobel Prizes in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. In 1895, the will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
François Auguste Victor Grignard died in Lyon on this date in 1935. He was a French chemist. Grignard was the son of a maker of ship’s sails. After studying mathematics at Lyon, he transferred to chemistry and discovered the synthetic reaction bearing his name (the Grignard reaction) in 1900. He became a professor at the University of Nancy in 1910 and was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1912. During WWI he studied chemical warfare agents, particularly the manufacture of phosgene and the detection of mustard gas. His counterpart on the German side was another Nobel Prize winning Chemist, Fritz Haber.
Fritz Pregl died on this date in 1930. He was a Slovenian and Austrian chemist and physician from a mixed Slovene-German-speaking background. He won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1923 for making important contributions to quantitative organic microanalysis, one of which was the improvement of the combustion train technique for elemental analysis.
António Caetano de Abreu Freire Egas Moniz died on this date in 1955. He was a Portuguese neurologist and the developer of cerebral angiography. He is regarded as one of the founders of modern psychosurgery, having developed the surgical procedure leucotomy—known better today as lobotomy—​for which he became the first Portuguese national to receive a Nobel Prize in 1949 (shared with Walter Rudolf Hess). He held academic positions, wrote many medical articles and also served in several legislative and diplomatic posts in the Portuguese government. In 1911 he became professor of neurology in Lisbon until his retirement in 1944. At the same time, he pursued a demanding political career.