Society: Arts and Science – May 15


The Nobel Prize is bestowed annually in categories as selected by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Pierre Curie was born on this day in 1859. He was a French physicist, a pioneer in crystallography, magnetism, piezoelectricity and radioactivity. In 1903 he received the Nobel Prize in Physics with his wife, Marie Sklodowska Curie, and Henri Becquerel, “in recognition of the extraordinary services they have rendered by their joint researches on the radiation phenomena discovered by Professor Henri Becquerel”.
Ilya Ilyich Mechnikov was born on this date in 1845. He was a Russian biologist, zoologist and protozoologist, best known for his pioneering research into the immune system. Mechnikov received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1908, shared with Paul Ehrlich, for his work on phagocytosis. He is also credited by some sources with coining the term gerontology in 1903, for the emerging study of aging and longevity.
Paul-Henri-Benjamin Balluet d’Estournelles, Baron de Constant de Rebecque died on this date in 1924. He was a French diplomat and politician, advocate of international arbitration and winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize for Peace.
Willis Eugene Lamb, Jr. died on this date in 2008. He was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1955 together with Polykarp Kusch “for his discoveries concerning the fine structure of the hydrogen spectrum”. Lamb and Kusch were able to precisely determine certain electromagnetic properties of the electron (see Lamb shift). Lamb was a professor at the University of Arizona College of Optical Sciences.