Society: Arts and Science – September 25


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.
Thomas Hunt Morgan was born on this date in 1866. He was an American evolutionary biologist, geneticist and embryologist and science author who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933 for discoveries elucidating the role that the chromosome plays in heredity. Morgan received his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in zoology in 1890 and researched embryology during his tenure at Bryn Mawr. Following the rediscovery of Mendelian inheritance in 1900, Morgan’s research moved to the study of mutation in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster. In his famous Fly Room at Columbia University, Morgan demonstrated that genes are carried on chromosomes and are the mechanical basis of heredity. These discoveries formed the basis of the modern science of genetics. During his distinguished career, Morgan wrote twenty two books and 370 scientific papers. As a result of his work, Drosophila became a major model organism in contemporary genetics. The Division of Biology which he established at the California Institute of Technology has produced seven Nobel Prize winners.
William Cuthbert Faulkner was born on this date in 1897. He was an American writer and Nobel Prize laureate from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays. He is primarily known for his stories set in the fictional Yoknapatawpha County, based on Lafayette County, Mississippi, where he spent most of his life. Faulkner is one of the most celebrated writers in American literature generally and Southern literature specifically. Though his work was published as early as 1919, and largely during the 1920s and 1930s, Faulkner was relatively unknown until receiving the 1949 Nobel Prize in Literature. Two of his works, A Fable (1954) and his last novel The Reivers (1962), won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. In 1998, the Modern Library ranked his 1929 novel The Sound and the Fury sixth on its list of the 100 best English-language novels of the twentieth century; also on the list were As I Lay Dying (1930) and Light in August (1932). Absalom, Absalom! (1936) is often included on similar lists.
Nikolay Nikolayevich Semyonov, ForMemRS died on this date in 1986. He was a Russian/Soviet physicist and chemist. Semyonov was awarded the 1956 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work on the mechanism of chemical transformation.