Sir John Carew Eccles AC FRS FRACP FRSNZ FAA was born on this date in 1903. He was an Australian neurophysiologist and philosopher who won the 1963 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work on the synapse. He shared the prize with Andrew Huxley and Alan Lloyd Hodgkin.
Charles Hard Townes died on this date in 2015. He was an American Nobel Prize-winning physicist and inventor of the maser and laser. Townes was known for his work on the theory and application of the maser, on which he got the fundamental patent, and other work in quantum electronics connected with both maser and laser devices. He shared the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1964 with Nikolay Basov and Alexander Prokhorov. Charles was also a key advisor to the United States Government, meeting every US President from Harry Truman (1945) to Bill Clinton (1999). One of the most notable committees he led for the government was the Science and Technology Advisory Committee for the Apollo flights, which were extremely effective at bringing the program to a successful fruition on time and under budget. After joining UC Berkeley in 1967, he began an astrophysical program that produced several important discoveries like the black hole at the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. Townes was deeply religious and believed that science and religion are converging to provide a fuller understanding of the nature and purpose of this universe.