Society: Arts and Science – May 2

Swedish and Norwegian committees bestow Nobel Prizes in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Giulio Natta died on this date in 1979. He was an Italian chemist and Nobel laureate. He won a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1963 with Karl Ziegler for work on high polymers. He was also a recipient of Lomonosov Gold Medal in 1969.
Sir John Carew Eccles AC FRS FRACP FRSNZ FAA died on this date in 1997. 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.

Society: Arts and Science – January 27

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. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
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.





Society: Arts and Science – September 24

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.
Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey of Adelaide OM FRS FRCP was born on this date in 1898. He was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the making of penicillin. Although Fleming received most of the credit for the discovery of penicillin, it was Florey who carried out the first ever clinical trials in 1941 of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford on the first patient, a Postmaster from Wolvercote near Oxford. The patient started to recover but subsequently died because Florey had not made enough penicillin. It was Florey and his team who actually made a useful and effective drug out of penicillin after the task had been abandoned as too difficult. Florey’s discoveries are estimated to have saved over 82 million lives, and he is consequently regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest figures. Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, said, “In terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia.”
André Frédéric Cournand was born on this date in 1895. He was a French physician and physiologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1956 along with Werner Forssmann and Dickinson W. Richards for the development of cardiac catheterization. Born in Paris, Cournand emigrated to the United States in 1930 and, in 1941, became a naturalised citizen. For most of his career, Cournand was a professor at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and worked at Bellevue Hospital in New York City. Many seats of medical research have recognized his work, and he has received the Anders Retzius Silver Medal of the Swedish Society for Internal Medicine (1946), the Lasker Award of the United States Public Health Association (1949), the John Philipps Memorial Award of the American College of Physicians (1952), the Gold Medal of the Académie Royale de Médecine de Belgique and of the Académie Nationale de Médecine, Paris (1956). He was elected Doctor (honoris causa) of the Universities of Strasbourg (1957), Lyon (1958), Brussels (1959), Pisa (1961), and D.Sc. of the University of Birmingham (1961). His widow Beatrice died in 1993 aged 90.
Severo Ochoa de Albornoz was born on this date in 1905 – 1 November 1993) was a Spanish physician and biochemist, and joint winner of the 1959 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Arthur Kornberg. A new research centre that was planned in the 1970s, was finally built and named after Ochoa. The asteroid 117435 Severochoa is also named in his honour. In June 2011, the United States Postal Service issued a stamp honouring him, as part of the American Scientists collection, along with Melvin Calvin, Asa Gray, and Maria Goeppert-Mayer. This was the third volume in the series.

Society: Arts and Science – August 31


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.
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, OM AK KBE FRS FAA FRSNZ died on this date in 1985. He was an Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology. He won the Nobel Prize in 1960 for predicting acquired immune tolerance and was best known for developing the theory of clonal selection. Burnet received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Melbourne in 1924, and his PhD from the University of London in 1928. He went on to conduct pioneering research in microbiology and immunology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, and served as director of the Institute from 1944 to 1965. From 1965 until his retirement in 1978, Burnet worked at the University of Melbourne. Throughout his career he played an active role in the development of public policy for the medical sciences in Australia and was a founding member of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), and served as its president from 1965 to 1969. Burnet’s major achievements in microbiology included discovering the causative agents of Q-fever and psittacosis; developing assays for the isolation, culture and detection of influenza virus; describing the recombination of influenza strains; demonstrating that the myxomatosis virus does not cause disease in humans. Modern methods for producing influenza vaccines are still based on Burnet’s work improving virus growing processes in hen’s eggs. Burnet was the most highly decorated and honoured scientist to have worked in Australia.[2] For his contributions to Australian science, he was made the first Australian of the Year in 1960,[3] and in 1978 a Knight of the Order of Australia. He was recognised internationally for his achievements: in addition to the Nobel, he received the Lasker Award and the Royal and Copley Medal from the Royal Society, honorary doctorates, and distinguished service honours from the Commonwealth of Nations and Japan. After a series of increasing health problems in his final years, Burnet died of cancer.


Society: Arts and Science – March 31

Today is International Thanksgiving Day. Find a way to celebrate your life today…
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.
Sir William Lawrence Bragg CH OBE MC FRS was born on this date in 1890. He was an Australian-born British physicist and X-ray crystallographer, discoverer (1912) of the Bragg law of X-ray diffraction, which is basic for the determination of crystal structure. He was a joint winner (with his father, Sir William Henry Bragg) of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1915: “For their services in the analysis of crystal structure by means of X-ray.” This was an important step in the development of X-ray crystallography. He was knighted in 1941. To date, Lawrence Bragg is the youngest Nobel Laureate, having received the award at the age of 25. He was the director of the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, when the discovery of the structure of DNA was reported by James D. Watson and Francis Crick in February 1953.
Hans Fischer died on this date 1945. He was a German organic chemist and the recipient of the 1930 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Sin’ichirō Tomonaga was born on this date in 1906. He was a Japanese physicist, influential in the development of quantum electrodynamics for which he was jointly awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965 along with Richard Feynman and Julian Schwinger.
Born in Tokyo, he was the second child and eldest son of a Japanese philosopher, Tomonaga Sanjūrō. He entered the Kyoto Imperial University in 1926. Hideki Yukawa, also a Nobel Prize winner, was one of his classmates during undergraduate school. During graduate school at the same university, he worked for three years as a lab assistant. After graduate school, he joined Nishina’s group in Riken. In 1937, while working at Leipzig University, he collaborated with the Werner Heisenberg research group. Two years later, he returned to Japan due to the outbreak of the Second World War, but finished his doctoral degree in the study of nuclear materials with his thesis extending work done while in Leipzig.
In Japan, he was appointed to a professorship at the Tokyo University of Education. During the war, he studied the magnetron, meson theory, and his “super-many-time” theory. In 1931, he became a researcher in Yoshio Nishina’s laboratory at RIKEN. In 1948, he and his students re-examined a 1939 paper by Sidney Dancoff that attempted but failed, to show that the infinite quantities that arise in QED can be cancelled with each other. Tomonaga applied his super-many-time theory and a relativistic method based on the non-relativistic method of Wolfgang Pauli and Fierz to greatly speed up and clarify the calculations. Then he and his students found that Dancoff had overlooked one term in the perturbation series. With this term, the theory gave finite results; thus Tomonaga discovered the renormalization method independently of Julian Schwinger and calculated physical quantities such as the Lamb shift at the same time.
In the next year, he was invited by Robert Oppenheimer to work at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. He studied a many-body problem on the collective oscillations of a quantum-mechanical system. In the following year, he returned to Japan and proposed the Tomonaga-Luttinger liquid. In 1965, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics, with Julian Schwinger and Richard P. Feynman, for the study of QED, specifically for the discovery of the renormalization method. He died of throat cancer in Tokyo in 1979.He was awarded the Order of Culture in 1952 and the Grand Cordon of the Order of the Rising Sun in 1976.




Society: Arts and Science – February 21

Today is International Thanksgiving Day. Find a way to celebrate your life today…
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.
Heike Kamerlingh Onnes died on this date on 1926. He was a Dutch physicist. He pioneered refrigeration techniques and used these to explore how materials behave when cooled to nearly absolute zero. He was the first to liquefy helium. His production of extreme cryogenic temperatures led to his discovery of superconductivity in 1911: for certain materials, electrical resistance abruptly vanishes at very low temperatures. Onnes received widespread recognition for his work, including the 1913 Nobel Prize in Physics for in the words of the committee: “his investigations on the properties of matter at low temperatures which led, inter alia, to the production of liquid helium.”
Sir Frederick Grant Banting, KBE, MC, FRS, FRSC died on this date in 1941. He was a Canadian medical scientist, doctor, painter and Nobel laureate noted as the first person that used insulin on humans. In 1923 Banting and John James Rickard Macleod received the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Banting shared the award money with his colleague, Dr Charles Best. As of September 2011, Banting, who received the Nobel Prize at age 32, remains the youngest Nobel laureate in the area of Physiology or Medicine. The Canadian government gave him a lifetime annuity to work on his research. In 1934 he was knighted by King George V.
Carl Peter Henrik Dam was born on this date in 1895. He was a Danish biochemist and physiologist. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1943 for joint work with Edward Doisy work in discovering vitamin K and its role in human physiology. Dam’s key experiment involved feeding a cholesterol-free diet to chickens. The chickens began haemorrhaging and bleeding uncontrollably after a few weeks. Dam isolated the dietary substance needed for blood clotting and called it the “coagulation vitamin”, which became shortened to vitamin K. He was born and died in Copenhagen. He received an undergraduate degree in chemistry from the Copenhagen Polytechnic Institute (now the Technical University of Denmark) in 1920 and was appointed as an assistant instructor in chemistry at the School of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine. By 1923 he had attained the post of instructor in biochemistry at Copenhagen University’s Physiological Laboratory. He studied microchemistry at the University of Graz under Fritz Pregl in 1925, but returned to Copenhagen University, where he was appointed as an assistant professor at the Institute of Biochemistry in 1928, and assistant professor in 1929. During his time as a professor at Copenhagen University he spent some time working abroad, and in 1934 submitted a thesis entitled Nogle Undersøgelser over Sterinernes Biologiske Betydning (Some investigations on the biological significance of the sterines) to Copenhagen University, and received the degree of PhD in biochemistry. Between 1942–1945 he was a Senior Research Associate at the University of Rochester; it was during this period that he was awarded the 1943 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey of Adelaide OM FRS FRCP died on this date in 1968. He was an Australian pharmacologist and pathologist who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1945 with Sir Ernst Boris Chain and Sir Alexander Fleming for his role in the making of penicillin. Although Fleming received most of the credit for the discovery of penicillin, it was Florey who carried out the first ever clinical trials in 1941 of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in Oxford on the first patient, a Postmaster from Wolvercote near Oxford. The patient started to recover but subsequently died because Florey had not made enough penicillin. It was Florey and his team who actually made a useful and effective drug out of penicillin after the task had been abandoned as too difficult. Florey’s discoveries are estimated to have saved over 82 million lives, and he is consequently regarded by the Australian scientific and medical community as one of its greatest figures. Sir Robert Menzies, Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister, said, “In terms of world well-being, Florey was the most important man ever born in Australia.”




Society: Arts and Science – September 3


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.
Fritz Pregl was born on this date in 1869. 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.
Carl David Anderson was born on this date in 1905. He was an American physicist who is best known for his discovery of the positron in 1932, an achievement for which he received the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics. He also discovered the muon in 1936. Anderson was born in New York City, the son of Swedish immigrants. He studied physics and engineering at Caltech (B.S., 1927; Ph.D., 1930). Under the supervision of Robert A. Millikan, he began investigations into cosmic rays during the course of which he encountered unexpected particle tracks in his (modern versions now commonly referred to as an Anderson) cloud chamber photographs that he correctly interpreted as having been created by a particle with the same mass as the electron, but with opposite electrical charge. This discovery, announced in 1932 and later confirmed by others, validated Paul Dirac’s theoretical prediction of the existence of the positron. Anderson first detected the particles in cosmic rays. He then produced more conclusive proof by shooting gamma rays produced by the natural radioactive nuclide ThC into other materials, resulting in the creation of positron-electron pairs. For this work, Anderson shared the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics with Victor Hess. Also in 1936, Anderson and his first graduate student, Seth Neddermeyer, discovered the muon (or ‘mu-meson’, as it was known for many years), a subatomic particle 207 times more massive than the electron, but with the same negative electric charge and spin 1/2 as the electron, again in cosmic rays. Anderson and Neddermeyer at first believed that they had seen the pion, a particle which Hideki Yukawa had postulated in his theory of the strong interaction. When it became clear that what Anderson had seen was not the pion, the physicist I. I. Rabi, puzzled as to how the unexpected discovery could fit into any logical scheme of particle physics, quizzically asked “Who ordered that?” (sometimes the story goes that he was dining with colleagues at a Chinese restaurant at the time). The muon was the first of a long list of subatomic particles whose discovery initially baffled theoreticians who could not make the confusing “zoo” fit into some tidy conceptual scheme. Willis Lamb, in his 1955 Nobel Prize Lecture, joked that he had heard it said that “the finder of a new elementary particle used to be rewarded by a Nobel Prize, but such a discovery now ought to be punished by a 10,000 dollar fine.” Anderson spent all of his academic and research career at Caltech. During World War II, he conducted research in rocketry there. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1950.[4] He died on January 11, 1991, and his remains were interred in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. His wife Lorraine died in 1984.
Sir Frank Macfarlane Burnet, OM AK KBE FRS FAA FRSNZ was born on this date in 1899. He was an Australian virologist best known for his contributions to immunology. He won the Nobel Prize in 1960 for predicting acquired immune tolerance and was best known for developing the theory of clonal selection. Burnet received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Melbourne in 1924, and his PhD from the University of London in 1928. He went on to conduct pioneering research in microbiology and immunology at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, and served as director of the Institute from 1944 to 1965. From 1965 until his retirement in 1978, Burnet worked at the University of Melbourne. Throughout his career he played an active role in the development of public policy for the medical sciences in Australia and was a founding member of the Australian Academy of Science (AAS), and served as its president from 1965 to 1969. Burnet’s major achievements in microbiology included discovering the causative agents of Q-fever and psittacosis; developing assays for the isolation, culture and detection of influenza virus; describing the recombination of influenza strains; demonstrating that the myxomatosis virus does not cause disease in humans. Modern methods for producing influenza vaccines are still based on Burnet’s work improving virus growing processes in hen’s eggs. Burnet was the most highly decorated and honoured scientist to have worked in Australia.[2] For his contributions to Australian science, he was made the first Australian of the Year in 1960,[3] and in 1978 a Knight of the Order of Australia. He was recognised internationally for his achievements: in addition to the Nobel, he received the Lasker Award and the Royal and Copley Medal from the Royal Society, honorary doctorates, and distinguished service honours from the Commonwealth of Nations and Japan. After a series of increasing health problems in his final years, Burnet died of cancer.