Society: Arts and Science – September 13


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.
Schack August Steenberg Krogh ForMemRS died on this date in 1949. He was a Danish professor at the department of zoophysiology at the University of Copenhagen from 1916-1945. He contributed a number of fundamental discoveries within several fields of physiology, and is famous for developing the Krogh Principle. In 1920, Krogh was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for the discovery of the mechanism of regulation of the capillaries in skeletal muscle. Krogh was first to describe the adaptation of blood perfusion in muscle and other organs according to demands through opening and closing the arterioles and capillaries. Krogh was a pioneer in comparative studies on animals. He wrote his thesis on the respiration through the skin and lungs in frogs: Respiratory Exchange of Animals, 1915. Later Krogh took on studies of water and electrolyte homeostasis of aquatic animals and he published the books: Osmotic Regulation (1939) and Comparative Physiology of Respiratory Mechanisms (1941). In addition Krogh contributed more than two hundred research articles in international journals. He was a constructor of scientific instruments of which several had considerable practical importance, e.g. the spirometer and the apparatus for measuring basal metabolic rate. Krogh brought insulin to Denmark shortly after its discovery in 1922 by Nicolae Paulescu. Together with Hagedorn, Krogh made decisive contributions to establishing a Danish production of insulin by ethanol extraction of the hormone from the pancreatic glands of pigs. Much of Krogh’s work was carried out in collaboration with his wife, Marie Krogh (1874–1943), a renowned scientist in her own right. In 1910 August Krogh founded the first laboratory for animal physiology (zoophysiology) at the University of Copenhagen. It was located in a small townhouse in central Copenhagen (at Ny Vestergade 11). The laboratory was considerably enlarged in 1928, when it moved to a new building at Juliane Maries Vej 28-32 called The Rockefeller Complex (it was financed by the Rockefeller Foundation). The building also gave place to the institutes of medical physiology and biophysics, and to the institute for the theory of gymnastics (exercise physiology). Today, the disciplines of animal physiology, exercise physiology, and some of the biochemical subdisciplines under the Faculty of Science are based at the August Krogh Institute, a building inaugurated in 1970. August and Marie had four children, the youngest of whom, Bodil, was born in 1918. Bodil married an eminent comparative physiologist, Knut Schmidt-Nielsen, in 1939 and had three children. She received her Dental degree in 1941, was the first recipient of a Doctor in Odontology in 1946, and her PhD in 1955, all from the University of Copenhagen. Knut and Bodil moved to America and each had independently prominent physiology careers at prestigious institutions, including Duke University and Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory, and were well known for their many students who became leaders in the field. Torkel Weis-Fogh, an eminent pioneer on the study of insect flight, was a student of August Krogh.
Arthur Henderson PC was born on this date in 1863. He was a British iron moulder and Labour politician. He was the first Labour cabinet minister, the 1934 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and served three terms as the Leader of the Labour Party. He was popular among his colleagues, who called him “Uncle Arthur” in acknowledgement of his integrity, devotion to the cause and unperturbability. He was a transition figure whose policies were closer to the Liberal Party and the trade unions rejected his emphasis on arbitration and conciliation and thwarted his goal of unifying the Labour Party and the trades unions.
Leopold Ružička ForMemRS was born on this date in 1887. He was a Croatian scientist and winner of the 1939 Nobel Prize in Chemistry who worked most of his life in Switzerland. He received eight honoris causa doctorates in science, medicine, and law; seven prizes and medals; and twenty-four honorary memberships in chemical, biochemical, and other scientific societies.
Sir Robert Robinson, OM, PRS, FRSE was born on this date in 1886. He was an English organic chemist and Nobel laureate recognised in 1947 for his research on plant dyestuffs (anthocyanins) and alkaloids. In 1947, he also received the Medal of Freedom with Silver Palm. His synthesis of tropinone, a precursor of cocaine, in 1917 was not only a big step in alkaloid chemistry but also showed that tandem reactions in a one-pot synthesis are capable of forming bicyclic molecules. He invented the symbol for benzene having a circle in the middle whilst working at St Andrews University in 1923. He is known for inventing the use of the curly arrow to represent electron movement, and he is also known for discovering the molecular structures of morphine and penicillin. In 1957 Robinson founded the journal Tetrahedron with fifty other editors for Pergamon Press.