Society: Arts and Science – November 25

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.
Johannes Vilhelm Jensen died on this date in 1950. He was a Danish author, often considered the first great Danish writer of the 20th century. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1944. One of his sisters, Thit Jensen, was also a well-known writer and a very vocal, and occasionally controversial, early feminist.

Society: Arts and Science – April 23


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.
Max Karl Ernst Ludwig Planck, FRS was born on this date in 1858. He was a German theoretical physicist who originated quantum theory, which won him the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1918. Planck made many contributions to theoretical physics, but his fame rests primarily on his role as originator of the quantum theory. This theory revolutionized human understanding of atomic and subatomic processes, just as Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity revolutionized the understanding of space and time. Together they constitute the fundamental theories of twentieth century physics.
Charles Gates Dawes died on this date in 1951. He was an American banker and politician who was the 30th Vice President of the United States (1925–1929). For his work on the Dawes Plan for World War I reparations he was a co-winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1925. Dawes served in the First World War, was the Comptroller of the Currency, the first director of the Bureau of the Budget, and, in later life, the Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger was born in Silkeborg on this date in 1867. He was a Danish scientist, physician, and professor of pathological anatomy who won the 1926 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Fibiger had claimed to find an organism he called Spiroptera carcinoma that caused cancer in mice and rats. He received a Nobel prize for this discovery. Later, it was shown that this specific organism was not the primary cause of the tumors. Moreover, Katsusaburo Yamagiwa, only two years later in 1915 successfully induced squamous cell carcinoma by painting crude coal tar on the inner surface of rabbits’ ears. Yamagiwa’s work has become the primary basis for this line of research. Because of this, some consider Fibiger’s Nobel Prize to be undeserved particularly because Yamagiwa did not receive the prize. Encyclopædia Britannica’s guide to Nobel Prizes in cancer research mentions Yamagiwa’s work as a milestone without mentioning Fibiger.
Roger Martin du Gard was born on this date in 1881. He was a French author and winner of the 1937 Nobel Prize for Literature. Trained as a paleographer and archivist, Martin du Gard brought to his works a spirit of objectivity and a scrupulous regard for detail. Because of his concern with documentation and with the relationship of social reality to individual development, he has been linked with the realist and naturalist traditions of the 19th century. His major work was The Thibaults, a multi-volume roman fleuve that follows the fortunes of the two brothers, Antoine and Jacques Thibault, from their upbringing in a prosperous Catholic bourgeois family to the end of the First World War. Six parts of the novel were published between 1922 and 1929; Martin du Gard abandoned a seventh in manuscript before completing the two final installments, l’Été 1914 and l’Épilogue. Written under the shadow of the darkening international situation in Europe in the 1930s, these last parts, which together are longer than the previous six combined, focus on the political and historical situation leading up to the outbreak of the First World War, and conclude with the death of Antoine Thibault in 1918. Martin du Gard wrote several other novels, including Jean Barois, which was set against the historical context of the Dreyfus Affair. During the Second World War, he resided in Nice, where he prepared a novel (Souvenirs du lieutenant-colonel de Maumort) that remained unfinished at his death; it was posthumously published in 1983. His other works include plays and a memoir of André Gide, a longtime friend. Roger Martin du Gard died in 1958 and was buried in the Cimiez Monastery Cemetery in Cimiez, a suburb of the city of Nice, France.
Halldór Kiljan Guðjónsson Laxness was born on this date in 1902. He was a twentieth-century Icelandic writer. Throughout his career Laxness wrote poetry, newspaper articles, plays, travelogues, short stories, and novels. Major influences included August Strindberg, Sigmund Freud, Sinclair Lewis, Upton Sinclair, Bertolt Brecht and Ernest Hemingway.[2] He received the 1955 Nobel Prize in Literature; he is the only Icelandic Nobel laureate.
Lester Bowles “Mike” Pearson, PC, OM, CC, OBE was born on this date in 1897. He was a Canadian scholar, statesman, soldier and diplomat, who won the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1957 for organizing the United Nations Emergency Force to resolve the Suez Canal Crisis. He was the 14th Prime Minister of Canada from 22 April 1963 to 20 April 1968, as the head of two back-to-back Liberal minority governments following elections in 1963 and 1965. During Pearson’s time as Prime Minister, his Liberal minority governments introduced universal health care, student loans, the Canada Pension Plan, the Order of Canada, and the new Flag of Canada. Pearson also convened the Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Biculturalism, and he struggled to keep Canada out of the Vietnam War. In 1967, his government passed Bill C-168, which abolished capital punishment in Canada de facto – by restricting it to a few capital offenses for which it was never used, and which themselves were abolished in 1976. With these accomplishments, together with his groundbreaking work at the United Nations and in international diplomacy, Pearson is generally considered among the most influential Canadians of the 20th century[1] and is regularly ranked as one of the greatest Canadian Prime Ministers.


Society: Arts and Science – April 21


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.
Fredrik Bajer was born on this date in 1837. He was a Danish writer, teacher, and pacifist politician who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1908. The son of a clergyman, Bajer served as an officer in the Danish army, fighting in the 1864 war against Prussia and Austria where he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. He was discharged in 1865, and moved to Copenhagen where he became a teacher, translator and writer. He entered the Danish Parliament in 1872 as a member of Folketinget and held a seat there for the following twenty-three years. As a member of parliament, he worked for the use of international arbitration to solve conflicts among nations, and it is due to Bajer’s efforts that foreign relations became part of the work of the Danish Parliament and that Denmark participated in the Inter-Parliamentary Union from the beginning and earned a distinguished position among its members. He supported many peace organizations, both inside Denmark and Europe-wide, and helped guide the passage of a bill to reach arbitration agreements with Sweden and Norway.
Paul Karrer was born on this date in 1889. He was a Swiss organic chemist best known for his research on vitamins. He and Walter Haworth won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1937.
Percy Williams Bridgman was born on this date in 1882. He was an American physicist who won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the physics of high pressures. He also wrote extensively on the scientific method and on other aspects of the philosophy of science.
Percy Williams Bridgman was born on this date in 1882. He was an American physicist who won the 1946 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on the physics of high pressures. He also wrote extensively on the scientific method and on other aspects of the philosophy of science.
Sir Edward Victor Appleton, GBE, KCB, FRS died on this date in 1965. He was an English physicist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1947 for his seminal work proving the existence of the ionosphere during experiments carried out in 1924. Appleton had observed that the strength of the radio signal from a transmitter on a frequency such as the medium wave band and over a path of a hundred miles or so was constant during the day but that it varied during the night. This led him to believe that it was possible that two radio signals were being received. One was travelling along the ground, and another was reflected by a layer in the upper atmosphere. The fading or variation in strength of the overall radio signal received resulted from the interference pattern of the two signals. The existence of a reflecting atmospheric layer was not in itself a completely new idea. Balfour Stewart had suggested the idea in the late nineteenth century to explain rhythmic changes in the earth’s magnetic field. More recently, in 1902, Oliver Heaviside and A. E. Kennelly had suggested such a hypothesis may explain the success Marconi had in transmitting his signals across the Atlantic. Calculations had shown that natural bending of the radio waves was not sufficient to stop them from simply “shooting off” into empty space before they reached the receiver. Appleton thought the best place to look for evidence of the ionosphere was in the variations he believed it was causing around sunset in radio signal receptions. It was sensible to suggest these variations were due to the interference of two waves but an extra step to show that the second wave causing the interference (the first being the ground wave) was coming down from the ionosphere. The experiment he designed had two methods to show ionospheric influence and both allowed the height of the lower boundary of reflection (thus the lower boundary of the reflecting layer) to be determined. The first method was called frequency modulation and the second was to calculate the angle of arrival of the reflected signal at the receiving aerial.


Society: Arts and Science – April 17


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.
Jean Baptiste Perrin ForMemRS died on this date in 1942. He was a French physicist who, in his studies of the Brownian motion of minute particles suspended in liquids, verified Albert Einstein’s explanation of this phenomenon and thereby confirmed the atomic nature of matter. For this achievement he was honoured with the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1926.
Carl Peter Henrik Dam died on this date in 1986. 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 hemorrhaging 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 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 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 Ph.D. 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 for Physiology or Medicine.


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 – January 30

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.
Johannes Andreas Grib Fibiger died in Copenhagen on this date in 1928. He was a Danish scientist, physician, and professor of pathological anatomy who won the 1926 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. Fibiger had claimed to find an organism he called Spiroptera carcinoma that caused cancer in mice and rats. He received a Nobel prize for this discovery. Later, it was shown that this specific organism was not the primary cause of the tumours. Moreover, Katsusaburo Yamagiwa, only two years later in 1915 successfully induced squamous cell carcinoma by painting crude coal tar on the inner surface of rabbits’ ears. Yamagiwa’s work has become the primary basis for this line of research. Because of this, some question Fibiger’s Nobel Prize particularly because Yamagiwa did not receive the prize. Encyclopædia Britannica’s guide to Nobel Prizes in cancer research mentions Yamagiwa’s work as a milestone without mentioning Fibiger.”
Max Theiler was born on this date in 1899. He was a South African-American virologist and doctor. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1951 for developing a vaccine against yellow fever in 1937. Born in Pretoria, Theiler was educated in South Africa through completion of his degree in medical school. He went to London for post-graduate work at St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, King’s College London and at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, earning a 1922 diploma in tropical medicine and hygiene. That year he moved to the United States to do research at the Harvard University School of Tropical Medicine. He lived worked and lived in that nation the rest of his life. In 1930 he moved to the Rockefeller Institute in New York, becoming director of the Virus Laboratory.
John Bardeen died on this date in 1991. He was an American physicist and electrical engineer, the only person to have won the Nobel Prize in Physics twice: first in 1956 with William Shockley and Walter Brattain for the invention of the transistor; and again in 1972 with Leon N Cooper and John Robert Schrieffer for a fundamental theory of conventional superconductivity known as the BCS theory. The transistor revolutionised the electronics industry, allowing the Information Age to occur, and made possible the development of almost every modern electronic device, from telephones to computers to missiles. Bardeen’s developments in superconductivity, which won him his second Nobel, are used in Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy (NMR) or its medical sub-tool magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In 1990, John Bardeen appeared on LIFE Magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential Americans of the Century.”
“Dominique” Georges Charles Clement Ghislain Pire died on this date in 1969. He was a Belgian Dominican friar whose work helping refugees in post-World War II Europe saw him receive the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958. On December 11, 1958, Pire delivered his Nobel Lecture entitled “Brotherly Love: Foundation of Peace.” After completing his studies Pire returned to the priory at La Sarte, in Huy, Belgium where he dedicated himself to helping poor families live according to their dignity. During the second world war, Pire served as chaplain to the Belgian resistance, actively participating in its activities, such as helping smuggle Allied pilots out of the country. He received several medals for this service after the war. In 1949, he began studying issues relating to postwar refugees (Displaced Persons [DP]) and wrote a book about them, entitled Du Rhin au Danube avec 60,000DP. He founded an organisation to help them. The organisation established sponsorships for refugee families, and during the 1950s built a number of villages in Austria and Germany to help house many refugees. Although a Dominican friar, Dominique Pire always refused to mix his personal faith with his commitments on behalf of social justice, a decision that was not always understood by his religious superiors. After winning the Peace Prize, Pire also helped found a “Peace University” to raise global understanding. Later convinced that peace would not be achievable without the eradication of poverty, he founded “Islands of Peace”, an NGO dedicated to the long-term development of rural populations in developing countries. Projects were started in Bangladesh and India. He died at Louvain Roman Catholic Hospital on January 30, 1969, from complications following surgery. More than 30 years after his death, the four organisations he founded are still active. In 2008 a program was established in honour of his work at the Las Casas Institute at Blackfriars Hall, University of Oxford.




Society: Arts and Science – January 22

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.
Fredrik Bajer died on this date in 1922. He was a Danish writer, teacher, and pacifist politician who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1908. The son of a clergyman, Bajer served as an officer in the Danish army, fighting in the 1864 war against Prussia and Austria where he was promoted to the rank of first lieutenant. He was discharged in 1865 and moved to Copenhagen where he became a teacher, translator and writer. He entered the Danish Parliament in 1872 as a member of Folketinget and held a seat there for the following twenty-three years. As a member of parliament, he worked for the use of international arbitration to solve conflicts among nations, and it is due to Bajer’s efforts that foreign relations became part of the work of the Danish Parliament and that Denmark participated in the Inter-Parliamentary Union from the beginning and earned a distinguished position among its members. He supported many peace organisations, both inside Denmark and Europe-wide, and helped guide the passage of a bill to reach arbitration agreements with Sweden and Norway.
Lev Davidovich Landau was born on this date in 1908. He was a prominent Soviet physicist who made fundamental contributions to many areas of theoretical physics. His accomplishments include the independent co-discovery of the density matrix method in quantum mechanics (alongside John von Neumann), the quantum mechanical theory of diamagnetism, the theory of superfluidity, the theory of second-order phase transitions, the Ginzburg–Landau theory of superconductivity, the theory of Fermi liquid, the explanation of Landau damping in plasma physics, the Landau pole in quantum electrodynamics, the two-component theory of neutrinos, and Landau’s equations for S-matrix singularities. He received the 1962 Nobel Prize in Physics for his development of a mathematical theory of superfluidity that accounts for the properties of liquid helium II at a temperature below 2.17 K (−270.98 °C).