Society: Arts and Science – June 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.
Frans Eemil Sillanpää died on this date in 1964. He was one of the most famous Finnish writers and in 1939 became the first Finnish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.
Georg von Békésy was born on this date in 1899. He was a Hungarian biophysicist born in Budapest, Hungary. In 1961, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the function of the cochlea in the mammalian hearing organ.
Francis Harry Compton Crick, OM, FRS was born on this date in 1916. He was a British molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist, most noted for being a co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule in 1953 with James Watson. Together with Watson, and Maurice Wilkins he was jointly awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine “for their discoveries concerning the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its significance for information transfer in living material”. Crick was an important theoretical molecular biologist and played a crucial role in research related to revealing the genetic code. He is widely known for use of the term “central dogma” to summarize the idea that genetic information flow in cells is essentially one-way, from DNA to RNA to protein. During the remainder of his career, he held the post of J.W. Kieckhefer Distinguished Research Professor at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California. His later research centered on theoretical neurobiology and attempts to advance the scientific study of human consciousness. He remained in this post until his death; “he was editing a manuscript on his death bed, a scientist until the bitter end” according to Christof Koch.


Society: Arts and Science – January 15

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.
Lars Olof Jonathan Söderblom was born on this date in 1866. He was a Swedish clergyman, Archbishop of Uppsala in the Church of Sweden, and recipient of the 1930 Nobel Peace Prize. He is commemorated in the Calendar of Saints of the Lutheran Church and in the liturgical calendar of the Episcopal Church (USA) on July 12. Söderblom was born in a village called Trönö, today Söderhamn Municipality, Gävleborg County. His father was a priest and a devoted Christian with a strong personal faith. He enrolled at Uppsala University in 1883. Although not initially convinced what he wanted to study, he eventually decided to follow in his father’s footsteps. On returning from a journey to the U.S., he was ordained priest in 1893. During the years 1892 and 1893, Söderblom was first vice president and the president of the Uppsala Student Union. In 1912, he became a professor of Religious studies at Leipzig University. But already in 1914, he was elected as Archbishop of Uppsala, the head of the Lutheran church in Sweden. During the First World War, he called on all Christian leaders to work for peace and justice. He believed that church unity had the specific purpose of presenting the gospel to the world and that the messages of Jesus were relevant to social life. His leadership of the Christian “Life and Work” movement in the 1920s has led him to be recognised as one of the principal founders of the ecumenical movement. His was instrumental in chairing the Life and Work Conference in Stockholm, in 1925. He was a close friend of the English ecumenist George Bell. He was the pastor at the church that Alfred Nobel went to and in 1930 was one of the recipients of the Nobel Prize. After his death in Uppsala, Sweden, in 1931 his body was interred in Uppsala Cathedral.
Artturi Ilmari Virtanen was born on this date in 1895. He was a Finnish chemist and recipient of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.
Michael Martin Luther King Jr. was born on this date in 1929. He was an American Baptist minister and activist who was a leader in the African-American Civil Rights Movement. He is best known for his role in the advancement of civil rights using nonviolent civil disobedience based on his Christian beliefs. King became a civil rights activist early in his career. He led the 1955 Montgomery bus boycott and helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in 1957, serving as its first president. With the SCLC, King led an unsuccessful 1962 struggle against segregation in Albany, Georgia (the Albany Movement), and helped organise the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama. King also helped to organise the 1963 March on Washington, where he delivered his famous “I Have a Dream” speech. There, he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. On October 14, 1964, King received the Nobel Peace Prize for combating racial inequality through nonviolent resistance. In 1965, he helped to organise the Selma to Montgomery marches, and the following year he and SCLC took the movement north to Chicago to work on segregated housing. In the final years of his life, King expanded his focus to include opposition towards poverty and the Vietnam War, alienating many of his liberal allies with a 1967 speech titled “Beyond Vietnam”. In 1968, King was planning a national occupation of Washington, D.C., to be called the Poor People’s Campaign, when he was assassinated on April 4 in Memphis, Tennessee. His death was followed by riots in many U.S. cities. King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. Martin Luther King Jr. Day was established as a holiday in numerous cities and states beginning in 1971, and as a U.S. federal holiday in 1986. Hundreds of streets in the U.S. have been renamed in his honour, and a county in Washington State was also renamed for him. The Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., was dedicated in 2011.




Society: Arts and Science – November 11

Today is International Thanksgiving Day! A day to celebrate your life in a special way…
This also a day to celebrate peace on the anniversary of the ending of World War II. To all combatants in all wars, thank you for your service.

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.
Alfred Hermann Fried was born on this date in 1864. He was an Austrian pacifist, publicist, journalist, co-founder of the German peace movement, and winner (with Tobias Asser) of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1911.
Artturi Ilmari Virtanen died on this date in 1973. He was a Finnish chemist and recipient of the 1945 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Society: Arts and Science – September 16


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 Ronald Ross, KCB, FRS died on this day in 1932. He was an Indian-born British medical doctor who received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1902 for his work on malaria. His discovery of the malarial parasite in the gastrointestinal tract of mosquito led to the realisation that malaria was transmitted by mosquitoes, and laid the foundation for combating the disease. He was quite a polymath, writing a number of poems, published several novels, and composed songs. He was also an amateur artist and natural mathematician. He worked in the Indian Medical Service for twenty five years. It was during his service that he made the groundbreaking medical discovery. After resigning from his service in India, he joined the faculty of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and continued as Professor and Chair of Tropical Medicine of the institute for ten years. In 1926, he became Director-in-Chief of the Ross Institute and Hospital for Tropical Diseases, which was established in honour of his works. He remained there until his death.
Ludwig Karl Martin Leonhard Albrecht Kossel was born on this date in 1853. He was a German biochemist and pioneer in the study of genetics. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1910 for his work in determining the chemical composition of nucleic acids, the genetic substance of biological cells. Kossel isolated and described the five organic compounds that are present in nucleic acid: adenine, cytosine, guanine, thymine, and uracil. These compounds were later shown to be nucleobases, and are key in the formation of DNA and RNA, the genetic material found in all living cells. Kossel was an important influence on and collaborator with other important researchers in biochemistry, including Henry Drysdale Dakin, Friedrich Miescher, Edwin B. Hart, and his professor and mentor, Felix Hoppe-Seyler. Kossel was editor of the Zeitschrift für Physiologische Chemie (Journal of Physiological Chemistry) from 1895 until his death. Kossel also conducted important research into the composition of protein, and his research predicted the discovery of the polypeptide nature of the protein molecule. The Albrecht Kossel Institute for Neuroregeneration at the University of Rostock is named in his honor.
Albert Szent-Györgyi de Nagyrápolt was born on this date in 1893. He was a Hungarian physiologist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1937. He is credited with discovering vitamin C and the components and reactions of the citric acid cycle. He was also active in the Hungarian Resistance during World War II and entered Hungarian politics after the war.
Frans Eemil Sillanpää was born on this date in 1888. He was one of the most famous Finnish writers and in 1939 became the first Finnish writer to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature.