Society: Arts and Science – January 14

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.
Albert Schweitzer, OM was born on this date in 1875. He was a German—and later French—theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa, also known for his historical work on Jesus. He was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire, considered himself French and wrote mostly in French. Schweitzer, a Lutheran, challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at this time in certain academic circles, as well as the traditional Christian view. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”,[1] expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ reform movement (Orgelbewegung).




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 – September 12


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.
Irène Joliot-Curie was born on this dare in 1897. She was a French scientist, the daughter of Marie Curie and Pierre Curie and the wife of Frédéric Joliot-Curie. Jointly with her husband, Joliot-Curie was awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 for their discovery of artificial radioactivity. This made the Curies the family with the most Nobel laureates to date. Both children of the Joliot-Curies, Hélène and Pierre, are also esteemed scientists. As she neared the end of her doctorate in 1924 she was asked to teach the precise laboratory techniques required for radiochemical research to the young chemical engineer Frédéric Joliot whom she would later come to wed. From 1928 Joliot-Curie and her husband Frédéric combined their research interests on the study of atomic nuclei. Though their experiments identified both the positron and the neutron, they failed to interpret the significance of the results and the discoveries were later claimed by Carl David Anderson and James Chadwick respectively. These discoveries would have secured greatness indeed, as together with J. J. Thomson’s discovery of the electron in 1897, they finally replaced John Dalton’s theory of atoms being solid spherical particles. Finally, in 1934 they made the discovery that sealed their place in scientific history. Building on the work of Marie and Pierre, who had isolated naturally occurring radioactive elements, Joliot-Curies realized the alchemist’s dream of turning one element into another, creating radioactive nitrogen from boron and then radioactive isotopes of phosphorus from aluminum and silicon from magnesium. For example, irradiating the main natural and stable isotope of aluminum with alpha particles (i.e. helium nuclei) results in an unstable isotope of phosphorus : 27Al + 4He → 30P + 1n. By now the application of radioactive materials for use in medicine was growing and this discovery led to an ability to create radioactive materials quickly, cheaply and plentifully. The Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1935 brought with it fame and recognition from the scientific community and Joliot-Curie was awarded a professorship at the Faculty of Science. Irène’s group pioneered research into radium nuclei that led a separate group of German physicists, led by Otto Hahn, Lise Meitner, and Fritz Strassman, to discover nuclear fission; the splitting of the nucleus itself and the vast amounts of energy emitted as a result. The years of working so closely with such deadly materials finally caught up with Joliot-Curie and she was diagnosed with leukemia. She had been accidentally exposed to polonium when a sealed capsule of the element exploded on her laboratory bench in 1946. Treatment with antibiotics and a series of operations did relieve her suffering temporarily but her condition continued to deteriorate. Despite this Joliot-Curie continued to work and in 1955 drew up plans for new physics laboratories at the Universitie d’Orsay, south of Paris.


Society: Arts and Science – September 4


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.
Albert Schweitzer, OM died on this date in 1965. He was a German—and later French—theologian, organist, philosopher, physician, and medical missionary in Africa, also known for his historical work on Jesus. He was born in the province of Alsace-Lorraine, at that time part of the German Empire, considered himself French and wrote mostly in French. Schweitzer, a Lutheran, challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by historical-critical methodology current at this time in certain academic circles, as well as the traditional Christian view. He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”,[1] expressed in many ways, but most famously in founding and sustaining the Albert Schweitzer Hospital in Lambaréné, now in Gabon, west central Africa (then French Equatorial Africa). As a music scholar and organist, he studied the music of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach and influenced the Organ reform movement (Orgelbewegung).


Society: Arts and Science – August 22


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.
Roger Martin du Gard died on this date in 1958. 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.


Society: Arts and Science – June 17

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 Arthur Harden FRS died on this date in 1940 at Manchester, Lancashire. He was a British biochemist. He shared the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1929 with Hans Karl August Simon von Euler-Chelpin for their investigations into the fermentation of sugar and fermentative enzymes.
François Jacob was born on this date in 1920. He was a French biologist who, together with Jacques Monod, originated the idea that control of enzyme levels in all cells occurs through regulation of transcription. He shared the 1965 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Jacques Monod and André Lwoff.

Society: Arts and Science – May 31

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.
Alexis “Saint-John Perse” Leger was born on this date in 1887. He was a French poet-diplomat, awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1960 “for the soaring flight and evocative imagery of his poetry.” He was a major French diplomat from 1914 to 1940, after which he lived primarily in the United States until 1967.
Jacques Lucien Monod died on this date in 1910. He was a French biochemist who won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1965, sharing it with François Jacob and Andre Lwoff “for their discoveries concerning genetic control of enzyme and virus synthesis”. Monod (along with François Jacob) became famous for his work on the E. coli lactose operon, which encodes proteins necessary for the transport and breakdown of the sugar lactose. From their own work and the work of others, he and Jacob came up with a model for how the levels of some proteins in a cell are controlled. In their model, the manufacture of proteins, such as the ones encoded within the lactose operon, is prevented when a repressor, encoded by a regulatory gene, binds to its operator, a specific site on the DNA next to the genes encoding the proteins. (It is now known that repressor bound to the operator physically blocks RNA polymerase from binding to the promoter, the site where transcription of the adjacent genes begins.) Study of the control of expression of genes in the lactose operon provided the first example of a transcriptional regulation system. Monod also suggested the existence of mRNA molecules that link the information encoded in DNA and proteins. He is widely regarded as one of the founders of molecular biology. Monod’s interest in the lactose operon originated from his doctoral dissertation, for which he studied the growth of bacteria in culture media containing two sugars.