Society: Arts and Science – January 29

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.
William Butler Yeats died on this date in 1939 at age 73. He was an Irish poet and one of the foremost figures of twentieth-century literature. A pillar of both the Irish and British literary establishments, in his later years he served as an Irish Senator for two terms. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and, along with Lady Gregory, Edward Martyn, and others, founded the Abbey Theatre, where he served as its chief during its early years. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature as the first Irishman so honoured[1] for what the Nobel Committee described as “inspired poetry, which in a highly artistic form gives expression to the spirit of a whole nation.” Yeats is generally considered one of the few writers who completed their greatest works after being awarded the Nobel Prize; such works include The Tower (1928) and The Winding Stair and Other Poems (1929).[2] Yeats was a very good friend of American expatriate poet and Bollingen Prize laureate Ezra Pound. Yeats wrote the introduction for Rabindranath Tagore’s Gitanjali, which was published by the India Society. He was born in Dublin and educated there and in London; he spent his childhood holidays in County Sligo. He studied poetry in his youth and from an early age was fascinated by both Irish legends and the occult. Those topics feature in the first phase of his work, which lasted roughly until the turn of the 20th century. His earliest volume of verse was published in 1889, and its slow-paced and lyrical poems display Yeats’s debts to Edmund Spenser, Percy Bysshe Shelley, and the poets of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. From 1900, Yeats’s poetry grew more physical and realistic. He largely renounced the transcendental beliefs of his youth, though he remained preoccupied with physical and spiritual masks, as well as with cyclical theories of life.




Society: Arts and Science – November 2

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.
George Bernard Shaw died on this date in 1950. He was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw’s attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time, he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council. In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St Lawrence in a house now called Shaw’s Corner. Shaw died there, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film adaptation of his play Pygmalion, respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honours, but accepted it at his wife’s behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of fellow playwright August Strindberg’s works from Swedish to English.
George Richards Minot was born on this date in 1885. He was an American medical researcher who shared the 1934 Nobel Prize with George Hoyt Whipple and William P. Murphy for their pioneering work on pernicious anaemia.
Peter Joseph William Debye ForMemRS died on this date in 1966. He was a Dutch-American physicist and physical chemist, and 1936 Nobel laureate in Chemistry. His first major scientific contribution was the application of the concept of dipole moment to the charge distribution in asymmetric molecules in 1912, developing equations relating dipole moments to temperature and dielectric constant. In consequence, the units of molecular dipole moments are termed debyes in his honour. Also in 1912, he extended Albert Einstein’s theory of specific heat to lower temperatures by including contributions from low-frequency phonons. See Debye model. In 1913, he extended Niels Bohr’s theory of atomic structure, introducing elliptical orbits, a concept also introduced by Arnold Sommerfeld. In 1914–1915, Debye calculated the effect of temperature on X-ray diffraction patterns of crystalline solids with Paul Scherrer (the “Debye–Waller factor”). In 1923, together with his assistant Erich Hückel, he developed an improvement of Svante Arrhenius’ theory of electrical conductivity in electrolyte solutions. Although an improvement was made to the Debye–Hückel equation in 1926 by Lars Onsager, the theory is still regarded as a major forward step in our understanding of electrolytic solutions. Also in 1923, Debye developed a theory to explain the Compton effect, the shifting of the frequency of X-rays when they interact with electrons.

Society: Arts and Science – October 6


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.
Auguste Marie François Beernaert died on this date in 1912. He was the fourteenth Prime Minister of Belgium from October 1884 to March 1894. Born in Ostend, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1873, and became Minister of Public Works under Jules Malou, greatly improving the rail, canal and road systems. After his tenure as Prime Minister, he represented Belgium at the Hague conventions of 1899 and 1907. He was also co-winner (with Paul d’Estournelles de Constant) of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1909 for his work at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He was chosen as president of the panel established under the rules of that organization in the Sarvarkar Case in 1911. A year later, he died in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Otto Fritz Meyerhof ForMemRS died on this date in 1951. He was a German physician and biochemist. In 1912, he moved to the University of Kiel, where he became professor in 1918. In 1922, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine, with Archibald Vivian Hill, for his work on muscle metabolism, including glycolysis. In 1929 he became one of the directors of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research, a position he held until 1938. Fleeing the Nazi regime, he moved to Paris in 1938. He then moved to the United States in 1940, where he became a guest professor at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia.
Ernest Thomas Sinton Walton was born on this date in 1903. He was an Irish physicist and 1951 Nobel laureate for his work with John Cockcroft with “atom-smashing” experiments done at Cambridge University in the early 1930s, and so became the first person in history to artificially split the atom, thus ushering the nuclear age.


Society: Arts and Science – July 26


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.
Auguste Marie François Beernaert was born on this date in 1829. He was the fourteenth Prime Minister of Belgium from October 1884 to March 1894. Born in Ostend, he was elected to the Chamber of Deputies in 1873, and became Minister of Public Works under Jules Malou, greatly improving the rail, canal and road systems. After his tenure as Prime Minister, he represented Belgium at the Hague conventions of 1899 and 1907. He was also co-winner (with Paul d’Estournelles de Constant) of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1909 for his work at the Permanent Court of Arbitration. He was chosen as president of the panel established under the rules of that organization in the Sarvarkar Case in 1911. A year later, he died in Lucerne, Switzerland.
George Bernard Shaw was born on this date in 1856. He was an Irish playwright and a co-founder of the London School of Economics. Although his first profitable writing was music and literary criticism, in which capacity he wrote many highly articulate pieces of journalism, his main talent was for drama, and he wrote more than 60 plays. He was also an essayist, novelist and short story writer. Nearly all his writings address prevailing social problems, but have a vein of comedy which makes their stark themes more palatable. Issues which engaged Shaw’s attention included education, marriage, religion, government, health care, and class privilege. He was most angered by what he perceived as the exploitation of the working class. An ardent socialist, Shaw wrote many brochures and speeches for the Fabian Society. He became an accomplished orator in the furtherance of its causes, which included gaining equal rights for men and women, alleviating abuses of the working class, rescinding private ownership of productive land, and promoting healthy lifestyles. For a short time he was active in local politics, serving on the London County Council. In 1898, Shaw married Charlotte Payne-Townshend, a fellow Fabian, whom he survived. They settled in Ayot St Lawrence in a house now called Shaw’s Corner. Shaw died there, aged 94, from chronic problems exacerbated by injuries he incurred by falling from a ladder. He is the only person to have been awarded both a Nobel Prize in Literature (1925) and an Oscar (1938), for his contributions to literature and for his work on the film Pygmalion (adaptation of his play of the same name), respectively. Shaw wanted to refuse his Nobel Prize outright because he had no desire for public honours, but accepted it at his wife’s behest: she considered it a tribute to Ireland. He did reject the monetary award, requesting it be used to finance translation of fellow playwright August Strindberg’s works from Swedish to English.


Society: Arts and Science – June 25


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.
Walther Hermann Nernst, ForMemRS was born on this date in 1864. He was a German physical chemist and physicist who is known for his theories behind the calculation of chemical affinity as embodied in the third law of thermodynamics, for which he won the 1920 Nobel Prize in chemistry. Nernst helped establish the modern field of physical chemistry and contributed to electrochemistry, thermodynamics, solid state chemistry and photochemistry. He is also known for developing the Nernst equation.
Johannes Hans Daniel Jensen was born on this date in 1907. He was a German nuclear physicist. During World War II, he worked on the German nuclear energy project, known as the Uranium Club, in which he made contributions to the separation of uranium isotopes. After the war Jensen was a professor at the University of Heidelberg. He was a visiting professor at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Institute for Advanced Study, Indiana University, and the California Institute of Technology. Jensen shared half of the 1963 Nobel Prize for Physics with Maria Goeppert-Mayer for their proposal of the nuclear shell model.