Society: Arts and Science – August 1


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.
Otto Heinrich Warburg died on this date in 1978. Son of physicist Emil Warburg, he was a German physiologist, medical doctor and Nobel laureate. He served as an officer in the elite Ulan (cavalry regiment) during the First World War, and won the Iron Cross (1st Class) for bravery. Warburg was one of the 20th century’s leading biochemists. He won the 1931 Nobel Prize for Medicine or Physiology. In total, he was nominated an unprecedented three times for the Nobel prize for three separate achievements.
Richard Kuhn was died this date in 1967. He was an Austrian-German biochemist and Nobel laureate. Kuhn’s areas of study included: investigations of theoretical problems of organic chemistry (stereochemistry of aliphatic and aromatic compounds; syntheses of polyenes and cumulenes; constitution and colour; the acidity of hydrocarbons), as well as extensive fields in biochemistry (carotenoids; flavins; vitamins and enzymes). Specifically, he carried out important work on vitamin B2 and the antidermatitis vitamin B6. In 1929 he became Principal of the Institute for Chemistry at the newly founded Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Medical Research (which, since 1950, has been renamed the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg). By 1937 he also took over the administration of this Institute. In addition to these duties he also served as of Professor of Biochemistry at the University of Heidelberg, and for one year he was at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia as a Visiting Research Professor for Physiological chemistry. He was subsequently awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1938 for his “work on carotenoids and vitamins,” but was unable to accept the award until after World War II.[1] Kuhn is also credited with the discovery of the deadly nerve agent Soman in 1944. Kuhn was editor of Justus Liebigs Annalen der Chemie from 1948. Kuhn died in 1967 in Heidelberg, Germany, aged 66.
George Charles de Hevesy was born on this date in 1885. He was a Hungarian radiochemist and Nobel laureate, recognized in 1943 for his key role in the development of radioactive tracers to study chemical processes such as in the metabolism of animals. He also co-discovered the element hafnium.
Tadeusz Reichstein died on this date in 1996. He was a Polish chemist residing in Switzerland and the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine laureate (1950). Reichstein was born into a Jewish family at Włocławek, Kingdom of Poland. His parents were Gastava (Brockmann) and Isidor Reichstein. He spent his early childhood at Kiev, where his father was an engineer. He began his education at boarding-school in Jena, Germany. In 1933, working in Zürich, Switzerland, Reichstein succeeded, independently of Sir Norman Haworth and his collaborators in the United Kingdom, in synthesizing vitamin C (ascorbic acid) in what is now called the Reichstein process. Together with E. C. Kendall and P. S. Hench, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1950 for their work on hormones of the adrenal cortex which culminated in the isolation of cortisone. In later years, Reichstein became interested in the phytochemistry and cytology of ferns, publishing at least 80 papers on these subjects in the last three decades of his life. He had a particular interest in the use of chromosome number and behavior in the interpretation of histories of hybridization and polyploidy, but also continued his earlier interest in the chemical constituents of the plants. He died in Basel, Switzerland. The principal industrial process for the artificial synthesis of Vitamin C still bears his name. Reichstein was the longest-lived Nobel laureate at the time of his death, but was surpassed in 2008 by Rita Levi-Montalcini.


Society: Arts and Science – May 5


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.
Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz was born on this date in 1846. Also known by the pseudonym Litwos, he was a Polish journalist, novelist, and philanthropist. He is best remembered for his historical novels. Born into an impoverished Polish noble family in Russian-ruled Congress Poland, in the late sixties he began publishing journalistic and literary pieces. In the late seventies, he traveled to the United States, sending back travel essays that won him popularity with Polish readers. In the eighties, he began serializing novels that further increased his popularity. He soon became one of the most popular Polish writers of the turn of the twentieth centuries, and numerous translations gained him international renown, culminating in his receipt of the 1905 Nobel Prize in Literature for his “outstanding merits as an epic writer.” Many of his novels remain in print. In Poland, he is best known for his Trilogy of historical novels — With Fire and Sword, The Deluge, and Sir Michael — set in the seventeenth-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; internationally he is best known for Quo Vadis, set in Nero’s Rome. The Trilogy and Quo Vadis have been filmed, the latter several times, with Hollywood’s 1951 version receiving the most international recognition.
Alfred Hermann Fried died on this date in 1921. 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.
Born in Buenos Aires, Carlos Saavedra Lamas died on this date in 1959. He was a descendant of an early Argentine patriot, he married the daughter of president Roque Sáenz Peña. Saavedra Lamas achieved renown not only as foreign minister of Argentina for his practical work in drafting international agreements and in conducting international mediation, but also as a professor for his scholarship in the fields of labor legislation and international law. Saavedra Lamas was a distinguished student at Lacordaire College and at the University of Buenos Aires where he received the Doctor of Laws degree in 1903, summa cum laude. After study in Paris and travel abroad, he accepted a professorship in law and constitutional history at the University of La Plata, where he began the teaching career that was to span more than forty years. Later, he inaugurated a course in sociology at the University of Buenos Aires, taught political economy and constitutional law in the Law School of the university, and eventually served as the president of the university. Saavedra Lamas was a leading Argentine academician in two areas. A pioneer in the field of labor legislation, he edited several treatises on labor legislation in Argentina and on the need for a universally recognized doctrine on the treatment of labor – among them, Centro de legislacíon social y del trabajo (1927) [Center of Social and Labor Legislation], Traités internationaux de type social (1924), Código nacional del trabajo (three volumes, 1933) [National Code of Labor Law]. In the arena of practical affairs, Saavedra Lamas drafted legislation affecting labor in Argentina, supported the founding of the International Labor Organization in 1919, and presided over the ILO Conference of 1928 in Geneva while serving simultaneously as leader of the Argentine delegation. In international law, his other field of major scholarly interest, he published “La Crise de la codification et de la doctrine Argentine de droit international” (1931); and he spoke, wrote, or drafted legislation on many subjects with international ramifications – among them, asylum, colonization, immigration, arbitration, and international peace. His brief Vida internacional, which he wrote at the age of seventy, is an urbane by-product of all this study and experience. Saavedra Lamas began his political career in 1906 as director of Public Credit and then became the secretary-general for the municipality of Buenos Aires in 1907. In 1908 he was elected to the first of two successive terms in Parliament. There he initiated legislation regarding coastal water rights, irrigation, sugar production, government finances, colonization, and immigration. His main interest, however, lay in foreign affairs. He provided leadership in saving Argentina’s arbitration treaty with Italy, which almost foundered in 1907-1908, and eventually became the unofficial adviser to both the legislature and the foreign office on the analysis and implications of proposed foreign treaties. Appointed minister of Justice and Education in 1915, he instituted educational reforms by integrating the different divisions of public education and by developing a curriculum at the intermediate level for the vocational and technical training of manpower needed in a developing industrial country. When General Agustín P. Justo became president of Argentina in 1932, he appointed Saavedra Lamas as foreign minister. In this post for six years, Saavedra Lamas brought international prestige to Argentina. He played an important role in every South American diplomatic issue of the middle thirties, induced Argentina to rejoin the League of Nations after an absence of thirteen years, and represented Argentina at virtually every international meeting of consequence during this period. His work in ending the Chaco War between Paraguay and Bolivia (1932–1935) had not only local significance but generalized international importance as well. When he took over the foreign office, he immediately engaged in a series of moves to lay the diplomatic groundwork for a negotiated settlement of this dispute. In 1932 he initiated at Washington the Declaration of August 3 which put the American states on record as refusing to recognize any territorial change in the hemisphere brought about by force. Next, he drew up a Treaty of Nonaggression and Conciliation which was signed by six South American countries in October, 1933, and by all of the American countries at the Seventh Pan-American Conference at Montevideo two months later. In 1935 he organized mediation by six neutral American nations which resulted in the cessation of hostilities between Paraguay and Bolivia. Meanwhile, in 1934, Saavedra Lamas presented the South American Antiwar Pact to the League of Nations where it was well received and signed by eleven countries. Acclaimed for all of these efforts, he was elected president of the Assembly of the League of Nations in 1936. After his retirement from the foreign ministry in 1938, Saavedra Lamas returned to academic life, became president of the University of Buenos Aires for two years (1941–1943), and rounded out his career as a professor for an additional three years (1943–1946). Saavedra Lamas was known as a king disciplinarian in his office, a logician at the conference table, a charming host in his home or his art gallery, a man of sartorial elegance who wore, it is said, the highest collars in Buenos Aires. In addition to the Nobel Peace Prize, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honor of France and analogous honors from ten other countries. He died in 1959 at the age of eighty from the effects of a brain hemorrhage. In March 2014 his solid gold Nobel medal was put up for auction after being found in a South American pawn shop. In August 2014 a project for rebuying his Nobel medal by the Argentine Nation was presented at the Argentine congress.
Joshua Lederberg, ForMemRS was born on this date in 1925 . He was an American molecular biologist known for his work in microbial genetics, artificial intelligence, and the United States space program. He was just 33 years old when he won the 1958 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering that bacteria can mate and exchange genes. He shared the prize with Edward L. Tatum and George Beadle who won for their work with genetics. In addition to his contributions to biology, Lederberg did extensive research in artificial intelligence. This included work in the NASA experimental programs seeking life on Mars and the chemistry expert system Dendral.


Society: Arts and Science – January 11

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.
Carl David Anderson died on this date in 1991. He was an American physicist who is best known for his discovery of the positron in 1932, an achievement for which he received the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics. He also discovered the muon in 1936. Anderson was born in New York City, the son of Swedish immigrants. He studied physics and engineering at Caltech (B.S., 1927; Ph.D., 1930). Under the supervision of Robert A. Millikan, he began investigations into cosmic rays during the course of which he encountered unexpected particle tracks in his (modern versions now commonly referred to as an Anderson) cloud chamber photographs that he correctly interpreted as having been created by a particle with the same mass as the electron, but with opposite electrical charge. This discovery announced in 1932 and later confirmed by others, validated Paul Dirac’s theoretical prediction of the existence of the positron. Anderson first detected the particles in cosmic rays. He then produced a more conclusive proof by shooting gamma rays produced by the natural radioactive nuclide ThC into other materials, resulting in the creation of positron-electron pairs. For this work, Anderson shared the 1936 Nobel Prize in Physics with Victor Hess. Also in 1936, Anderson and his first graduate student, Seth Neddermeyer, discovered the muon (or ‘mu-meson’, as it was known for many years), a subatomic particle 207 times more massive than the electron, but with the same negative electric charge and spin 1/2 as the electron, again in cosmic rays. Anderson and Neddermeyer at first believed that they had seen the pion, a particle which Hideki Yukawa had postulated in his theory of the strong interaction. When it became clear that what Anderson had seen was not the pion, the physicist I. I. Rabi, puzzled as to how the unexpected discovery could fit into any logical scheme of particle physics, quizzically asked “Who ordered that?” (sometimes the story goes that he was dining with colleagues at a Chinese restaurant at the time). The muon was the first of a long list of subatomic particles whose discovery initially baffled theoreticians who could not make the confusing “zoo” fit into some tidy conceptual scheme. Willis Lamb, in his 1955 Nobel Prize Lecture, joked that he had heard it said that “the finder of a new elementary particle used to be rewarded by a Nobel Prize, but such a discovery now ought to be punished by a 10,000 dollar fine.” Anderson spent all of his academic and research career at Caltech. During World War II, he conducted research in rocketry there. He was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1950. He died on January 11, 1991, and his remains were interred in the Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills Cemetery in Los Angeles, California. His wife Lorraine died in 1984.
Isidor Isaac Rabi died on this date in 1986. He was a Polish-born American physicist and Nobel laureate, recognised in 1944 for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance, which is used in magnetic resonance imaging. He was also involved in the development of the cavity magnetron, which is used in microwave radar and microwave ovens. Born into a traditional Jewish family in Rymanów, Galicia, in what was then part of Austria-Hungary, Rabi came to the United States as a baby and was raised in New York’s Lower East Side. He entered Cornell University as an electrical engineering student in 1916 but soon switched to chemistry. Later, he became interested in physics. He continued his studies at Columbia University, where he was awarded his doctorate for a thesis on the magnetic susceptibility of certain crystals. In 1927, he headed for Europe, where he met and worked with many of the finest physicists of the time. In 1929 Rabi returned to the United States, where Columbia offered him a faculty position. In collaboration with Gregory Breit, he developed the Breit-Rabi equation and predicted that the Stern–Gerlach experiment could be modified to confirm the properties of the atomic nucleus. He developed techniques for using nuclear magnetic resonance to discern the magnetic moment and nuclear spin of atoms. This work led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944. Nuclear magnetic resonance became an important tool for nuclear physics and chemistry. The subsequent development of magnetic resonance imaging from it has made it important to medicine as well. During World War II he worked on radar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory and on the Manhattan Project. After the war, he served on the General Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Atomic Energy Commission and was chairman from 1952 to 1956. He also served on the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Office of Defense Mobilization and was Science Advisor to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was involved with the establishment of the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1946, and later, as United States delegate to UNESCO, with the creation of CERN in 1952. When Columbia created the rank of University Professor in 1964, Rabi was the first to receive such a chair. A special chair was named after him in 1985. He retired from teaching in 1967 but remained active in the department and held the title of University Professor Emeritus and Special Lecturer until his death.




Society: Arts and Science – December 5

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.
Władysław Stanisław Reymont died on this date in 1925. He was a Polish novelist and the 1924 laureate of the Nobel Prize in Literature. His best-known work is the award-winning four-volume novel Chłopi (The Peasants).
Werner Karl Heisenberg was born on this date in 1901. He was a German theoretical physicist and one of the key creators of quantum mechanics. He published his work in 1925 in a breakthrough paper. In the subsequent series of papers with Max Born and Pascual Jordan, during the same year, this matrix formulation of quantum mechanics was substantially elaborated. In 1927 he published his uncertainty principle, upon which he built his philosophy and for which he is best known. Heisenberg was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for 1932 “for the creation of quantum mechanics”.[1] He also made important contributions to the theories of the hydrodynamics of turbulent flows, the atomic nucleus, ferromagnetism, cosmic rays, and subatomic particles, and he was instrumental in planning the first West German nuclear reactor at Karlsruhe, together with a research reactor in Munich, in 1957. Considerable controversy surrounds his work on atomic research during World War II. Following World War II, he was appointed a director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Physics, which soon thereafter was renamed the Max Planck Institute for Physics. He was director of the institute until it was moved to Munich in 1958 when it was expanded and renamed the Max Planck Institute for Physics and Astrophysics. Heisenberg was also president of the German Research Council, chairman of the Commission for Atomic Physics, chairman of the Nuclear Physics Working Group, and president of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation.
Joseph Erlanger died on this date in 1965. He was an American physiologist who is best known for his contributions to the field of neuroscience. Together with Herbert Spencer Gasser, he identified several varieties of nerve fibre and established the relationship between action potential velocity and fibre diameter. They were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1944 for these achievements.
Carl Ferdinand Cori, ForMemRS was born on this date in 1896. He was a Czech biochemist and pharmacologist born in Prague (then in Austria-Hungary, now Czech Republic) who, together with his wife Gerty Cori and Argentine physiologist Bernardo Houssay, received a Nobel Prize in 1947 for their discovery of how glycogen (animal starch) – a derivative of glucose – is broken down and resynthesized in the body, for use as a store and source of energy. In 2004 both were designated a National Historic Chemical Landmark in recognition of their work that elucidated carbohydrate metabolism.
Cecil Frank Powell, FRS was born on this date in 1903. He was a British physicist, and Nobel Prize in Physics laureate for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and for the resulting discovery of the pion (pi-meson), a subatomic particle. Powell was born in Tonbridge, Kent, England, the son of a local gunsmith, and educated at a local elementary school before gaining a scholarship to the Judd School, Tonbridge, which now has one of its four houses named after Powell (the house colour is green), and awards the Powell Physics and Mathematics Prize to an upper sixth form student every year in his honour. Following this he attended Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, graduating in 1925 in the natural sciences. After completing his bachelor’s degree he worked at the Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, under C.T.R. Wilson and Lord Rutherford, conducting research into condensation phenomena, and gaining his PhD in Physics in 1927. In 1928 he took up a post as Research Assistant to A.M. Tyndall in the H.H. Wills Physical Laboratory at the University of Bristol, later being appointed lecturer, and in 1948 appointed Melville Wills Professor of Physics. In 1932 Powell married Isobel Artner, and the couple had two daughters. In 1936 he took part in an expedition to the West Indies as part of a study of volcanic activity, and where he appears on a stamp issued in Grenada. During his time at Bristol University Powell applied himself to the development of techniques for measuring the mobility of positive ions, to establishing the nature of the ions in common gases, and to the construction and use of a Cockcroft generator to study the scattering of atomic nuclei. He also began to develop methods employing specialised photographic emulsions to facilitate the recording of the tracks of elementary particles, and in 1938 began applying this technique to the study of cosmic radiation, exposing photographic plates at high-altitude, at the tops of mountains and using specially designed balloons, collaborating in the study with Giuseppe Occhialini, H. Muirhead and young Brazilian physicist César Lattes. This work led in 1946 to the discovery of the pion (pi-meson), which proved to be the hypothetical particle proposed in 1935 by Yukawa Hideki in his theory of nuclear physics. In 1949 Powell became a Fellow of the Royal Society and received the society’s Hughes Medal the same year. In 1950 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics “for his development of the photographic method of studying nuclear processes and his discoveries regarding mesons made with this method”. From 1952 Powell was appointed a director of several expeditions to Sardinia and the Po Valley, Italy, utilising high-altitude balloon flights. In 1955, Powell, also a member of the World Federation of Scientific Workers, added his signature to the Russell-Einstein Manifesto put forward by Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein and scientist Joseph Rotblat and was involved in preparations for the first Pugwash Conference on Science and World Affairs. As Rotblat put it, “Cecil Powell has been the backbone of the Pugwash Movement. He gave it coherence, endurance and vitality.” Powell chaired the meetings of the Pugwash Continuing Committee, often standing in for Bertrand Russell, and attended meetings until 1968. In 1961 Powell received the Royal Medal, and served on the Scientific Policy Committee of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) that year, and in 1967 he was awarded the Lomonosov Gold Medal by the Academy of Sciences of the USSR (now Russian Academy of Sciences) “for outstanding achievements in the physics of elementary particles”. Powell died on 9 August 1969, whilst out walking in the foothills of the Alps near the Valsassina region of Italy, where he had been staying with friends. A bench with a commemorative plaque was erected near the site of his death and dedicated to his memory.

Society: Arts and Science – November 7

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.
Marie Sklodowska Curie was born on this day in 1867. She was a Polish and naturalized-French physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She was also the first woman to become a professor at the University of Paris, and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in the Panthéon in Paris. She was born Maria Salomea Sklodowska in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland, part of the Russian Empire. She studied at Warsaw’s clandestine Floating University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronislawa to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She won the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world’s first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres. While a French citizen, Marie Sklodowska Curie (she used both surnames) never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element that she discovered – polonium, which she first isolated in 1898 – after her native country. Curie died in 1934 at the sanatorium of Sancellemoz (Haute-Savoie), France, due to aplastic anemia brought on by exposure to radiation – mainly, it seems, during her World War I service in mobile X-ray units created by her.
Sir Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman, FRS was born on this date in 1888. He was an Indian physicist whose ground breaking work in the field of light scattering earned him the 1930 Nobel Prize for Physics. He discovered that, when light traverses a transparent material, some of the deflected light changes in wavelength. This phenomenon is now called Raman scattering and is the result of the Raman effect.[3] In 1954, he was honoured with the highest civilian award in India, the Bharat Ratna.
Albert Camus was born on this date in 1913. He was a French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He wrote in his essay “The Rebel” that his whole life was devoted to opposing the philosophy of nihilism while still delving deeply into individual freedom. Camus did not consider himself to be an existentialist despite usually being classified as one, even during his own lifetime.[1] In an interview in 1945, Camus rejected any ideological associations: “No, I am not an existentialist. Sartre and I are always surprised to see our names linked…”. Camus was born in Algeria to a Pied-Noir family, and studied at the University of Algiers. In 1949, Camus founded the Group for International Liaisons within the Revolutionary Union Movement after his split with Garry Davis’s Citizens of the World movement.[6] The formation of this group, according to Camus, was intended to “denounce two ideologies found in both the USSR and the USA” regarding their idolatry of technology. Camus was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature “for his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times”.

Society: Arts and Science – November 5

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.
Henryk Adam Aleksander Pius Sienkiewicz died on this date in 1916. Also known by the pseudonym Litwos, he was a Polish journalist, novelist, and philanthropist. He is best remembered for his historical novels. Born into an impoverished Polish noble family in Russian-ruled Congress Poland, in the late sixties, he began publishing journalistic and literary pieces. In the late seventies, he travelled to the United States, sending back travel essays that won him popularity with Polish readers. In the eighties, he began serialising novels that further increased his popularity. He soon became one of the most popular Polish writers of the turn of the twentieth centuries, and numerous translations gained him international renown, culminating in his receipt of the 1905 Nobel Prize in Literature for his “outstanding merits as an epic writer.” Many of his novels remain in print. In Poland, he is best known for his Trilogy of historical novels — With Fire and Sword, The Deluge, and Sir Michael — set in the seventeenth-century Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth; internationally he is best known for Quo Vadis, set in Nero’s Rome. The Trilogy and Quo Vadis have been filmed, the latter several times, with Hollywood’s 1951 version receiving the most international recognition.
Paul Sabatier FRS was born on this date in 1854. He was a French chemist, born in Carcassonne. In 1912, Sabatier was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Victor Grignard. Sabatier was honoured specifically for his work improving the hydrogenation of organic species in the presence of metals.
Alexis Carrel died on this date in 1944. He was a French surgeon and biologist who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1912 for pioneering vascular suturing techniques. He invented the first perfusion pump with Charles A. Lindbergh opening the way to organ transplantation. Like many intellectuals before World War II, he promoted eugenics. He was a regent for the French Foundation for the Study of Human Problems during Vichy France which implemented the eugenics policies there; his association with the Foundation led to investigations of collaborating with the Nazis but no conclusions were reached by the investigations. He faced constant media attacks towards the end of his life over to his alleged involvement with the Nazis. Alexis Carrel was also elected twice, in 1924 and 1927, as an honorary member of the Academy of Sciences of the USSR.
Christiaan Eijkman died on this date in 1930. He was a Dutch physician and professor of physiology whose demonstration that beriberi is caused by poor diet led to the discovery of vitamins. Together with Sir Frederick Hopkins, he received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
Edward Lawrie Tatum died on this date in 1975. He was an American geneticist. He shared half of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1958 with George Wells Beadle for showing that genes control individual steps in metabolism. The other half of that year’s award went to Joshua Lederberg. Beadle and Tatum’s key experiments involved exposing the bread mould “Neurospora crassa” to x-rays, causing mutations. In a series of experiments, they showed that these mutations caused changes in specific enzymes involved in metabolic pathways. These experiments, published in 1941, led them to propose a direct link between genes and enzymatic reactions, known as the “one gene, one enzyme” hypothesis. Tatum went on to study genetics in bacteria. An active area of research in his laboratory was to understand the basis of Tryptophan biosynthesis in Escherichia coli. Later, Tatum and his student Joshua Lederberg showed that E. coli could share genetic information through recombination. Tatum was born in Boulder, Colorado. He attended college at the University of Chicago and received his PhD in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin–Madison in 1934. Starting in 1937, he worked at Stanford University, where he began his collaboration with Beadle. He then moved to Yale University in 1945 where he mentored Lederberg. He returned to Stanford in 1948 and then joined the faculty of Rockefeller Institute in 1957. A heavy cigarette smoker, he died in New York City of heart failure complicated by chronic emphysema.

Society: Arts and Science – July 29


Nobel Prizes are bestowed annually by Swedish and Norwegian committees in recognition of cultural or scientific advances. The 1895 will of Swedish inventor Alfred Nobel established the prizes.
Tobias Michel Karel Asser died on this date in 1913. He was a Dutch lawyer and legal scholar, cowinner (with Alfred Fried) of the Nobel Prize for Peace in 1911 for his role in the formation of the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the first Hague peace conference (1899).
Isidor Isaac Rabi was born on this date in 1898. He was a Polish-born American physicist and Nobel laureate, recognised in 1944 for his discovery of nuclear magnetic resonance, which is used in magnetic resonance imaging. He was also involved in the development of the cavity magnetron, which is used in microwave radar and microwave ovens. Born into a traditional Jewish family in Rymanów, Galicia, in what was then part of Austria-Hungary, Rabi came to the United States as a baby and was raised in New York’s Lower East Side. He entered Cornell University as an electrical engineering student in 1916 but soon switched to chemistry. Later, he became interested in physics. He continued his studies at Columbia University, where he was awarded his doctorate for a thesis on the magnetic susceptibility of certain crystals. In 1927, he headed for Europe, where he met and worked with many of the finest physicists of the time. In 1929 Rabi returned to the United States, where Columbia offered him a faculty position. In collaboration with Gregory Breit, he developed the Breit-Rabi equation and predicted that the Stern–Gerlach experiment could be modified to confirm the properties of the atomic nucleus. He developed techniques for using nuclear magnetic resonance to discern the magnetic moment and nuclear spin of atoms. This work led to his being awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944. Nuclear magnetic resonance became an important tool for nuclear physics and chemistry. The subsequent development of magnetic resonance imaging from it has made it important to medicine as well. During World War II he worked on radar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Radiation Laboratory and on the Manhattan Project. After the war, he served on the General Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Atomic Energy Commission and was chairman from 1952 to 1956. He also served on the Science Advisory Committee (SAC) of the Office of Defense Mobilization and was Science Advisor to President Dwight D. Eisenhower. He was involved with the establishment of the Brookhaven National Laboratory in 1946, and later, as United States delegate to UNESCO, with the creation of CERN in 1952. When Columbia created the rank of University Professor in 1964, Rabi was the first to receive such a chair. A special chair was named after him in 1985. He retired from teaching in 1967 but remained active in the department and held the title of University Professor Emeritus and Special Lecturer until his death.
Dag Hjalmar Agne Carl Hammarskjöld was born on this date in 1905. He was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. The second Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. At the age of 47 years, 255 days, Hammarskjöld is the youngest to have held the post. He is one of only three people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Prize.[1] Hammarskjöld is the only UN Secretary-General to die in office; his death occurred en route to cease-fire negotiations. US President John F. Kennedy called Hammarskjöld “the greatest statesman of our century”.
Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin OM FRS died on this date in 1994. She was a British biochemist who developed protein crystallography, for which she won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964. She advanced the technique of X-ray crystallography, a method used to determine the three-dimensional structures of biomolecules. Among her most influential discoveries is the confirmation of the structure of penicillin that Ernst Boris Chain and Edward Abraham had previously surmised, and then the structure of vitamin B12, for which she became the third woman to win the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. In 1969, after 35 years of work and five years after winning the Nobel Prize, Hodgkin was able to decipher the structure of insulin. X-ray crystallography became a widely used tool and was critical in later determining the structures of many biological molecules where knowledge of structure is critical to an understanding of function. She is regarded as one of the pioneer scientists in the field of X-ray crystallography studies of biomolecules.