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Charles Percy Snow and the Two Cultures

Charles Percy Snow and the Two Cultures

On October 15, 1905, English physical chemist and novelist Charles Percy Snow, Baron Snow was born. Snow is best known for his series of novels known collectively as Strangers and Brothers, and for The Two Cultures, a 1959 lecture in which he laments the gulf between scientists and “literary intellectuals“. C. P. Snow was born in Leicester to William Snow, a church organist and choirmaster, and his wife Ada. His…
Agnes Bernauer Trial and Death

Agnes Bernauer Trial and Death

On October 12, 1435, Agnes Bernauer, the mistress and perhaps also the first wife of Albert, later Albert III, Duke of Bavaria, was condemned for witchcraft and drowned in the Danube. Her life and death have been depicted in numerous literary works, the most well known being Friedrich Hebbel‘s tragedy of the same name. Agnes Bernauer, often called “the Bernauerin”, was probably born around 1410. Nothing is known of her…
William Lassell and the Discovery of Triton

William Lassell and the Discovery of Triton

On October 10, 1846, English merchant and astronomer William Lassell discovered Triton, the largest moon of Neptune, just 17 days after the discovery of Neptune itself by German astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle. Besides, Lassell also discovered Ariel and Umbriel, two moons of planet Uranus [3], as well the Saturn moon Hyperion. Lassell started a brewery business about 1825, after a seven-year apprenticeship. He became interested in astronomy and, in 1844, began…
Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

Henry Louis Le Châtelier and the Le Châtelier Principle

On October 8, 1850, French chemist Henry Louis Le Chatelier was born. Le Châtelier is most famous for devising Le Chatelier’s principle, with the help of his partner Jasper Rossi, used by chemists to predict the effect a changing condition has on a system in chemical equilibrium. Le Chatelier was born in Paris, France, the first of six children [1] of French materials engineer Louis Le Chatelier, an influential figure who…
Florence Seibert and the Tuberculosis Test

Florence Seibert and the Tuberculosis Test

On October 6, 1897, American biochemist Florence Barbara Seibert was born. Seibert is best known for identifying the active agent in the antigen tuberculin as a protein, and subsequently for isolating a pure form of tuberculin, purified protein derivative (PPD), enabling the development and use of a reliable TB test. Seibert was born in Easton, Pennsylvania, USA, the second of three children of George Peter Seibert, a rug manufacturer and…
Edward Murray East and the Hybrid Corn

Edward Murray East and the Hybrid Corn

On October 4, 1879, American plant geneticist, botanist, agronomist and eugenisist Edward Murray East was born. East is known for his experiments that led to the development of hybrid corn and his support of ‘forced’ elimination of the ‘unfit’ based on eugenic findings. “Genetics has enticed a great many explorers during the past two decades. They have labored with fruit-flies and guinea-pigs, with sweet peas and corn, with thousands of…
Alexander R. Todd and the Nucleotide Coenzymes

Alexander R. Todd and the Nucleotide Coenzymes

On October 2, 1907, British chemist and Nobel laureate Alexander Robertus Todd, Baron Todd was born. Todd‘s esearch on the structure and synthesis of nucleotides, nucleosides, and nucleotide coenzymes gained him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. Alexander R. Todd was born near Glasgow, Scotland, the elder son of Alexander Todd, a business man of that city, and his wife Jean Lowrie. In 1918 Todd gained admission to the Allan Glen’s…
Themistokles and the Battle of Salamis

Themistokles and the Battle of Salamis

On September 29, 480 BC, the Battle of Salamis took place, a naval battle between the Greek city-states under Themistocles and the Persian Empire under King Xerxes, which marked the high-point of the second Persian invasion of Greece. Our main source for the Greco-Persian Wars is the Greek historian Herodotus, often referred to as the ‘Father of History’.[1] The Greek city-states of Athens and Eretria had supported the unsuccessful Ionian…
Paul Villard and the Gamma Radiation

Paul Villard and the Gamma Radiation

On September 28, 1860, French chemist and physicist Paul Ulrich Villard was born. Villard is best known for having discovered gamma rays in 1900 while studying the radiation emanating from radium. Paul Villard was born in Saint-Germain-au-Mont-d’Or, Rhône, France. Villard entered the École Normal Supérieure in 1881 and received the agrégé in 1884, which gave him the license to teach at any secondary school financed by the government.[2] After teaching…
Harrison Brown and the Isolation of Plutonium

Harrison Brown and the Isolation of Plutonium

On September 26, 1916, American nuclear chemist and geochemist Harrison Scott Brown was born. Brown is generally known for his role in isolating plutonium for its use in the first atomic bombs and for his studies regarding meteorites and the Earth’s origin. He also was a political activist, who lectured and wrote on the issues of arms limitation, natural resources and world hunger. Harrison Brown was born in Sheridan, Wyoming,…
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