Nobel Prize

Herbert A. Simon and the Science of Decision Making

Herbert A. Simon and the Science of Decision Making

On June 15, 1916, American political scientist, economist, sociologist, psychologist, and computer scientist Herbert Alexander Simon was born. Simon was among the founding fathers of several of today’s important scientific domains, including artificial intelligence, information processing, decision-making, problem-solving, organization theory, complex systems, and computer simulation of scientific discovery. With almost a thousand highly cited publications, he was one of the most influential social scientists of the 20th century. “(If) there were no…
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William Butler Yeats and Modern English Literature

William Butler Yeats and Modern English Literature

On June 13, 1865, Irish poet William Butler Yeats was born. Yeats was a driving force behind the Irish Literary Revival and has become one of the foremost figures of 20th century literature. In 1923 he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. “Words are always getting conventionalized to some secondary meaning. It is one of the works of poetry to take the truants in custody and bring them back to their…
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Patrick Steptoe and the Test Tube Baby

Patrick Steptoe and the Test Tube Baby

On June 9, 1913, British obstetrician, gynaecologist, and Nobel Laureate Patrick Steptoe was born. A pioneer of fertility treatment, Steptoe was responsible with biologist and physiologist Robert Edwards for developing in vitro fertilization. Louise Joy Brown, the first test-tube baby, was born on 25 July 1978. Patrick Steptoe – Obstetrics and Laparoscopy Patrick Steptoe attended King’s College London and graduated from St George’s Hospital Medical School, London in 1939. He studied obstetrics…
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Thomas Mann and the illustrious Mann Family

Thomas Mann and the illustrious Mann Family

On June 6, 1875, German novelist, short story writer, social critic, philanthropist, and Nobel Laureate Thomas Mann was born. His highly symbolic and ironic epic novels and novellas, are noted for their insight into the psychology of the artist and the intellectual. His older brother was the radical writer Heinrich Mann and three of his six children, Erika Mann, Klaus Mann and Golo Mann, also became important German writers. “Space, like time, engenders…
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The Holographic World of Dennis Gabor

The Holographic World of Dennis Gabor

On June 5, 1900, Hungarian-British electrical engineer and physicist Dennis Gabor was born. He is probably best known for inventing holography, for which he later received the 1971 Nobel Prize in Physics. Holography is a system of lensless, three-dimensional photography that has many applications today. Gabor also did research on high-speed oscilloscopes, communication theory, physical optics, and television. Overall, he held more than 100 patents. “Incomplete knowledge of the future, and also of…
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Hannes Alfvén – the Father of Plasma Physics

Hannes Alfvén – the Father of Plasma Physics

On May 30, 1908. Swedish electrical engineer, plasma physicist, and Nobel laureate Hannes Alfvén was born. Alfvén won the 1970 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on magnetohydrodynamics (MHD). He described the class of MHD waves now known as Alfvén waves. Alfvén made many contributions to plasma physics, including theories describing the behavior of aurorae, the Van Allen radiation belts, the effect of magnetic storms on the Earth’s magnetic field, the terrestrial magnetosphere, and the dynamics…
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Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the Microscopic Structure of the Brain

Santiago Ramón y Cajal and the Microscopic Structure of the Brain

On May 1, 1852, Spanish pathologist, histologist, neuroscientist, and Nobel laureate Santiago Ramón y Cajal was born. Cajal’s original pioneering investigations of the microscopic structure of the brain have led to his being designated by many as the father of modern neuroscience. His medical artistry was legendary, and hundreds of his drawings illustrating the delicate arborizations of brain cells are still in use for educational and training purposes. “Any man could, if he were so…
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Harold Urey and the famous Miller–Urey experiment

Harold Urey and the famous Miller–Urey experiment

On April 29, 1893, American physical chemist and Nobel Laureate Harold C. Urey was born. He played a significant role in the development of the atom bomb, but may be most prominent for his contribution to theories on the development of organic life from non-living matter. Harold Urey – Early Years Harold Clayton Urey entered the University of Montana in 1914 and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology in 1917. A few…
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Melvin Calvin and the Calvin Cycle in Photosynthesis

Melvin Calvin and the Calvin Cycle in Photosynthesis

On April 8, 1911, American biochemist Melvin Calvin was born. Calvin is best known for furthering our knowledge of the mechanism of photosynthesis with the discovery the Calvin cycle along with Andrew Benson and James Bassham, for which he was awarded the 1961 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Youth and Education Calvin was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, the son of Elias Calvin and Rose Herwitz, immigrants from Russia. Originally, his father was…
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Hermann Staudinger and the Macromolecules

Hermann Staudinger and the Macromolecules

On March 23, 1881, German organic chemist Hermann Staudinger was born. Staudinger demonstrated the existence of macromolecules, which he characterized as polymers. For this work he received the 1953 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is also known for his discovery of ketenes and of the Staudinger reaction. “The most fundamental difference between compounds of low molecular weight and macromolecular compounds resides in the fact that the latter may exhibit properties that cannot…
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