REPORT ON LINUS CARL PAULING:
Linus Carl Pauling, revolutionized the study of chemistry, helped
found the field of molecular biology, and made important
advances in medical research. This man was a peace activist
whose advances changed the way we think and live.
Linus Pauling was born on the 28th of February 1901 in Portland,
Oregon, to a self-taught druggist, Herman Henry William
Pauling, and Isabelle Pauling. At age 14, a visit with a friend who
owned a toy chemistry set started Pauling on his life's work.
Spellbound by the flames, smokes, odours, and by the sight of
mysterious changes in solutions and powders, Pauling ran home
and began assembling a rough laboratory in a corner of his
basement. Here he spent his teenage years seeking order and
relief in science.
By the time he graduated as a chemical engineer in 1922 he had
set his sights on answering one of the most important questions of
chemistry: how did atoms bond together to form molecules?
Pauling had started his structural studies by considering non-
living molecules, but during the 1930s he shifted his structural
studies to large biomolecules, especially proteins.
biomolecular research continued through World War II, during
which Pauling, an avid anti-Nazi also developed explosives and
rocket propellants. He patented an armor-piercing shell and
invented an oxygen metre for submarines. After the war, his
feelings towards weapons work changed when, spurred by the
pacifist activism of his wife, Ava Helen Pauling. Linus joined
other scientists in calling for civilian oversight and limitations on
nuclear testing. He met stiff opposition to his efforts in the
charged days of the budding Cold War.
CONTRIBUTION TO PEACE:
After winning the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, Pauling
focused his attention on peace work, organising scientists and
speaking out against nuclear testing and production, often to great
criticism and at great personal cost. His peace activism work was
recognized in the autumn of 1963 with the Nobel Peace Prize for
1962. The award was greeted with widespread criticism in the
Pauling spent the next decade as an academic nomad, working at
different think tanks and universities. For over twenty years,
between 1973 and 1994, Pauling's research focused on a field he
termed the concept that optimal health could result from ensuring
that the right molecules were present in the right amount in the
Pauling's long career path led from chemistry to biology to
medicine to peace activision. At every turn he was eager to jump
disciplinary fences and explore new territory at the borders. He
was attacked for his political beliefs and he always stood for true
justice in all that he said and he was also known to go outside of
accepted channels in making his results widely spread.
Nevertheless, in the course of his long career he wrote more than
five hundred papers and eleven books and won every important
prize awarded in his field. Because of his dynamic personality
and his many accomplishments in widely diverse fields, it is hard
to define Linus Pauling adequately. A remarkable man who
insistently addressed certain crucial human problems while
pursuing an amazing array of scientific interests. He is considered
the most significant and most unique man of his generation.