Right to left (standing): Arnold Thackray, president of the Chemical Heritage Foundation; historian of science Tore Frängsmyer of Uppsala University; Alan MacDiarmid (2000 Nobel laureate in chemistry); Joseph Miller of DuPont; historian of science Everett Mendelsohn of Harvard University; Max Perutz (1962); Dudley Herschbach (1986); Rudolph Marcus (1992); and Harold Kroto (1996). Seated: Jerome Karle (1985) and Roald Hoffman (1981).
Alfred Nobel, the reclusive inventor of dynamite, probably had little idea of the explosive impact his posthumous wishes would have on society. Nobel, who died in 1896, willed most of his considerable wealth--garnered from his groundbreaking 1866 invention--to the founding of several international prizes. The prizes were intended to honor those who confer benefit to mankind by promoting peace or by contributing to the fields of physics, chemistry, or physiology or medicine (the economics award was founded later, in 1968). After some legal wrangling by Nobel's family, the first...

Interested in reading more?

Become a Member of

Receive full access to digital editions of The Scientist, as well as TS Digest, feature stories, more than 35 years of archives, and much more!
Already a member?