Scientific Progress Requires Risk-Taking And Failure

Editor's Note: World-renowned instrument maker Arnold Beckman, born in 1900, received his master's degree in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois--his home state--in 1923, after which he joined what was then Bell Electric Engineering (now AT&T Bell Laboratories). After two years, he left that company and, with his young wife, traveled to Pasadena, Calif., to take his Ph.D. in photochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and, afterward, a faculty spot at that instit

Arnold Beckman
Mar 7, 1993

Editor's Note: World-renowned instrument maker Arnold Beckman, born in 1900, received his master's degree in physical chemistry from the University of Illinois--his home state--in 1923, after which he joined what was then Bell Electric Engineering (now AT&T Bell Laboratories). After two years, he left that company and, with his young wife, traveled to Pasadena, Calif., to take his Ph.D. in photochemistry at the California Institute of Technology and, afterward, a faculty spot at that institution. His long career in instrumentation development was launched in 1934, when he discovered principles leading to his invention of the first precise and sensitive pH meter. That invention, along with his subsequent creation of the spectrophotometer, revolutionized the research environment of the 20th- century chemical laboratory. Today, more than 50 years after the creation of his company-- Beckman Instruments Inc., based in Fullerton, Calif.--he enjoys an international reputation not only as the master innovator in...

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