Tag Archives: nobel prizes

today’s birthday: Alfred Nobel (1833)

Alfred Nobel (1833)

Nobel was a Swedish chemist and engineer who invented dynamite, the smokeless powder Ballistite, and an explosive gelatin more powerful than dynamite. In his last will, he left his enormous fortune in trust for the endowment of the Nobel Prizes, which recognize outstanding achievements in the fields of science, literature, and economics and in the promotion of peace. What was the content of the prematurely published obituary that is said to have made Nobel resolve to leave a better legacy? More… Discuss


Gertrude Belle Elion (1918)

After teaching chemistry because jobs for female researchers were then scarce, Elion got work as an assistant at a drug company and went on to become a pioneering US pharmacologist. With George Hitchings, she developed treatments for leukemia, autoimmune disorders, urinary tract infections, gout, malaria, and viral herpes. Although Nobel Prizes are rarely awarded to drug company employees, the duo shared in the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physiology. To what did Elion attribute her interest in science? More… Discuss


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Today’s Birthday: IDA NODDACK (1896)

Ida Noddack (1896)

One of the first prominent female chemists in Germany, Noddack was nominated several times for a Nobel Prize but never won. Still, she made a number of remarkable contributions to science, co-discovering the element rhenium with her future husband and proposing for the first time the idea of nuclear fission. She also participated in the discovery of another element, which her team named masurium, but they could not prove its existence. It was finally isolated by others in 1937 and named what? More… Discuss