Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Wise Words from a Nobel Prize Winner

"The best way to have a good idea is to have a lot of ideas."

This inspiration for the day comes from Linus Pauling, who was born on this day, in Portland, Oregon (hear that, Bill Cameron?) in 1901. According to the website of the Linus Pauling Institute, "He is the only person ever to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes — for Chemistry (1954) and for Peace (1962)."

Ironically, Pauling's peace-loving attitudes interfered with his career as a scientist. "Pauling often urged scientists to get involved in politics and society: "It is sometimes said that science has nothing to do with morality. This is wrong. Science is the search for truth, the effort to understand the world; it involves the rejection of bias, of dogma, of revelation, but not the rejection of morality... One way in which scientists work is by observing the world, making note of phenomena, and analyzing them."

In 1964, Pauling gave up his tenured position at Cal-Tech because of pressure from conservative administrators and trustees who disapproved of his activities.

Read more about Linus Pauling at


Bill Cameron said...

I do hear that! It's been Pauling Day all day today. Day.

Julia Buckley said...

You mean just at your house? Or in all the land? :)

Bill Cameron said...

Parades and stuff. Actually, I think there was a line in the Living section of the paper or something. I'd sorta forgotten it until you mentioned it, to be perfectly honest! But then I drank a beer to Dr. Pauling!

Julia Buckley said...

Hurrah! A drink to the intelligentsia! :)