Here we have scientists who missed Nobel Prize and those whom Nobel missed. A Nobel Prize awarded to Pauling was branded as an insult! But he is the only one to receive two unshared Nobels. Bardeen returned to Swedish king for another Nobel as if to fulfill earlier promise. Ironically an Agricultural Scientist received a Nobel Peace Prize. Yes! What is peace without food? An anguished Barbara Mc Clintock refused to publish her papers, but Nobel committee discovered her. Then we have scientists who received awards in prison cells, scientists who made discoveries in the prison cells. Tesla was thrown out of his labs, cheated by another great man but his alternating current runs our homes now. Carlson went from pillar to post with his photocopy machine and it is now the Xerox. Townes had a revelation for LASER on a park bench. When Maiman made it practical, a Hollywood actress, Bette Davis wondered if it is a death Ray. Medicines from Jenner, Pasteur and the like consigned some diseases to history. If only Subba Rao had lived a few years more, he would have killed some more diseases. A trio of scientists transformed the twentieth century by inventing the transistor. To top it, a scientist who was not allowed to go on a holiday invented the microchip. New York Times reversed its ridicule ladled out on a rocket scientist after 40 years only after man landed on the moon. â€¢ A school techer testified in the court to save his old student, Fansworth for his rightful invention, the television. â€¢ Davy openly declared his student as his greatest discovery, Michael Faraday! You have them all! Biographies that educate and entertain too!!
K. Krishna Murty has already fielded two books on Popular Science, this being his third creative venture. A mechanical engineer by profession, he has an ardent passion for science and electronics. He also has numerous published articles to his credit in The National Science Magazine, Science Reporter, Indian Express and Telugu magazines apart from a number of enlightening talks broadcast on A.I.R, Vishakhapatnam.
1. Amar Bose (Bose Systems)
2. Aryabhatta (Mathematician and Astronomer)
3. Barbara Mc Clintock (Genius Genetist)
4. Benjamin Peary Paul (Father of Roses)
5. Bhaskaracharya (Mathematician and Astrologer)
6. C. N. R. Rao (Material Chemist)
7. C. R. Rao (Rao Theorems)
8. Charles Goodyear (Vulcanisation)
9. Charles H. Townes (Laser)
10. Charles Kettering (Automobile Inventions)
11. Chestor Carlson (Photocopy Machine)
12. E. C. G. Sudarshan (Tachyons)
13. Edward Jenner (Vaccination)
14. Felix Hoffman (Aspirin and Heroin)
15. Howard Florey (Production of Penicillin)
16. Humphrey Davy (Davy Lamp)
17. J. B. S. Haldane (Haldane's Principle)
18. Jack Kilby (Integrated Circuit)
19. Jayant Vishnu Narlikar (Astrophysicist)
20. John Bardeen (Transistor)
21. Jonas Salk (Polio vaccine)
22. Linus Pauling (Chemical Bond)
23. Louis Jean Pasteur (Pasteurisation)
24. M. S. Swaminathan (Father of Green Revolution)
25. Meghnad Saha (Saha Equation)
26. Niels Bohr (Bohr's Model)
27. Nikola Tesla (Alternating Current)
28. Norman Borlaug (Agricultural Scientist)
29. P. C. Mahalanobis (Mahalanobis Distance)
30. Philo Farnsworth (Electronic Television)
31. Raja Ramanna (Nuclear Physicist)
32. Robert H. Goddard (Rocket Pioneer)
33. Robert Noyce (Integrated Circuit)
34. Ronald Ross (Malaria Cure)
35. S. Chandrasekhar (Chandrasekhar Limit)
36. Shanti Swarup Bhatnagar (Magneto Chemistry)
37. Sigmund Freud (Father of Psychoanalysis)
38. Sushruta (First Cosmetic Surgeon)
39. Albert Szent Gyorgyi (Vitamin C)
40. Theodore H. Maiman (Practical Laser)
41. Tim Berners-Lee (Internet)
42. M.K. Vainu Bappu (Astronomer)
43. Varahamihira (Mathematician and Astrologer)
44. Vikram Sarabhai (Space Scientist)
45. Walter Brattain (Transistor)
46. Washington Carver (Agriculture Scientist)
47. William Shockley (Transistor)
48. Wilson Greatbatch (Implantable Heart Pacemaker)
49. Wolfgang Ernst Pauli (Pauli's Principle)
50. Yellapragada Subba Rao (Auromycin and Hetrazan)
JONAS SALK (1914 - 1995 A.D.)
He did not seek wealth or fame through his innovations. "Who owns my polio vaccine? The people! Could you patent the Sun?" was his famous quote. But his invention saved millions of children across the globe from the dreaded disease that crippled them for lifelong and relieved thousands of parents from their lifetime of worry. It is a surprise that in the beginning of his career, he was not interested in science at all and he wanted to become a lawyer. His mother persuaded him from a pre-law student to a pre-med student. He later accepted:
As a child I was not interested in science. I was merely interested in things human, the human side of Nature.
His opponents deranged him by saying, Salk was strictly a kitchen chemist. He never had an original idea in his life.
He even tested his vaccine on himself and his wife in 1954. When the results were declared on 12th April, 1955 after an American nationwide massive double-blind testing of his drug, he did not give credit to anybody, including himself. But many parents heaved a sigh of relief and it was the beginning of eradication of polio from the globe.
The man behind this medical revolution of eradication of polio was Jonas Edward Salk, son of Orthodox Polish-Jewish immigrants, Daniel B. Salk and Doran. Jonas was born on 28th October, 1914 in New York City. He was the only child to go to the college in the family. He believed: Good parents give their children roots and wings. Roots to know where home is, wings to fly away and exercise what's been taught to them. He received a B.Sc. from the City College of New York, and a Medical degree from the College of Medicine at New York University in June. While still at the medical college, he was invited for research on influenza. He had stints at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York City and at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. His strong belief was that nothing happened quite by chance. It's a question of accretion of information and experience for which he worked relentlessly for next few years.
He married Donna Lindsay on 9th June, 1939, whom he met while still in college. The general belief those days was that immunity can be acquired only after a mild infection by live virus in the lines of Louis Pasteur. But Salk followed his faith. He worked on his intuition: Intuition will tell the thinking mind where to look next. It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It's my partner.
He looked differently and killed the poliomyelitis virus using formaldehyde, but kept the virus intact enough to trigger the necessary immune response by the body. He was successful and caught the eyes of Basil O`Connor, the head of the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis. Salk became the Head of the Virus Research Lab at the University of Pittsburgh in 1947.
A large medical experiment was launched in the US, vaccinating more than a million kids in the most susceptible age group of six to nine. It was a double blind exercise as some kids were given the vaccine, some others with a placebo. The children or the researchers would not know who got what. His nationwide trials were victorious and by 1956, he became famous all over the world as more and more countries were successfully immunising their children with his vaccine against polio. In 1963, Salk founded the Jonas Salk Institute for Biological Studies, an innovative center for medical and scientific research. Albert Sabin developed an alternative vaccine with live-virus oral vaccine in parallel and it was a clash of titans for some time. To this Salk said: I have had dreams, and I have had nightmares. I overcame the nightmares because of my dreams.
Salk was awarded "The Lasker Award in 1956" and "The Bruce Memorial Award" in 1958. Salk was elected to the Polio Hall of Fame, at Warm Springs, Georgia on 2nd January, 1958.
In 1965, he established the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, for studying Molecular Biology and Genetics and was its director till his retirement in 1985. Jacob Bronowski and Francis Crick graced the Institute as the earliest faculty. In 1968, he divorced his first wife with whom he had three children. He married Francoise Gilot, the former mistress of Pablo Picasso in 1970. He published two books named "Man Unfolding" in 1972 and "The Survival of the Wisest" in 1973.
Nobel Prize eluded him, but he never hankered after awards or prizes. But the Jawaharlal Nehru Award in 1975, and Congressional Gold Medal and Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1977 followed him. Jonas Salk continued to publish books. His book World Population and Human Values: A New Reality` was published in 1981 and `Anatomy of Reality` was published in 1983.
Age had not withered his dreams as he said: Hope lies in dreams, in imagination and in the courage of those who dare to make dreams into reality.
By 1995, he concentrated his researches on AIDS at "The Immune Response Corporation" which he co-founded and patented a vaccine p4 as 'Remune'.
Jonas Salk died on 23rd June, 1995, when he was 80 years old at La Jolla due to heart failure.
Salk was inducted into the California Hall of Fame located at The California Museum for History, Women and the Arts in Sacramento on 5th December, 2007.
Salk was once asked how he managed to invent the polio vaccine.
I pictured myself as a virus or a cancer cell, he replied, and tried to sense what it would be like.