Unitarian-Universalist Nobel Laureates

UUs have their share of Nobel laureates. Here are a few.

John Bardeen (1908-1991) John Bardeen received his BA and MA in electrical engineering from University of Wisconsin and went to Princeton where he got his Ph.D. in physics. While working at Bell labs, Bardeen and other developed the point-contact transistor, which eventually replaced vacuum tubes in radios and TVs. Bardeen moved to University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he studies superconductors. In 1956 Bardeen shared the Nobel prize in Physics with Brattain and Shockley for discoveries in semiconductors and transistors. In 1972 Bardeen (with Cooper and Schrieffer) received the Nobel Prize for Physics for their jointly developed theory of superconductivity. Bardeen is the only person to win a Nobel prize twice in the same area.

David Hubel (1926-2008) Hubel was a neurophysiologist studying at McGill University and Johns Hopkins school of Medicine. He joined the faculty a Harvard University. With Wiesel he studied the visual cortex discovering neurons that respond to lines in certain orientations. They discovered the critical period for developing binocular vision, this advancing the knowledge about the need to treat childhood amblyopia and strabismus. They received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1981 for this work.

Linus Pauling (1901-1994) Linus Pauling got his PhD in chemical Engineering at Cal Tech and remained there. In 1954 he won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry for his research on the chemical bonds which hold molecules together and their role in the structure of proteins and antibodies. Pauling became increasingly concerned about nuclear weapons and with colleagues circulated a petition to end nuclear weapons testing. Within several weeks he was able to send Dag Hammarskjold a petition with the signatures of over 2000 prominent American scientists. Eventually the petition had over 11,000 signatures including Albert Einstein and Albert Schweitzer. This precipitated the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Pauling was awarded the Nobel prize for Peace on October 10, 1963, the day the treaty went into effect. Pauling is one of three people to have won two Nobel prizes.

Herbert Simon (1916-2001) Simon received a B.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Chicago. He spent the bulk of his career at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. His primary research interest was decision making within organizations. He is best known for theories on “bounded rationality” and “satisficing”. He received the Nobel Prize for Economics in 1978.

George Wald (1906-1997) George Wald was a professor of biology at Harvard. He shared the 1967 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology for research on how the eye sees and passes visual images to the brain. He was one of the first academics to speak out against U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War. He also addressed the arms race, nuclear power and weapons, and human rights.

Sources: Harvard Square Library and Wikipedia.