Emory Report

September 11, 2000

 Volume 53, No. 3

Exhibit chronicles life of two time Nobel winner

By Deb Hammacher

Linus Pauling and the Twentieth Century," on display through Dec. 10 in Woodruff Library's Schatten Gallery, chronicles the life and achievements of Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, the only person to receive two unshared Nobel Prizes, one for chemistry and a second for peace.

Through photographs, diaries, molecular models and historical artifacts, the exhibition highlights Pauling's outstanding contributions to science and peace. The exhibition is part of Emory's Year of Reconciliation.

Widely considered one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Pauling received the Nobel Prize for chemistry in 1954 and the Nobel Peace Prize in 1962. His work, spanning nearly 70 years, led to many landmark scientific discoveries, including the nature of the chemical bond, the structure of proteins, the cause of sickle-cell anemia and the health benefits of vitamin C.

As a dedicated peace activist, Pauling strove to inform the public about the perils of nuclear weapons and played a significant role in promoting the adoption of 1963 Partial Nuclear Test Ban Treaty to stop atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons. His anti-nuclear stance in the 1950s made him the subject of ostracism and ridicule: During that time his passport and scientific grants were revoked, resulting in a great loss of professional status and income, but Pauling refused to compromise on his convictions.

"The exhibition demonstrates how scientific pursuits and efforts to minimize human suffering need not be mutually exclusive," said Linus Pauling Jr., chairman of the exhibition advisory committee. "We hope that the legacy of Linus Pauling's courageous work in science, health and peace will serve as an inspiration for the new generations to meet humanity's challenges in the 21st century."

The idea for the national touring exhibit grew out of meetings between Linus Pauling and Daisuku Ikeda, president of Soka Gakkai International (SGI), that spanned a six-year period beginning in 1987. SGI is an organization committed to promoting peace, cultural and educational activities based on the long-standing humanistic traditions of Buddhism.

Pauling's dedication to peace impressed Ikeda, and the two developed a friendship that continued until Pauling's death in 1994 at the age of 93. In 1992 they wrote a book together titled, A Lifelong Quest for Peace: Linus Pauling and the Twentieth Century. The exhibit was conceived by Ikeda as a means to honor Pauling and inspire audiences, especially youth, with the life of one of the greatest scientists and humanitarians of this century.

"It is my conviction that to learn from the life of Dr. Pauling and to share it with others is for all of us, and in particular for young people, the highest form of humanistic peace education," Ikeda said.

The exhibit's theme of science and humanitarian action working hand-in-hand complements Emory's Science and Society program which strives to create a bridge between the sciences and people's everyday lives. Emory students and the public will have "a superb opportunity to celebrate the life of a great scientist and humanist and to understand the intensive integration of science in our society," said Arri Eisen, director of the program.

In conjunction with the exhibition, the Science and Society Program will host a talk by Oliver Sacks on Sept. 14 in Glenn Auditorium (see story on page 4).

The traveling exhibition is sponsored by the Linus Pauling family, Oregon State University, the Soka Gakkai International, and the Emory College Program in Science and Society of the Faculty Science Council. For more information on the exhibition, go to www.paulingexhibit.org. For more information on SGI or the exhibition in general, call 770-996 5946.

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