EXHIBITS: The Pauling Files

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Science  22 Mar 2002:
Vol. 295, Issue 5563, pp. 2183
DOI: 10.1126/science.295.5563.2183d

Linus Pauling (1901-1994) revolutionized our understanding of the atomic bond, ushered in the field of molecular biology, nabbed two Nobel Prizes, and then devoted the last decades of his life trying to prove quixotic notions about the health benefits of vitamin C. Posted by Oregon State University in Corvallis, Pauling's undergraduate alma mater, this collection of the chemist's 46 lab notebooks spans 72 years, illuminating his entire career. Although the pages aren't bursting with drama, they are packed with everyday details of Pauling's life and work: everything from experimental results and scientific critiques to budget minutiae and political opinions. You can follow the progress of his early grad school work on x-ray diffraction, for example, or jump ahead to a draft of a 1991 open letter to President George H. W. Bush opposing the Gulf War.


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