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MODERN MASTERS OF SCIENCE / Vol. 51, No. 3 (Fall 1984)

Arien Mack, Editor

The importance of twentieth century science is unquestioned, yet very few of us outside of the scientific community have any clear idea of why. This issue was conceived as an attempt to address this problem.

This article examines the career of Danish physicist Niels Bohr (1885-1962) and prints his 9 June 1950 open letter to the UN pleading for free international exchange of information on nuclear technology.

Physiologist Walter Bradford Cannon contributed to the modern understanding of the physiology of digestion, the emotions, and neurotransmission, particularly the regulatory function of the sympathetic nervous system and its chemical neurotransmitters.

Explores the connection between German-born physicist and biologist Max Delbrück's work on bacteriophages in the 1930s-40s, and the discovery in the 1950s of the structure of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), along with the consequent growth of molecular genetics as a scientific field of study.

Describes the life and contributions to nuclear physics and nuclear arms limitation of Hungarian-born American physicist and molecular biologist Leo Szilard.

This article examines discoveries about the nature of chemical bonding and protein structure made by American chemist and biologist Linus Pauling, whose mathematical and physical approach largely shaped twentieth century chemistry and biology.

This article focuses on geneticist Thomas Hunt Morgan's contributions to mechanistic biology, a late nineteenth century trend that insisted on experimental proof of scientific theories; Morgan studied the small fruit fly, "Drosophila," to determine sex-linked hereditary traits, which led to the discovery of the relation between traits and specific genes located at identifiable sites on chromosomes.

Describes the life and career of German earth scientist Alfred Wegener and discusses the origins, content, and fate of his theory of continental drift, which made him notorious among geologists in the 1920s, only to be forgotten until the 1960s, when the rise of plate tectonics lent it credence.

Focuses on early twentieth century contributions to classical and molecular genetics and the later campaigns for American and Soviet eugenics programs of American geneticist Hermann Joseph Muller.

Norwegian physicist and meteorologist Vilhelm Bjerknes (1862–1951) revolutionized the field of meteorology through his application of physical principles to the interpretation of air mass movements and his and his associates' consequent discovery of atmospheric fronts.

Describes the life and contributions to nuclear physics and genetics of Austrian physicist and philosopher Erwin Schrödinger (1887–1961).


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