Science Birthdays, May 18


5/18/1872        Bertrand Russell,         mathematician, parents died while he was very young, he led a lonely, unhappy childhood. George Darwin was one of his teachers at Cambridge, defied the government as a militant pacifist. He died in 1970 at age 97.

5/18/1889        Thomas Midgley,         chemist,            from Beaver Falls, PA, discovered the use of tetraethyl lead as an antiknock additive, discovered Freon as an inflammable, safe refrigerant, He was a mechanical engineer, but became paralyzed with polio. He built a contraption of pulleys to get out of bed, but ended up hanging himself with it.        “He had more impact on the atmosphere than any other organism in Earth’s history” This tragic event happened in 1944 when he was 55.

5/18/1901        Vincent DuVigneaud,  chemist, worked with amino acids, discovered the methyl shift on methionine, discovered biotin (vitamin H), discovered oxytocin and that it had only 8 amino acids, It was the first protein hormone ever synthesized.  Nobel prize 1955, He died in 1978 at age 77.


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