A master and maker in many fields, Linus Pauling lived a very long and productive life spanning nearly the entire twentieth century. By the time he was in his twenties, he had made a name for himself as a scientist. After many significant contributions including his work on the nature of the chemical bond, he turned to chemical biology and is generally accepted as the founder of molecular biology. Later in his life he became very involved in issues of politics and peace for which he is somewhat less well known. In his later years, he became interested in health and medicine and specifically in the use of vitamin C to prevent ailments from the common cold to cancer.
In Pauling’s own words he was “…a physicist with an interest in chemistry. [His] scientific work, however, has not been restricted to chemistry and physics, but has extended over X-ray crystallography, mineralogy, biochemistry, nuclear science, genetics, and molecular biology; also nutrition and various aspects of research in medicine, such as serology, immunology, and psychiatry” (Marinacci Ed., 1995, p. 26). Pauling received two Nobel Prizes acknowledging his contributions, one in Chemistry in 1954 and one for Peace in 1962.
Gardner describes the creative individual as follows: “The creative individual is a person who regularly solves problems, fashions products, or defines new questions in a domain in a way that is initially considered novel but that ultimately becomes accepted in a particular cultural setting” (Gardner, 1993, p. 35). As I understand this, a creative individual is one who seeks out problems and states or solves them in a way that no one else has previously. Such inno...
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...ive individuals. He also fits Gardner’s description of the Exemplary Creator fairly well.
Linus Pauling was a creator with astounding intellectual abilities who was also active in many other areas as dictated by his interest and passion. His ideas and research into the nature of chemical bonds significantly changed the way that we understand the world.
Gardner, H. (1993). Creating Minds. New York: Basic Books.
Goertzel, T., & Goertzel, B. (1995). Linus Pauling. New York: Basic Books.
Hargittai, I., & Hargittai, M. (2000). Conversations with Famous Chemists. London: Imperial College Press.
Marinacci, B. (Ed.). (1995). Linus Pauling in His Own Words. New York: Simon & Schuster.
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