I wonder what a party would be like if we had all these guys under one tent... Too bad that some of them are dead as of this writing - we'll never know. I would have liked to have been a fly on the wall of this tent if it were ever a reality. Anyway, below is a list of who is who - plus the three objects I mentioned in the last post about this logo.
- Richard Feynman (1918-1988) was an American physicist who won the Nobel Prize in 1965 for "for fundamental work in quantum electrodynamics, with deep-ploughing consequences for the physics of elementary particles". Physicists and physics students will understand that more than anyone else. Outside of his Nobel prize, Feynman was memorable for his physics classes at Caltech, his work on The Manhattan Project, his testimony on the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, for his skill as a drummer and artist, his interest in genetics, and for his attempts to visit formerly Soviet-controlled Tuva.
One thing I really liked about Feynman: Feynman has been called the "Great Explainer". He gained a reputation for taking great care when giving explanations to his students and for making it a moral duty to make the topic accessible. His guiding principle was that if a topic could not be explained in a freshman lecture, it was not yet fully understood.
- Bill Nye (The Science Guy) is a science educator, comedian, television host, and mechanical engineer. He is best known as the host of Disney's science education show, Bill Nye the Science Guy (1993-1997). He began his career at Boeing and developed a hydraulic pressure resonance suppressor still used in the 747.
He went on to do aerospace consulting, was a comedian on the show, Seattle, Almost Live!, created The Eyes of Nye PBS science show for adults, has been a lifeline expert on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, and had clips of his show in the popular (over 2 million hits!) Symphony of Science series.
See Bill Nye, Carl Sagan, and Richard Feynman clips in this Symphony of Science mashup, We Are All Connected:
- Susumu Tonegawa 利根川 進 is a Japanese scientist who won the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 1987 for his discovery of the genetic mechanism that produces antibody diversity. Tonegawa is best known for elucidating the genetic mechanism in the adaptive immune system. To achieve the diversity of antibodies needed to protect against any type of antigen, the immune system would require millions of genes coding for different antibodies, if each antibody was encoded by one gene. Instead, as Tonegawa showed in a landmark series of experiments beginning in 1976, genetic material can rearrange itself to form the vast array of available antibodies.
- Wayne Rogers (as "Trapper John McIntyre") is an actor who is best-known for playing "Trapper John", a doctor on M*A*S*H who was tent mates with Alan Alda's "Hawkeye Pierce". Many years ago, Wayne was asked to sign a contract agreeing not to engage in "objectionable behavior" while working on the set of the show or otherwise risk being fired, and refused to unless the directors and production company were held to the same standard.
- Barbara McClintock (1902-1992) was the 1983 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine, was an American scientist and one of the world's most distinguished cytogeneticists. McClintock received her PhD in botany from Cornell University in 1927, where she was a leader in the development of maize cytogenetics. Her work was groundbreaking: she developed the technique for visualizing maize chromosomes and used microscopic analysis to demonstrate many fundamental genetic ideas, including genetic recombination by crossing-over during meiosis—a mechanism by which chromosomes exchange information. She produced the first genetic map for maize, linking regions of the chromosome with physical traits, and demonstrated the role of the telomere and centromere, regions of the chromosome that are important in the conservation of genetic information.
- Carl Sagan (1934-1996) was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science popularizer and science communicator in the space and natural sciences.
Sagan became world-famous for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote. A book to accompany the program was also published. Sagan also wrote the novel Contact, the basis for the 1997 film of the same name.
- Elizabeth Blackburn is an Australian-born American biological researcher at the University of California, San Francisco, who studies the telomere, a structure at the end of chromosomes that protects the chromosome. Blackburn co-discovered telomerase, the enzyme that replenishes the telomere. For this work, she was awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, sharing it with Carol W. Greider and Jack W. Szostak. She also worked in medical ethics, and was controversially dismissed from the President's Council on Bioethics.
- Alan Alda (as "Hawkeye Pierce") is an American actor, director and screenwriter. A five-time Emmy Award and six-time Golden Globe Award winner, he is best known for his role as Hawkeye Pierce in the TV series M*A*S*H. During the 1970s and 1980s, he was viewed as the archetypal sympathetic male, though in recent years, he has appeared in roles that counter that image. He is currently a Visiting Professor at the Stony Brook University School of Journalism.
Alda's prominence in the enormously successful M*A*S*H gave him a platform to speak out on political topics, and he has been a strong and vocal supporter of women's rights and the feminist movement. He co-chaired, with former First Lady Betty Ford, the ERA Countdown campaign. Alda has also played Nobel Prize-winning physicist Richard Feynman in the play QED, which has only one other character. Although Peter Parnell wrote the play, Alda both produced and inspired it. Beginning in 2004, Alda was a regular cast member on the NBC program The West Wing, portraying Republican U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Arnold Vinick, until the show's conclusion in May 2006. It was not until 2004, after a long distinguished acting career, that Alda received his first Academy Award nomination, for his role in The Aviator.
In 2005, Alda published his first round of memoirs, Never Have Your Dog Stuffed: and Other Things I've Learned. Among other stories, he recalls his intestines becoming strangulated while on location in Chile for his PBS show Scientific American Frontiers, during which he mildly surprised a young doctor with his understanding of medical procedures, which he had learned from M*A*S*H.
- Ada E. Yonath עדה יונת ( pronounced [ˈada joˈnat]) is an Israeli crystallographer best known for her pioneering work on the structure of the ribosome. She is the current director of the Helen and Milton A. Kimmelman Center for Biomolecular Structure and Assembly of the Weizmann Institute of Science. In 2009, she received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry along with Venkatraman Ramakrishnan and Thomas A. Steitz for her studies on the structure and function of the ribosome, becoming the first Israeli woman to win the Nobel Prize out of nine Israeli Nobel laureates, the first woman from the Middle East to win a Nobel prize in the sciences, and the first woman in 45 years to win the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. However, she said herself that there was nothing special about a woman winning the Prize.
Yonath focuses on the mechanisms underlying protein biosynthesis, by ribosomal crystallography, a research line she pioneered over twenty years ago despite considerable skepticism of the international scientific community. Ribosomes translate RNA into protein and because they have slightly different structures in microbes, when compared to eukaryotes, such as human cells, they are often a target for antibiotics.
Additionally, Yonath elucidated the modes of action of over twenty different antibiotics targeting the ribosome, illuminated mechanisms of drug resistance and synergism, deciphered the structural basis for antibiotic selectivity and showed how it plays a key role in clinical usefulness and therapeutic effectiveness, thus paving the way for structure-based drug design.
The three objects/items I mentioned, from left to right:
- Behind Richard Feynman is a sepia-toned photograph of Lida Mattman near her microscope on the tent wall.
Lida Mattman (1912-2008) graduated with a M.S. in Virology from the University of Kansas and a Ph.D. in Immunology from Yale University. Mattman has taught Immunology, Microbiology, Bacteriology, Virology and Pathology. She worked for 35 years in these fields at various schools and institutions including Harvard University, Howard Hughes Institute, Oakland University and Wayne State University. Mattman developed a new method for culturing B. burgdorferi from patients with chronic Lyme disease. In 1998 she was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Medicine. She authored the book Cell Wall Deficient Forms: Stealth Pathogens.
- On the floor in front of Bill Nye is an oscilloscope modified so one can play Tetris on it. Yes, it is real!:
- On Alan Alda's head is a yellow finch that is one of the finches Charles Darwin identified in the Galapagos Islands.
I was hoping for more participation in comments, and I intend to quiz you in future posts about "what is in this picture" - however, I warn you that those quizzes may prove to be more challenging than this one!
Carl Sagan should have been the obvious one to answer even if you wrote nothing else, since I have mentioned him a number of times on this blog. Since it's The Swamp from M*A*S*H, I thought at least some of the old school would get Alan Alda and Wayne Rogers.
Well, you'll have another chance in the future to participate in other game posts - provided I am well enough to keep writing. Hope you learned something interesting from this one!