Linus Pauling

In July 2023, we changed our name from AACC (short for the American Association for Clinical Chemistry) to the Association for Diagnostics & Laboratory Medicine (ADLM). The following page was written prior to this rebranding and contains mentions of the association’s old name. It may contain other out-of-date information as well.

1973 AACC Lectureship Award

Linus Pauling was born in Portland, Oregon, on February 28, 1901, and was educated in Oregon (B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Oregon State College, 1922) and California (Ph.D., California Institute of Technology, 1925). He was a member of the teaching staff of the California Institute of Technology from 1922 to November, 1963, Research Professor of the Physical and Biological Sciences in the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions, 1967, Professor of Chemistry in the University of California, San Diego, 1967 to 1969, and Professor of Chemistry in Stanford University since 1969.

He was George Eastman Professor at Oxford University in 1948 and has been a visiting professor in the University of California, Cornell University, University of Illinois, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Harvard, Princeton, Madras, and several other universities and colleges.

Much of his scientific work has dealt in one way or another with the nature of the chemical bond; it has included experimental studies on the structure of crystals by x-ray diffraction and the structure of gas molecules by electron diffraction, the study of the magnetic properties of substances, the investigation of the nature of serological systems and the structure of antibodies, the structure of proteins, the molecular basis of general anesthesia, and the role of abnormal molecules in causing disease, especially abnormal hemoglobins in relation to sickle-cell anemia and other hereditary hemolytic anemias, and abnormal enzymes in relation to mental disease.

In addition, he has carried on theoretical studies, especially the application of quantum mechanics to the structure of molecules and the nature of the chemical bond, the extension of the theory of valence to include metals and intermetallic compounds, and the development of a theory of the structure of atomic nuclei and the nature of the process of nuclear fission.

During recent years much of his work has been on the application of chemistry to biological and medical problems.

Professor Pauling was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for 1954 for his research on the nature of the chemical bond and its application to the elucidation of the structure of complex substances.

His contributions to chemistry have been recognized also by several other awards, including the American Chemical Society Award in Pure Chemistry, the Nichols Medal, the Gibbs Medal, the Richards Medal, the Gilbert Newton Lewis Medal, the Avogadro Medal, the Pasteur Medal, the Pierre Fermat Medal, the Sebatier Medal, the Davy Medal of the Royal Society, and the Linus Pauling Medal of the Puget Sound and Oregon Sections of the American Chemical Society.

In 1967 he received the Roebling Medal of the Mineralogical Society of America.

His discoveries in the field of medicine led to the award to him of the Thomas Addis Medal of the National Nephrosis Foundation, the Phillips Medal for Contributions to Internal Medicine by the American College of Physicians, the Gold Medal of the Rudolph Virchow Medical Society of New York, the Gold Medal of the French Academy of Medicine, the Vermeil Medal of the City of Paris, the Modern Medicine Award for Distinguished Achievement, and the Eliasberg and Goedel Medallions in Anesthesiology.

He has been given honorary doctorates by twenty-eight universities, including Chicago, Princeton, Yale, Cambridge, Oxford, London, Paris, Toulouse, Montpelier, Liege, Melbourne, Krakow, and Berlin.

He was President of the American Chemical Society for 1949 and Vice-President of the American Philosophical Society from 1951 to 1954.

He is a foreign member of the Royal Society of London, assoc#{233} etranger of the French Academy of Sciences, and an honorary member of the academies of science of Norway, U.S.S.R., India, Italy, Belgium, Portugal, Poland, Austria, Yugoslavia, Romania, and several other countries.

In 1948 he was given the Presidential Medal for Merit “for exceptionally meritorious conduct in the performance of outstanding services to the United States from October, 1940 to June, 1946.” He is Grand Officer of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic and recipient of the Medal of the Senate of the Republic of Chile.

On October 10, 1963, he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He has also received The International Lenin Peace Prize, the Ghandi Peace Prize, the Grotius Medal for Contributions to International Law, the Janice Holland Peace Award (jointly with Ava Helen Pauling), and several other peace, freedom, and humanitarian awards.

In 1961 he was chosen Humanist of the Year by the American Humanist Association.

He has published about 400 scientific papers, about 100 articles on social and political questions, especially about peace, and several books, including The Structure of Line Spectra (with S. Goudsmit); Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (with E. B. Wilson, Jr.); The Nature of the Chemical Bond; General Chemistry; College Chemistry; No More War!; The Architecture of Molecules (with Roger Hayward); Science and World Peace; and Vitamin C and the Common Cold.

He has been an Honorary Member of AACC since1957.

Professor Pauling in 1922 married Ava Helen Miller, also a native of Oregon. He and his wife have four children and fourteen grandchildren. Their home is Deer Flat Ranch, Salmon Creek, Big Sur, California.