Linus Pauling and The Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History All Documents and Media  
Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day

All Documents and Media

"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist."
"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.
Produced for NOVA by Robert Richter/WGBH-Boston.

Pauling's Lecture Style. (1:46)

Download Audio File (Mp3) File to Your Computer


David Shoemaker: It seemed when Pauling was giving a lecture in one of his advanced courses -- I never went to any of his lectures in undergraduate courses but I went again and again to lectures on the nature of the chemical bond and x-ray crystal structure and quantum mechanics -- it seemed as if it required no preparation. You could be talking to him in his office until five minutes beforehand and the lecture was just as fine as if he had been presumably working on it ahead of time. And it always seemed, especially in the nature of the chemical bond and his discussions of how molecules are built and how they, how they perform, that it was an adventure in having him understand something new about it as the lecture was going on.

Interviewer: I don't understand what you mean.

David Shoemaker: Well, it seemed as if he were discovering something new by way of understanding the behavior of matter in the very course of talking to us about it. He was thinking about it, he was thinking to, to say something new about it. And the reason for thinking to say something new was that there was always room for improving our understanding and his understanding of what was important and what was going on in the molecular systems that he was talking about. It was very exciting. A friend of mine has told me that it was very disconcerting to see that other people could do what we couldn't do but I think that on the whole it was very inspiring. And I always thought, it was probably self-deception, I always thought, or felt that I was understanding some of this the same way that he was.


Creator: David Shoemaker
Associated: Linus Pauling
Clip ID: 1977v.66-lectures

Full Work

Creator: Robert Richter, WGBH-Boston
Associated: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, David Shoemaker, E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Frank Catchpool

Date: 1977
Genre: sound
ID: 1977v.66
Copyright: More Information

Previous Audio Clip 
   Celebrating the Nobel Chemistry Prize.

Home | Search | Narrative | Linus Pauling Day-By-Day