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|"Linus Pauling, Crusading Scientist." 1977.
Produced for NOVA by Robert Richter/WGBH-Boston.
Pauling's Lecture Style. (1:46)
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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.
ClipCreator: David Shoemaker
Associated: Linus Pauling
Clip ID: 1977v.66-lectures
Full WorkCreator: Robert Richter, WGBH-Boston
Associated: Linus Pauling, Ava Helen Pauling, David Shoemaker, E. Bright Wilson, Jr., Frank Catchpool
Copyright: More Information