Linus Pauling and The Nature of the Chemical Bond: A Documentary History Narrative  
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In 1937, following the death of Arthur Amos Noyes, Linus Pauling was named chairman of the Division of Chemistry at Caltech. He was just 36 years old. But he was, by then, one of the most dynamic and productive scientists in the world. He had been made a full professor by Caltech some years before, had become the youngest person ever elected to the National Academy of Science, oversaw more graduate students and postdoctoral fellows than any other Caltech chemistry faculty member, and had won generous research grants for his work. A steady flow of important papers streamed from his laboratory.

He traveled often now, teaching one term each academic year at Berkeley, where he now had become a good friend of G. N. Lewis; teaching a term at MIT, and giving lectures at a variety of schools and programs across the nation.

When he was asked by Cornell University to give a series of lectures, it seemed like just another opportunity to spread the word about his brand of chemistry. But the annual George Fisher Baker lectures at Cornell were something more prestigious than the norm. For one thing, each Baker lecture series was edited into a slim book published by Cornell University Press.

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Audio Clip  Audio: The Golden Age of Chemistry. 1997. (1:27) Transcript and More Information

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See Also: Letter from Richard C. Tolman to the Executive Council, California Institute of Technology. June 26, 1936. 

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Notes on a discussion with W. E. Tisdale. 1930s.


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Letter from Linus Pauling to Jacob Papish. December 17, 1936.

[Pauling] has a speculative mind of the first order, great analytical ability, and the genius to keep in close and inspiring touch with experimental work.... He...is nearly universally rated as the leading theoretical chemist of the world.

Warren Weaver
October 1933
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