Even before his Nobel prizes, association with the international peace movement and
revolutionary protein work, Linus Pauling was unequivocally one of the most brilliant
scientists on the globe. And when his country entered into the largest conflict in
world history, he threw himself and his scientific expertise behind the cause. Pauling
participated in dozens of research programs from 1940-1945 in order to give his countrymen
and allies an advantage on the battlefield. From invisible ink to oxygen meters,
he and his fellow researchers applied the latest technology and scientific advancements
to military problems in the struggle for victory.
While Pauling suffered a great number of setbacks and often found his hard-earned
discoveries tinged with disappointment, he played an important role in one of the
grandest scientific moments in human memory, working with his colleagues to collectively
change the course of history. This website examines the intellectuality of the Greatest
Generation at its seminal moment through Pauling's experiences with violence, patriotism,
and discovery; experiences that ultimately shaped the political and scientific world
we live in today.
Click images to enlarge
Pauling's NDRC authorization papers permitting work on explosives in warfare. May 1, 1944.
"Defense Projects On Which Professor Linus Pauling Served As Official Investigator
Or Responsible Investigator." approx. 1946.
"Decisions can be made now that will determine the quality of life for human beings
for hundreds of years. Now is the time for all nations and all people to cooperate
in building a world free of war and militarism, a world based on rationality and ethics."