1929 presentaton Harden

1929 presentaton Harden - The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1929...

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The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1929 Presentation Speech Presentation Speech by Professor H.G. Söderbaum, Chairman of the Nobel Committee for Chemistry of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences , on December 10, 1929 Your Majesty, Your Royal Highnesses, Ladies and Gentlemen. The fermentation of liquids containing sugar - there we have a chemical reaction older than all chemical science. The point of time when men first began to take this reaction into their service is really lost in the mists of antiquity, before the beginning of history. The peculiar and apparently self-caused process by which an innocent fruit juice is transformed with the active formation of scum, into a drink which is either stimulating or intoxicating according to the quantity partaken, attracted attention in the very earliest times; and to many peoples it appeared so wonderful that nothing less than the cooperation of a divinity seemed to them possible as an explanation. Our enlightened time has scarcely the right to marvel at this, when we take into consideration how long a time science has since required to obtain an acceptable conception of the nature of fermentation. Here we stand face to face with one of the most complicated and difficult problems of chemical research. Little more than a couple of centuries separate us from the time when men first began to perceive that the fermenting substance was sugar, which under the influence of a certain something was decomposed, with carbonic acid and ethyl alcohol as the final products of the decomposition. But what this "something" was, and how it worked, still remained unsolved questions, long defying the most penetrating attempts at interpretation. It was not until our own days that it has been vouchsafed to us to have a fairly satisfactory answer to these questions, but even here the process of development has been slow, toilsome, and it took place, so to speak, in several instalments. In carrying out the provisions of Alfred Nobel's Will, the Swedish Academy of Sciences has already once before had its attention directed to this sphere of research. That was in 1907, when Eduard Buchner was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of non-cellular fermentation. At the time complaints were raised in certain quarters against this award as being insufficiently justified. Seen in the perspective of
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This note was uploaded on 03/24/2009 for the course BIOLOGY 020.111 taught by Professor Brand during the Spring '09 term at Johns Hopkins.

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1929 presentaton Harden - The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1929...

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