CLASSICAL EXPERIMENT 2.pdf - Stanley L Miller 1930\u20132007 A Biographical Memoir by Jeffrey L Bada and Antonio Lazcano \u00a92012 National Academy of

CLASSICAL EXPERIMENT 2.pdf - Stanley L Miller 1930–2007 A...

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A Biographical Memoir by Jeffrey L. Bada and Antonio Lazcano ©2012 National Academy of Sciences. Any opinions expressed in this memoir are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Academy of Sciences. Stanley L. Miller 1930–2007
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2 S tanley’s mother had been a teacher and thus education was highly emphasized in the Miller family. From an early age Stanley was an eager learner and avid reader. He easily advanced through Oakland High School, where he was known as “a chem whiz.” He also had an interest in the natural world and became involved in the Boy Scouts, achieving the level of Eagle Scout. Stanley particularly liked Boy Scout summer camp because he Stanley l. Miller, who was considered to be the father of prebiotic chemistry—the synthetic organic chemistry that takes place under natural conditions in geocosmochem- ical environments—passed away on May 20, 2007, at age 77 after a lengthy illness. Stanley was known worldwide for his 1950s demonstration of the prebiotic synthesis of organic compounds, such as amino acids, under simu- lated primitive Earth conditions in the context of the origin of life. On May 15, 1953, while Miller was a graduate student of Harold C. Urey at the University of Chicago, he published a short paper in Science on the synthesis of amino acids under simulated early Earth conditions. This paper and the experiment it described had a tremendous impact and immediately transformed the study of the origin of life into a respectable field of inquiry. Stanley Lloyd Miller was born in March 7, 1930, in Oakland, California, the second child (the first was his brother, Donald) of Nathan and Edith Miller, descendants of Jewish immigrants from the eastern European countries of Belarus and Latvia. Both parents attended the University of California, Berkeley, where they met. Stanley’s father became a very successful attorney who was appointed a deputy district attorney in 1927 by Earl Warren, then the district attorney in Alameda County and who eventually became the 30th governor of California and the 14th chief justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. The Miller and Warren families were close friends, and as a young boy, Stanley played with the Warren children. S TA N L E Y L . M I L L E R March 7, 1930–May 20, 2007 Elected to the NAS, 1973 By Jeffrey L. Bada and Antonio Lazcano From negavtive in The Register of Stanley Miller Papers, the Mandeville Special Collection Library at the Geisel Library, University of California at San Diego; MSS 642, box 163, file 5.
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3 STANLEY MILLER could get away from people, enjoy the beauty of nature, and read undisturbed. After he returned to California in 1960 as a faculty member of the new University of California campus in San Diego, he often spent summers in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
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