SciTech Tuesday: Norman Borlaug, WWII Innovator and Nobel Laureate
Today marks the 100th birthday of Norman Borlaug, American biologist and Nobel Laureate. He is best known for developing disease-resistant high-yield wheat, a contribution which earned him the 1970 Nobel Peace Prize. Dr. Borlaug is credited with changing agricultural practices to increase crop production, collectively known as the Green Revolution. In his Nobel biography, he was described as “an eclectic, pragmatic, goal-oriented scientist.”
After receiving a Ph.D. in plant pathology and genetics from the University of Minnesota in 1942, Borlaug worked as a microbiologist for DuPont. His lab conducted wartime research on variety of projects including camouflage, disinfectants for canteens and insecticides to control malaria. One of his early DuPont projects was the development of a saltwater-resistant boxes needed to deliver packages to Marines stranded on Guadalcanal. In addition to the Nobel Prize, Dr. Borlaug was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the National Medal of Science. He died at the age of 95 on September 12, 2009.
Post by Annie Tête, STEM Education Coordinator