Archive for June, 2009

29
Jun
09

Herminiano T. Ocampo (Doctor with a ‘vision’)

Born in Malolos, Bulacan, Dr. Geminiano T. de Ocampo earned respect by achieving the highest award in his chosen field.  He was conferred the National Scientist Award in 1982.  Dr. De Ocampo held numerous yet important position during his time.  He set up the first eye hospital in the Philippines.  He also helped establish the Philippine Eye Research Institute and the Philippine Opthalmological Society.

A graduate of the University of the Philippines in 1932, he was the first Filipino to design, in 1956 an opthalmological instrument known as the De Ocampo Corneal Dissector, manufactured later by a US firm.  As a surgeon, he introduced corneal transplantation in the Philippines.  As a civic leader, he worked for the passage and amendment of Republic Act No. 343 concerning donation of eyeballs for corneal transplantation. – Rea Hebro

28
Jun
09

Alfredo C. Santos (Chemist and Pharmacist)

Alfredo C. Santos

Alfredo C. Santos

Dr. Alfredo C. Santos devoted his career in the study of chemistry of natural products and the search for medicinal properties of local species.  A native of Sto. Tomas, Pampanga, Dr. Santos earned his degrees in bachelor, masters and doctorate from the University of the Philippines, 1921, University of Santo Tomas, 1925 and Univesitat Munster, Germany in 1929 majoring in Pharmaceutical Chemistry.  He was conferred the National Scientist Award in 1978.

A professor of industrial pharmacy by vocation, he conducted significant researches on the isolation and structure elucidation of phaeanthine and phaeantharine which are alkaloids from indigenous medicinal plants.

Reference:

● Success stories Filipino inventors –five short profile nast.  The first decade National Academy of Science and Technology. DOST (http://www.dost.gov.ph)

● Great and Famous Filipino by Jenny King

Photo courtesy:  upm

19
Jun
09

Henry Adams (4 of 4)

Neither history no education provided an answer for Henry Adams.  Individuals, he believed, could not face reality; to endure, one adopts illusions.  His attempt to draw lines of continuity from the 13th to the 2oth centuries ended in futility.  “All he could prove,” Adams concluded, “was change.”

In 1908 Adams edited the letters and diary of his friend John Hay, secretary of state from 1898 to 1905.  His last book, The Life of George Cabot Lodge, was published in 1911.  In two speculative essays, “Rule of Phase Applied to History” (1909) and Letter to American Teachers of History (1910), Adams calculated the demise of the world.  Basing his theory on a scientific law, the dissipation of energy, he described civilization as having retrogressed through four stages:  the religious, mechanical, electrical, and ethereal.  The cataclysm, he prophesied, would, occur in 1921.  How literally Adams intended his prediction remains a point of dispute.

In 1912, at the age of 74, Adams suffered a stroke.  His haunting fear of senility became real for a short time.  For three months he lay partially paralyzed, his mind hovering between reason and delirium.  He recovered sufficiently, however, to travel to Europe once again.  On March 27, 1918, Adams died in his sleep in his Washington home and, according to his wish, was buried next to his wife in an unmarked grave.  In 1919 he was post humously awarded a Pulitzer Prize for the Education.

Adams is noted for an ironic literary style coupled with a detached, often bitter, tone.  These characteristics have led some critics to view him as an irascible misfit.  They contend that his fascination with the Middle Ages and his continuous emphasis upon failure were masks behind which he hid a misanthropic alienation from the world.  More sympathetic commentators see Adams as romantic figure who sought meaning in the chaos and violence of the 20the century.  As Adams described it, he was in pursuit of ” . . . a world that sensitive and timid natures could regard without a shudder.”  – (C.McH.)

18
Jun
09

Henry Adams (3 of 4)

Adams was stunned when, in 1885, is wife of 13 years, Marian Hooper, committed suicide.  Distraught, he arranged for the sculpture of a mysterious, cloaked woman to be placed upon her grave.  The union had produced no children, and Adams never remarried.  After his wife’s death, Adams began a period of restless wandering.  He travelled the glove from the South Sea Island to the Middle East.  Gradually the circuit narrowed to winters in Washington and summers in Paris.

Though Adams referred to his existence during this period as that of a “cave-dweller,” his life was quite the opposite.  From the 1870s until his last years, intellectuals gravitated to his home to discuss art, science, politics and literature.  Among them were the British diplomat Sir Cecil Arthur Spring-Rice, the architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge.  His closest friends were the geologist Clarence King and the painter John La Farge.   Adams, King and La Farge were inseparable.  Their letters remain a rich source of information on everything from gossip to the most current trends of thought.

While in France, Adams pushed further into the recesses of history in search of “a fixed point . . . from which he might measure motion down to his own time.”  That point became medieval Christendom in the 13th century.  In Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres (printed privately, 1904; published, 1913)  he described the medieval world view as reflected in its cathedrals.  These buildings, he believed, expressed “an emotion, the deepest man ever felt—the struggle of his own littleness to grasp the infinite.”  Adams’ attraction to the Middle Ages lay in the era’s ideological unity;  a coherence expressed in Catholicism and symbolized by the Virgin Mary.

The Education of Henry Adams (printed privately, 1907) was companion volume to Chartres.  The Education remains Adams’ best known work and one of the most distinguished of all autobiographies.  In contrast to Chartres, the Education centered upon the 29th-century universe of multiplicity, particularly the exploding world of science and technology.  In opposition to the medieval Virgin, Adams saw a new godhead—the dynamo—symbol of modern history’s anarchic energies.  The Education recorded his failure to understand the centrifugal forces of contemporary life.  The book traced Adams’ confrontations with reality as he moved from the custom-bound world of his birth into the modern, existential universe in which certainties had vanished.  The Education was published posthumously in 1918. – (C.McH.)

17
Jun
09

Henry Adams (2 of 4)

These articles were published in Chapters of Erie and Other Essays *1871).  The mediocrity of the nation’s “statement” constantly irritated him.  Adams liked to repeat Pres. Ulysses S. Grant’s remark that Venice would be a fine city if it were drained.

Adams continued his reformist activities as editor of the North American Review (1870-76).  Moreover, he participated in the Liberal Republican movement.  This group of insurgents, repelled by partisanship and the scandals of the Grant administration, bolted the Republican Party in 1872 and nominated the Democrat Horace Greeley for president.  Their crusade soon foundered.  Adams grew disillusioned with a world he  characterized as devoid of principle.  He was disgusted with demagogic politicians and a society in which all became “servant(s) of the powerhouse.” 

Americans, he wrote, “had no time for thought; they saw, and could see, nothing beyond their day’s work; their attitude to the universe outside them was that of the deep-sea fish.”  His anonymously published novel Democracy, an American Novel (1880) reflected his loss of faith.  The heroine, Madeleine is introduced to the democratic process.  She meets the President and other figures who are equally vacuous.  After her contact with the power brokers, Madeleine concluded:  “Democracy has shaken my nerves to pieces.”

In 1880 Charles W. Eliot, president of Harvard College appointed Adams professor of medieval history.  He was the first American to employ the seminar method in teaching history.  In 1877 he resigned to edit the papers of Thomas Jefferson’s treasury secretary,  Albert Gallatin.  Pursuing his interest in U.S. history, Adams completed two biographies, The Life of Albert .Gallatin (1879) and John Randolph (1882).  He continued to delve into the nation’s early national period, hoping to understand the nature of an evolving American democracy. 

This study culminated in his nine-volume History of the United States of America during the administrations of Jefferson and Madison (1889-91), a scholarly work that received immediate acclaim.  In this work he explored the dilemma of governing an egalitarian society in a political world in which the predominant tendency was to aggrandize power.  In 1884 Adams wrote another novel, Esther.  Published under a pseudonym, Esther dealt with the relationship between religion and modern science, a theme that engaged Adams throughout his life. – (C.McH.)

16
Jun
09

Henry Adams (1 of 4)

HAAn American historian, novelist, and man of letters, Henry Adams is the author of one of the outstanding autobiographies in Western literature and a towering figure in 19th-century American intellectual history.  Belonging to a patrician family of statesmen and scholars, he felt out of place amid the modern egalitarian and technological forces that were transforming Western society at the end of the 19th century.

Henry Brooks Adams, born in Boston on February 16, 1838, was the product of that city’s Brahmin class, a cultured elite that traced its lineage to Puritan New England.  He was the great-grandson of John Adams and the grandson of John Quincy Adams.  The Adams family tradition of leadership was carried on by his father, Charles Francis Adams (1807-86), a diplomat, historian, and congressman. 

His younger brother, Brooks (1848-1927), was also a historian; his older brother, Charles Francis, Jr. (1835-1915), was an author and railroad executive.  Through his mother, Abigail Brown Brook, Adams was related to one of the most distinguished and wealthiest families in Boston.  Tradition ingrained a deep sense of morality in Adams.  He never escaped his heritage and often spoke of himself as a child of the 17th and 18th centuries who was forced to come to terms with the new world of the 20th century.

Adams was graduated from Harvard in 1858 and in typical patrician fashion, embarked upon a grand tour of Europe in search of amusement and vocation.  Anticipating a career as an attorney, he spent the winter of 1859 attending lectures in civil law at the University of Berlin.  With the outbreak of the U.S. Civil War in 1861, Pres. Abraham Lincoln appointed Adam’s father minister to England.  Henry, age 23, accompanied him to London, acting as his private secretary until 1868.

Returning to the United States, Adams travelled to Washington, D.C., as a newspaper correspondent for The Nation and other leading journals.  He plunged into the capital’s social and political life, anxious to begin the reconstruction of a nation shattered by war.  He called for civil service reform and retention of the gold standard.  Adams wrote numerous essays exposing political corruption and warning against the growing power of economic monopolies, particularly railroads.  – (C.McH.)

12
Jun
09

Francisco O. Santos

Born in Calizon, Bulacan, Dr. Santos earned this AB and MS degrees at the University of the Philippines in 1912 and 1919, respectively.  Later in 1922, he earned his doctorate degree in Biochemistry from Yale University, USA. 

He was conferred the National Scientist Award in 1983 by being an outstanding educator and eminent scientist in the field of human nutrition and agricultural chemistry.  He is well remembered for his deep concern and interest in the improvement of nutrition of the Filipinos, especially in laboring and deprived areas. 

Dr. Santos established the anti-beriberi content of sweet potato and demonstrated the food value of this crop.  He was among the very first to advocate home gardening, with fruits and vegetables as good source of supplementary vitamins. – Bato Balani




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