Karnataka Science and Technology Academy

Department of Science and Technology, Government of Karnataka

November 14: On This Day

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November 14: Birbal Sahni‘s Birthday

  • An Indian palaeobotanist who studied the fossils of the Indian subcontinent.
  • Born on November 14, 1891 in West Punjab.
  • He was also a geologist who took an interest in archaeology. His greatest contributions lie in the study of the plants of India in the present as well as the historical context.
  • He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London (FRS) in 1936, the highest British scientific honor, awarded for the first time to an Indian botanist.
  • He was a founder of The Paleobotanical Society which established the Institute of Palaeobotany on 10 September 1946. Now referred as Birbal Sahni Institute of Paleosciences

November 14: Leo Hendrik Baekeland’ Birthday

  • Invented Bakelite, the First Synthetic Plastic
  • He was finding a replacement for shellac, which at that time was made from the shells of Asian lac beetles.
  • Shellac is a resin secreted by the female lac bug on trees in the forests of India and Thailand
  • A polymeric plastic made from phenol and formaldehyde, Bakelite was one of the earliest synthetic materials to transform the material basis of modern life.
  • Colorful objects made of Bakelite—jewelry, telephone and radios parts, billiard balls, etc., brightened everyday life in the first half of the 20th century.

November 14: Frederick Grant Banting’s Birthday

  • Successfully extracted insulin
  • Awarded the Nobel Prize in 1923 “for the discovery of insulin” along with John James Rickard Macleod

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