Melvin Calvin spent more than a decade answering one longstanding question in biochemistry: how did plants use carbon dioxide to manufacture carbohydrates in photosynthesis? This research earned Calvin a Nobel Prize-an honor that catapulted him to international fame, secured him spots on presidential advisory committees, and got him plenty of textbook mentions. But even though Calvin’s claim to fame was his work on photosynthesis, his longest-running passion project was investigating the origins of life in the universe. Astrobiology efforts peppered his career, from theorizing about chemical evolution to inspecting meteorites and moon rocks to joining the Order of the Dolphin at the first Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) conference in 1961.
Melvin Calvin: Nobel-Winning Chemist and SETI Scientist Wannabe
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