Richard Smalley, the discoverer of fullerenes


Richard Smalley (06 June 1943–28 October 2005) was born in Akron, Ohio. He shared the 1996 Nobel Prize in Chemistry with Robert F. Curl Jr., Sir Harold W. Kroto “for their discovery of fullerenes.”

Though a skeptic of religion early in life, it is recorded that he had a drastic conversation to Christianity while undergoing chemotherapy for chronic lymphocytic leukemia.

This is an excerpt from a prepared talk by Prof. Smalley for the Hope College Alumni reunion, October 29, 2005.

“Recently I have gone back to church regularly with a new focus to understand as best I can what it is that makes Christianity so vital and powerful in the lives of billions of people today, even though almost 2000 years have passed since the death and resurrection of Christ. Although I suspect I will never fully understand, I now think the answer is very simple: it’s true. God did create the universe about 13.7 billion years ago, and of necessity has involved Himself with His creation ever since. The purpose of this universe is something that only God knows for sure, but it is increasingly clear to modern science that the universe was exquisitely fine-tuned to enable human life. We are somehow critically involved in His purpose. Our job is to sense that purpose as best we can, love one another, and help Him get that job done.”

Richard Smalley

Source: Smalley, Richard. “Remarks by Richard Smalley at 2005 Alumni Banquet.” Hope College. Holland, Michigan. 29 Oct 2005. Web 6 Jun 2016.

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