The 2004 Class of Inductees

Updated May 8, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

Frederick Banting, 1891–1941, Charles Best, 1899–1978, James Collip, 1892–1965, Purified Insulin. Canadian scientists Banting, Best, and Collip determined that insulin injections would help keep diabetics alive and developed techniques for extracting, isolating, and injecting it. Although not a cure, insulin remains the most effective means for treating the disease.

Vannevar Bush, 1890–1974, Differential Analyzer. During WWII, Bush headed the Office of Scientific Research and Development, overseeing the work of 6,000 scientists developing over 200 military weapons and instruments. His most significant invention was the differential analyzer, an analog computer that solved differential equations with as many as 18 independent variables.

Harry Coover, 1919–, Superglue. Coover's invention of a new class of adhesives has influenced medicine, industry, and consumers. At Eastman Chemical, Coover discovered cyanoacrylate adhesives (CA), soon known as superglue. Early use of CA during the Vietnam War allowed for the quick closure of wounds.

Wallace Coulter, 1913–1998, Coulter Principle. A common diagnostic medical tool, the complete blood count would not be possible without Coulter's invention of the Coulter Counter. Coulter received numerous honors and was awarded 74 patents for his work in hematology.

Ray Dolby, 1933–, Dolby Noise Reduction. During the 1960s, Dolby discovered a way to dramatically reduce the “hiss” from analog tape sound recording and reproduction, revolutionizing the audio industry. As a result, the cassette became the most popular form of recorded music in the 1970s, and cinema audiences were able to enjoy surround sound from almost all movies.

Edith Flanigen, 1929–, Molecular Sieves. A pioneer in silicate and molecular sieve chemistry, Flanigen invented or co-invented over 200 synthetic materials. Her work with zeolite Y made oil refining more efficient, cleaner, and safer, and she also invented an emerald synthesizing process.

Robert Gallo, 1937–, Luc Montagnier, 1932–, HIV Isolation and Identification. Robert Gallo and Luc Montagnier both discovered HIV, determining that the virus was the cause of AIDS, and making it more possible to control the disease. Formerly a cancer researcher at the National Cancer Institute, Gallo now heads the Institute of Human Virology in Baltimore. Montagnier is the former director of the Centre National de la Recherché Scientifique (CNRS), and he is the co-founder of the World Foundation for AIDS Research and Prevention.

Ivan Getting, 1912–2003, Bradford Parkinson, 1935–, Global Positioning System—GPS. During the 1950s, Getting advanced the concept of using a system of satellites to allow the calculation of precise positioning data for rapidly moving vehicles. Parkinson created and ran the NAVSTAR GPS Joint Program Office from 1972–78. GPS is now routinely used for air traffic control systems, ships, trucks and cars, mechanized farming, search and rescue, tracking environmental changes, and more.

John Gibbon, 1903–1973, Heart-Lung Machine. Gibbon's development of the heart-lung machine made possible the first successful open-heart operation in 1953. Improved versions allow surgeons today to perform bypass surgery and heart transplants. A renowned surgeon and teacher, Gibbon authored the textbook Surgery of the Chest.

Lloyd Hall, 1894–1971, Food Preservatives. Hall made great strides in keeping food fresh and making it more flavorful. He created food preservatives, meat-curing products, seasonings, emulsions, bakery products, antioxidants, protein hydrolysates, and numerous other products. He also discovered and developed novel techniques for sterilizing spices, cereals, and other foods and pharmaceuticals.

Elias Howe, 1819–1867, Sewing Machine. Howe invented the first practical sewing machine after watching his wife sew. His machine's locked-stitch technique is still used today.

Charles D. Kelman, 1930–, Cataract Surgery. In 1963, Kelman designed the ultrasonic phacoemulsifier, which liquefies cataracts so they can be removed by suction. The pioneering procedure reduced the risk of complications and transformed a 10-day hospital stay to an outpatient procedure.

Bernard Oliver, 1916–1995, Claude Shannon, 1916–2001, Pulse Code Modulation. Oliver and Shannon developed the first high-speed digital transmission system based on coded electronic pulses, making digital telephone systems and compact discs possible. Oliver had a respected career at Bell Laboratories and also at Hewlett-Packard, where he was pivotal in developing the first hand-held calculator. Shannon, who also had a long and prolific Bell Labs career, is considered the father of information theory, which is considered the foundation of today's computer technology.

Norbert Rillieux, 1806–1894, Automated Sugar Refining. Rillieux automated modern sugar production and made it dramatically more efficient, while producing a much higher quality of sugar. It transformed the lives of slaves who were previously forced to endure the dangerous and backbreaking task of boiling sugar cane in open cauldrons. His process elevated the U.S. from a minor role in the sugar industry to a major producer.

John Roebling, 1806–1869, Suspension Bridge. The age of the suspension bridge was ushered in by engineer and inventor Roebling. Roebling saw the potential of steel wire as a bridge building component and invented machinery to twist the wire into cables. He oversaw the construction of many bridges but died before his most famous bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, was completed in 1883.

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