Bernal, John Desmond

▪ British physicist
born May 10, 1901, Nenagh, County Tipperary, Ire.
died Sept. 15, 1971, London, Eng.

      physicist known for his studies of the atomic structure of solid compounds, during which he made major contributions to X-ray crystallography.

      Following graduation from the University of Cambridge (1922), Bernal did research under William Bragg (Bragg, Sir William) at the Davy-Faraday Laboratory in London before moving back to Cambridge in 1927. At Cambridge, Bernal initiated a research program of X-ray investigations into the structure of complex biological molecules that resulted in Nobel-level discoveries by his students and coworkers Rosalind Franklin (Franklin, Rosalind), Dorothy Hodgkin (Hodgkin, Dorothy Crowfoot), Aaron Klug (Klug, Aaron), and Max Perutz (Perutz, Max Ferdinand). Bernal spent the remainder of his career as a professor at Birkbeck College, University of London (1938–68).

      During World War II, Bernal contributed to the design of the mulberry, an artificial harbour used during the Normandy Invasion to land supplies and personnel along the coast of Normandy, France.

      Bernal was a member of the Communist Party of Great Britain during the 1920s and '30s and a lifelong political activist and public spokesman for science. He was enormously influential in campaigning for social responsibility among scientists, increased government support for basic scientific research, and disarmament in the international peace movement. Among his most influential works are The Social Function of Science (1939) and Science in History (1965). His son, Martin Bernal, is famous in Afrocentrism circles for his controversial book Black Athena: The Afroasiatic Roots of Classical Civilization, 2 vol. (1987–91).

Alexei Kojevnikov
 

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • BERNAL, JOHN DESMOND — (1901–1971), physicist. Bernal was born in Nenagh, County Tipperary, now in the Irish Republic, and graduated in science from Cambridge University (1923). After research at the Royal Institution, London (1923–27), he returned to Cambridge as a… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Bernal , John Desmond — (1901–1971) British crystallographer Bernal s family were farmers in Nenagh, now in the Republic of Ireland; his mother was an American journalist. He was educated at Cambridge University, where his first work on crystallography was done as an… …   Scientists

  • John Desmond Bernal — (1901 1971) fue un científico irlandés, nacido en Nenagh, en el Condado de Tipperary, destacado por su labor pionera en el ámbito de la cristalografía de rayos X. Contenido 1 Labor académica 2 Actividades políticas 3 …   Wikipedia Español

  • John Desmond Bernal — Infobox Scientist name = John Desmond Bernal box width = image width =150px caption = John Desmond Bernal birth date = 10 May 1901 birth place = Nenagh, County Tipperary death date = 15 September 1971 death place = London, buried Battersea… …   Wikipedia

  • John Desmond Bernal — (* 10. Mai 1901 in Nenagh, Irland; † 15. September 1971 in London), war ein britischer Physiker, der insbesondere auf dem Gebiet der Kristallographie arbeitete. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leben und Wirken 2 Literatur …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John Desmond Bernal — John Desmond Bernal, né le 10 mai 1901 à Nenagh (Irlande) et décédé le 15 septembre 1971, est un scientifique britannique. Sommaire 1 Biographie 1.1 Le scientifique 1.2 Le militant politique 2 …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Bernal — John Desmond …   Scientists

  • John Bernal — John Desmond Bernal. John Desmond Bernal (* 10. Mai 1901 in Nenagh, Irland; † 15. September 1971 in London), war ein britischer Physiker, der insbesondere auf dem Gebiet der Kristallographie arbeitete …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John D. Bernal — John Desmond Bernal. John Desmond Bernal (* 10. Mai 1901 in Nenagh, Irland; † 15. September 1971 in London), war ein britischer Physiker, der insbesondere auf dem Gebiet der Kristallographie arbeitete …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • John D. Bernal — John Desmond Bernal John Desmond Bernal John Desmond Bernal, né le 10 mai 1901 à Nenagh (Irlande) et décédé le 15 septembre 1971, est un scientifique britannique. Sommaire 1 …   Wikipédia en Français

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