November - 20 years ago; 35 years ago; 60 years ago; 90 years ago; 105 years ago; 140 years ago

20 years ago 

C60or buckminsterfullerene was discovered. During 11 days of collaborative research between the US and UK, Robert Curl, Richard Smalley and Harold Kroto opened the new branch of chemistry. They shared the 1996 Nobel prize for chemistry. 

35 years ago 

Linus Pauling proposed that regularly taking more than the official recommended daily allowance of vitamin C could help fight off the common cold. Despite strong opposition from the medical profession, his book Vitamin C and the common cold  quickly became a best-seller. 

85 years ago 

Harold Johnston born in the US. He is recognised for his work on atmospheric chemistry, especially the contribution of aircraft nitrogen oxide emissions to ozone layer depletion. 

90 years ago 

Henry Taube born in Canada. He investigated the properties of dissolved inorganic substances, particularly the redox reactions of metallic ions. He won the 1983 Nobel prize for chemistry. 

105 years ago 

Botanist Albert Friedrich Frey-Wyssling was born in Switzerland. He was involved in amalgamating biochemistry and biophysics to create the discipline now known as molecular biology.  

140 years ago 

William Merriam Burton was born in Ohio, US. He pioneered the first thermal cracking process to produce gasoline from crude oil, boosting fuel reserves for the motor industry. The Burton process was superseded in 1937 by catalytic cracking.