"[T]he chemist Linus Pauling (1901-94) was, more than any other person, responsible for the Limited Test Ban Treaty of 1963, which halted above-ground explosions of nuclear weapons by the United States, the Soviet Union and the United Kingdom. He mounted a blistering campaign of moral outrage and scientific data, made more credible by the fact that he was a Nobel laureate. In the American press, he was generally vilified for his troubles, and in the 1950s the State Department cancelled his passport because he had been insufficiently anti-communist. His Nobel Prize was awarded for the application of quantum mechanical insights - resonances, and what is called hybridization of orbitals - to explain the nature of the chemical bond that joins atoms together into molecules. These ideas are now the bread and butter of modern chemistry. But in the Soviet Union, Pauling's work on structural chemistry was denounced as incompatible with dialectical materialism and declared off-limits to Soviet chemists. Undaunted by this criticism East and West - indeed, not even slowed down - he went on to do monumental work on how anaesthetics work, identified the cause of sickle cell anaemia (a single nucleotide substitution in DNA), and showed how the evolutionary history of life might be read by comparing the DNAs of various organisms. He was hot on the trail of the structure of DNA; Watson and Crick were consciously rushing to get there before Pauling. The verdict on his assessment of Vitamin C is apparently still out. 'That man is a real genius' was Albert Einstein's assessment. In all this time he continued to work for peace and amity. When Ann and I once asked Pauling about the roots of his dedication to social issues, he gave a memorable reply: 'I did it to be worthy of the respect of my wife,' Helen Ava Pauling. He won a second Nobel Prize, this one in peace, for his work on the nuclear test ban, becoming the only person in history to win two unshared Nobel Prizes."
The demon-haunted world: science as a candle in the dark (Carl Sagan)