George Ellery Hale: The Thirteenth Bruce Medalist

George Ellery Hale was born just nine years after two major scientific events: the publication of Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, and the discovery by Gustav Kirchhoff and Robert Bunsen that sunlight, dispersed by a prism or grating, could reveal the chemical composition of the Sun. Hale was raised in an era of optimism influenced by Darwin's great discovery: evolution was destiny, and it would lead to a better, wiser world. It was also an age of altruism. Those who became rich building railroads, steel mills, skyscrapers, and oil companies sought ways to use their wealth for further progress. No one would do more than George Hale to channel this new wealth into scientific research.