Gallery of Nobel prize winners

Over the years, a number of students and academics whose work was supported by the Carnegie Trust received a Nobel prize in their respective fields.

James Whyte Black (Medicine, 1988)

thumb black postcard©Nobel Media ABSir James Whyte Black OM FRS FRSE FRCP (14 June 1924 - 22 March 2010) was a Scottish Pharmacologist. Black developed propranolol, a beta blocker used in the treatment of heart disease and cimetidine, an H2 receptor antagonist used to treat stomach ulcers. This work earned him the Nobel prize for Medicine in 1988.

BLACK JAMES WBorn in Lanarkshire, Black was brought up in Fife, not far from Dunfermline. At the age of 15, he earned a scholarship to the University of St Andrews. At the time, all clinical studies for the University of St Andrews took place at University College, Dundee (now the University of Dundee). The final years of the MB ChB were taken in St Andrews. It was Black's final year of study that was funded by the Carnegie Trust. After his graduation, James Black remained in Dundee as an Assistant Lecturer before taking up a teaching job in Singapore for three years. He returned to Scotland to establish the Physiology Department at the University of Glasgow, before joining ICI Pharmaceuticals in 1958. A number of positions in academia followed from 1973 to 1992. His scientific and clinical knowledge in cardiology and the development of propranolol are considered to have enabled major breakthroughs in the understanding and treatment of heart disease. 

Max Born (Physics, 1954)

thumb born postcard©Nobel Media ABMax Born (11 December 1882 - 5 January 1970) was a German physicist and mathematican who was Tait Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Edinburgh (1936-1952). BORN MAXBorn won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1954 for his "fundamental research in quantum mechanics, especially for his statistical interpretation of the wavefunction" (Source:

Following Hitler's rise to power, Born, who was Jewish, was suspended from the University of Gottingen. Unable to work in Germany, he migrated to Britain and took up a post at the University of Cambridge. In 1936, he joined the University of Edinburgh where he continued his work on physics until his retirement in 1952. During his tenure in Edinburgh, Born received 5 research grants from the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland, as shown on the card reproduced here.

Walter Norman Haworth (Chemistry, 1937)

thumb haworth postcard©Nobel Media ABSir (Walter) Norman Haworth FRS (19 March 1883 - 19 March 1950) was a British Chemist whose work on ascorbic acid earned him the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1937 "for his investigations on carbohydrates and vitamin C" (Source: Educated at the University of Birmingham, he went to to study at the University of Gottingen where he was awarded his PhD. He returned to England in 1912, before becoming a lecturer at the University of St Andrews. HAWORTH WALTER NAt the time, two other chemists at St Andrews were investigating carbohydrate chemistry and he began working on a new method for preparing the methyl ethers of sugars using methyl sulfate and alkali. This method is now named Haworth methylation. During World War I, the labs at St Andrews were used to produce chemicals for the British Government. Haworth's work at St Andrew's was funded by three Carnegie Research grants.

Hawort left St Andrews in 1920 to first join Durham University and then the University of Bimingham in 1925. There, he continued his research into the stucture of sugars such as lactose and maltose. He was knighted in 1947.

John Boyd Orr (Peace, 1949)

thumb orr postcard©Nobel Media ABLord John Boyd Orr ( 23 September 1880 - 25 June 1971) was from Ayrshire and studied Biology and Medicine at the University of Glasgow before becoming a leading expert on nutrition. While an undergraduate in Glasgow, his tuition fees for the University of Glasgow were paid for by the Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland. ORR JOHN BOYDIt was during that time that he was first confronted with the effects of poverty on health in the slums of Glasgow. After his graduation, Orr worked as a ship's surgeon before taking up a Carnegie PhD Scholarship in Physiology.

In the 1920s, Orr succesfully raised funds to establish the first research institute in human nutrition, the Rowett Research Institute at the University of Aberdeen. During the Second World War, he proposed the idea of a world food plan to President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He later became the Director General of the Food and Agriculture Organization, the first specialised body established by the United Nations. His humanitarian work and commitment to international organisations in the fight against malnutrition and hunger earned him the Nobel Peace Prize in 1949 (Source: He was elevated to the peerage in 1949 as Baron Boyd-Orr, of Brechin Mearn in the County of Angus.

Frederick Soddy (Chemistry, 1921)

SODDY FREDERICKthumb soddy postcard©Nobel Media ABFrederick Soddy FRS (2 September 1877 - 22 September 1956) was a radiochemist who, with Ernest Rutherford, explained radioactivity and proved the existence of isotopes of certain radioactive elements. Soddy received the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1921 for his "contritution to our knowledge of the chemistry of radioactive substances, and his investigations into the origin and nature of isotopes" (Source:

Born in England, Soddy studied at the University of Oxford where he also worked as a researcher until 1900. Following a few years in Canada, he joined the University of Glasgow as a lecturer in Practical Chemistry and Radioactivity in 1904. It was in Glasgow that Soddy realised that atoms of a given element could exist with different atomic weights and he introduced the word ‘isotopes’ to describe these. From 1914 to 1919, he was Chair of Chemistry at the University of Aberdeen before returning to Oxford in 1919. During the First World War, he applied his expertise to a number of war-related projects. His research on radioactive elements at Glasgow and Aberdeen was funded by a number of Carnegie Research Grants. 

Alexander R. Todd (Chemistry, 1957)

thumb todd postcard©Nobel Media ABAlexander Robertus Todd (2 October 1907 - 10 January 1997) was a Scottish biochemist who researched the structure and synthesis of nucleosides and nucleotide coenzymes. He was awarded the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1957 for his "work on nucleotides and nucleotide co-enzymes" (Source: Born in Glasgow, he studied at the University of Glasgow in 1928 and then moved to Germany to undertake a PhD on the chemistry of bile acids at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. TODD ALEXANDER RThe foundations of Todd's academic career were supported by a Carnegie Trust PhD Scholarship. At the time, the scholarships enabled Scottish students to pursue doctoral studies at universities in the United Kingdom and the rest of Europe.

Following his return to Britain, Todd completed another doctorate at Oriel College, Oxford. During his academic career, Alexander Todd held posts with the Universities of Edinburgh, London, Manchester and Cambridge, before becoming Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde in 1975. While Professor of Chemistry at the University of Manchester, Todd began working on the nucleosides and compounds that would earn him the Nobel Prize. He was created a Life Peer as Baron Todd of Trumpington in 1962.

 J.Fraser Stoddart (Chemistry, 2016)

stoddart postcard
Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart (24 May 1942 - ) currently Professor of Chemistry Northwestern University, Illinois, USA was awarded the Nobel

Prize for Chemistry in 2016 "for the design and synthesis of molecular machines" (Source: Born in Edinburgh, he studied at the University of Edinburgh BSc, PhD (1964 &1966).

It was during his time at UCLA that Stoddart was awarded Carnegie Centenary Professor in 2005 at The University of Edinburgh. stoddart

He joined Northwestern University in 2008.

The photograph on the right shows Professor Sir J. Fraser Stoddart FRS (left) receiving a ‘nano-sculpture’ inspired by his molecular Borromean rings from Professor Grahame Bulfield (Then Vice-Principal of the College of Science and Engineering, University of Edinburgh).


NOTE: All photos of the Nobel laureates courtesy of Nobel Media AB.


Carnegie's vision of philanthropy

"The day is not far distant when the man who dies leaving behind him millions of available wealth, which was his to administer during life, will pass away un-wept, un-honored and un-sung . . . Of such as these the public verdict will then be: 'The man who dies thus rich dies disgraced.'"

Andrew Carnegie, The Gospel of Wealth (1889). You can listen to a 1914 recording of Andrew Carnegie reading from his essay on responsible giving. This is the only known recording of the industrialist and philanthropist's voice.

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