Photo courtesy of Carl Djerassi official website
As the developer of the steroid oral contraceptive, Carl Djerassi is known as the father of the birth control pill. He was born in 1923 in Vienna, Austria, but fled the country with his mother in 1938 when the Nazis occupied Austria, eventually settling in the U.S. and earning his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. He was awarded the National Medal of Technology, for promoting new approaches to insect control, as well as the National Medal of Science. In recognition of his scientific achievements, the Austrian postal service issued a postage stamp bearing his image in 2005. Beginning in 1989, DJerassi turned from science to writing fiction with his novel Cantor’s Dilemma, portraying in his fiction the culture of contemporary scientists. He also turned to writing plays, many of which have been performed in theaters around the world.