Do you ever wonder what if the Doctor exists and walks among us? That ‘Torchwood’ is real and the television show ‘Doctor Who’ is just an elaborate cover up? If the answer to that is yes, ever wonder who he might be?
Well, in the grand tradition of me not wanting to discern between fact and fiction, let me tell you exactly who I think the Doctor is. Last month I told you who I thought the Third Doctor was in real life. Well, this month I’ve chosen someone just as worthy.The Fourth Doctor: Linus Pauling
It turns out that finding scientists with curly hair is incredibly hard (minus Steven Pinker), so I almost gave up hope until I remembered the late, great Linus Pauling. His hair may not be as curly, but he gets bonus points for having Tom Baker-esque eyes in the above picture.
For those of you who know who Linus Pauling is, it’s probably not very hard to figure out why I chose him to be the the Fourth Doctor. He’s not only one of the most influential chemists of all time, he was the forefather of quantum chemistry. For those of you giving a bit a double take, let me fill you in as best I can on why that’s pretty important in the science world, and it’s not because it sounds fancy.
Not all physicists think biologists and chemists are below them, but undoubtedly, going by Brain Cox’s consistent comments in The Infinite Monkey Cage, most do. Therefore, doing what Pauling did is sort of miraculous. This is the guy that married the two “rival” fields, and started applying quantum mechanics to chemical complexes. He then won not one, but TWO Nobel peace prizes. The dude didn’t even share them with anyone. That’s right. He won two Nobels by himself.
If you listen to Pauling’s words, you may recognize the similarities to the other greats of science (namely Neil DeGrasse Tyson and Carl Sagan).
In addition to all that, Pauling was a peace activist by spending more than half a century speaking out against the dangers of nuclear fallout. It’s not fighting monsters, but really, how much more of a Doctor can he be?
Essentially, the long and short of this is that I love Linus Pauling and I love the Fourth Doctor.
Show off your time traveling abilities! Who do you think the Fifth Doctor is in real life? Spoiler Alert: He’s probably one of the most famous physicists of all time.