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Otto Wichterle: Inventor of soft lenses and great political activist

On Wednesday, October 27, Google honored Otto Victorley with a new doodle. 108 years ago, on October 27, a great chemist was born. But that is not his only activity!

His name may not ring the bell, but his invention has changed the daily lives of many of you. Otto Wichterle was actually the chemist who invented the soft lenses used in ophthalmology by 140 million people today. A look at the thousand lives of this multidisciplinary chemist.

Otto Victorley was born on October 27, 1913 in Prostejo, Czechoslovakia. [l’actuelle République tchèque Ndlr.]. He was raised by a father who owned different factories, but he did not want to know anything about the industrial world. No, Otto Wichterle likes science. After studying chemistry at the University of Prague, he embarked on as much research as he could with some obstacles related to the historical period established by Nazi Germany and the Guardian regime. Then comes his biggest invention, which is soft lenses. In fact, the right lenses were invented at one time, but they cause pain to the eye. Finally, in December 1961, Otto Victorley was able to give this curved shape to the lens, which would then allow for minor miracles. However, the patent for his invention was sold internationally by the ruling communist regime, and the scientist would not touch a great fortune.

But Otto Wichterle was known not only as a chemist but also for his actions of resistance. It is noteworthy that he was the signatory Manifesto of two thousand words, Published in 1968, against the communist rule of the country. He places him as the director of the Institute of Macromolecular Chemistry he created. But his efforts paid off, and he found himself head of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences after the fall of communism in 1990.

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