I should have posted this earlier, but Nobel prize winner Andrew Huxley died on May 30, 2012. Not only did Huxley (along with Alan Hodgkin) perform the original voltage clamp recordings on the squid giant axon neurons, but he also came up with a beautiful set of equations to describe the neural action potential. These equations predicted the existence of sodium and potassium ion channels well before they were known to be the cause of neuronal spiking. The Hodgkin-Huxley equations are the E=mc2 of neuroscience.
If you don’t know who Huxley is, read his obituary and maybe this article on the importance of the Hodgkin-Huxley work. Then make sure to find out about the other two superheroes of neuroscience, Hubel and Wiesel.
And shame on the New York Times for not even mentioning Andrew Huxley’s death; it makes one a little sad to think that one of the greatest neuroscientists of all time, someone who practically created the modern field, would go unnoticed into death.