His obit wasn't major news, though it probably should have been because his life was remarkable. There were obits in the major East Coast newspapers: The Globe, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. There will probably be tributes in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Let me tell you a little about him.
Dr. Doty, in addition to being an influential biochemist, was a strong advocate of nuclear non-proliferation and banning the use of chemical and biological weapons. He brought people together: instrumental in forming both the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology and the Belfer Center for International Affairs at Harvard. He was a founding member of the Pugwash Conferences on Science and International Affairs which won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1995.
Dr. Doty didn't make the news very often. There were a few items in the 1960s and 1970s, but mostly his work was out of the spotlight persuading and influencing newsmakers rather than making news himself.
His scientific work in DNA and RNA supported and complemented discoveries that changed our world. He worked closely with such scientists as James Watson and Matthew Meselson.
Dr. Doty is one of many scientists like Linus Pauling who not only broadened our understanding of science but actively worked for world peace. There are many like him still, but I find that the current environment in science is so competitive that it doesn't allow for the broad interests and activities of a man like Paul Doty.
See, he was a person who believed that the investigation of the world that is scientific inquiry is not amoral. It can be applied for profit, for destruction, or for the betterment of all. He worked toward the latter.
This bio at the Belfer Center describes his achievements in more detail.
I want you to know about him for two reasons. First, I want to inspire you. People you've never heard of have been influential in tremendous ways. Second, I want to expand the pool of people who know about and appreciate Dr. Doty's life.