With today’s technological and scientific advancements, it’s easy to forget that modern science is still recent in our history. Current medical, mechanical and technological discoveries exist because
10. Isaac Newton
As a physicist, inventor and mathematician, Newton is widely recognized as a key scientist in the history of discoveries. His work on mathematical gravity led to our understanding of the laws of motion, universal gravitation and the calculation of trajectories. His work has shaped the scientific revolution which started after the Renaissance and took place until the end of the 18th century.
9. Niels Bohr
Niels Bohr’s discoveries were instrumental in learning about atomic structure and quantum theory. He also helped the Manhatten Project (the project to create the first nuclear weapon) come to reality.
8. Galileo Galilei
Born in 1564 in Italy, this physicist, mathematician, and astronomer caused controversy by studying the skies and discovering that the moon was round and mountainous. He also supported a theory by Copernicus that the solar system did not turn around planet Earth as the Catholic Church claimed. He was forbidden from teaching and publishing his research. Centuries later the world openly recognized the significance of Galileo’s scientific contribution to mankind.
7. Louis Pasteur
This French chemist and microbiologist are responsible for vaccines, pasteurization, and microbial fermentation. It is because of this scientist that we can vaccinate our children against preventable diseases like meningitis, rabies, measles and mumps. Vaccines have prevented millions of deaths over the past century and are the reason diseases like smallpox have been eradicated. Pasteur’s work on biology and vaccines makes him number 7 in our list of greatest scientists of all time.
6. Franz Boas
This German-American scientist is the father of modern anthropology, the study of humanity and cultures. His work has been crucial in breaking down scientific racism, which claimed that behavior was determined by physical biology. Boas proved through his research that culture shapes people more so than the shape of their head or the color of their skin. Boas also provided a new way of studying cultures around the world, organizing them as clusters based on their similarities, rather than hierarchized from top to bottom as ‘advanced’ or ‘primitive’. Boas is recognized as the founder of American anthropology and his work is still taught in university departments around the world.
5. Sigmund Freud
This Austrian-born neurologist developed the concept of psychoanalysis as a tool to diagnose and treat mental health conditions. Psychoanalysis is a method of treatment that involves theories and techniques to treat disorders. This involves liberating unconscious memories and experiences and analyzing them to understand their impact on a person’s illness. Freud is remembered today as one of the founding fathers of modern psychology.
4. Marie Sklodowska Curie
This Polish-born French scientist born in 1867 won two Nobel prizes in both Physics and Chemistry. She discovered and theorized radioactivity, which led to the first medical treatments of abnormal tissue growths, paving the way for cancer treatment. Marie Curie also discovered two elements and added them to the periodic table of elements. radium and plutonium. The latter was named after her birth country, Poland. Today Marie Curie is remembered as a pioneer scientist, physicist, and chemist. She is the only Nobel prize winner to have won in two separate scientific fields.
3. Albert Einstein
Perhaps the most famous scientist of all times, Einstein was a theoretical physicist born in Germany. His work on modern physics involved his theory of relativity and quantum theory. He is known for his work on the photoelectric effect and field theory. He warned the world of the possible dangers of nuclear bombs and remained an advocate for safe scientific research and work. Einstein’s name is today recognized as a synonym for genius. For this reason, he is number 3 in our list.
2. Nikola Tesla
This scientist is one of the original ‘mad scientist’ models of modern times. A prolific inventor, engineer and physicist, Tesla patented over 300 inventions and is most known for his work on alternating current electrical systems (AC) and wireless wave transmission technology. Tesla was a quirky Serbian-American who was said to have a photographic memory. His unusual work habits and lifestyle allowed him to be one of the most creative and productive scientists of all time.
Although many people know that Aristotle they don’t know that he was one of the greatest scientists of all time. The reason why Aristotle makes it to the top of the list of the greatest scientists of all time is because of his influence on the scientific field. Back in his days, science was a niche study as most people didn’t understand how helpful science and technology can be in improving people’s lives. Aristotle began to promote the study of science and made many discoveries about motion, optics and much more. His discoveries influenced the world all the way to medieval ages.