Favorite Scientist?

For the discussion of the sciences. Physics problems, chemistry equations, biology weirdness, it all goes here.

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Who is your favorite scientist?

Einstein
11
8%
Newton
9
6%
Galileo
3
2%
Fermi
1
1%
Feynman
39
27%
Maxwell
5
3%
Tesla
32
22%
Bohr
3
2%
Euler
4
3%
Darwin
8
5%
Descartes
3
2%
Leibniz
3
2%
Ancient (Archimedes, etc.)
7
5%
Other
18
12%
 
Total votes: 146

The Ethos
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby The Ethos » Fri Jun 13, 2008 11:23 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:
The Ethos wrote:No Linus Pauling? For shame.

/Yet another dual Nobel holder



Pauling's admirable peace and disarmament campaigning can easily be matched by the likes of Hans Bethe and Carl Sagan - though he did a whole lot of really cool quantum chemistry stuff too, apparently.

His fringe science beliefs regarding medicine didn't really help his chances, either.

Wait, what are you talking about? Pauling should be up there for 1st, his contributions to orgo/pchem with the ideas of hybridization, resonance, etc etc etc.

His peace things are nobel *sic*. But what do you mean his fringe science beliefs? He advocated vitamin C therapy, but turns out, that there may be some validity to the treatment/selective toxicity to cancer cells/etc. We're in phase I trials because there may actually be something here.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby The_Truth » Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:27 am UTC

alexgmcm wrote:That link was rather amusing.

Back on topic, how can I be the ONLY person to choose Maxwell.. that guy contributed massively to science. Although I guess one should expect the popularizers of science to win the popularity contest.


Don't worry, I picked maxwell also. His equations made everything just that much simpler, and for that, he's my favorite (of what's up there anyway.)
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Thisisnotausername » Sat Jun 14, 2008 12:39 am UTC

I put both cream and lemon in my tea.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Minerva » Sat Jun 14, 2008 1:25 am UTC

Thisisnotausername wrote:I put both cream and lemon in my tea.


Surely you're joking? I wonder what it tastes like?
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby The Ethos » Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:30 am UTC

Between the tannins and cream and acid? Curds.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby fenrir_darkwolf » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:17 am UTC

fenrir_darkwolf wrote:Read my sig and try to wager a guess. :)
Also, why isn't Dirac on the list? He was perhaps the brightest mind of the 20th century, if not all time, he should at least get a mention...


Huh... after thinking about it... can I change my answer to Dr. Strangelove, that guy was awesome :D.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby ArmonSore » Sat Jun 14, 2008 10:04 pm UTC

I went with Archimedes. He figured out many results from calculus, discovered his principle in hydrostatics, and the laws of pulleys and levers without any of the advantages that Newton had.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Jun 15, 2008 2:16 am UTC

Even though he spent most of his time on alchemy, I'm going with Newton.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby McCaber » Sun Jun 15, 2008 8:17 am UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Even though he spent most of his time on alchemy, I'm going with Newton.

I see your Newton and I'll raise you a Leibniz! He may have gotten the idea for the calculus from Sir Isaac, but his notation carries the day. All his other contributions to science help too, of course.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby ave_matthew » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:50 pm UTC

McCaber wrote:
Sir_Elderberry wrote:Even though he spent most of his time on alchemy, I'm going with Newton.

I see your Newton and I'll raise you a Leibniz! He may have gotten the idea for the calculus from Sir Isaac, but his notation carries the day. All his other contributions to science help too, of course.


I could have sworn that the discoveries were completly indepedant.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby 22/7 » Mon Jun 16, 2008 5:53 pm UTC

Gelsamel wrote:Archimedes of Syracuse, unbelievably ahead of his time. GFG wars.

Very heartily seconded. That guy was amazing.
Totally not a hypothetical...

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Jebobek » Mon Jun 23, 2008 7:05 pm UTC

I would have to say Bill Nye (Science guy). Not necessarily for his publishings, but for how he presented known discoveries through such a medium that encouraged many people to consider Science as a career. He's my favorite because of this.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby RAPTORATTACK!!! » Mon Jun 23, 2008 11:10 pm UTC

Whats wrong with Al? I though he'd do a lot better...

Feynman is kind of unstoppable though. That man was a beast.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby ian » Tue Jun 24, 2008 7:47 am UTC

I'd guess that the kind of people who'd normally vote for Al, are the ones that instead would vote for Feynman (or Tesla). Feynman's probably going to be a pretty big hero for any westerner interested in or studying in physics (and posting on a rather geeky message board)

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby INFOHAZARD » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:42 am UTC

I've said hello to Dr's Dirac and Gell-Mann. But I want to a party at Dr Alexander Shulgin's house. Now He's a cool scientist.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby v299792458 » Tue Jul 01, 2008 2:56 am UTC

I had to go with Maxwell. He unified e&m and lets face it, electronics are cool.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Haploanddogs » Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:29 pm UTC

No Love for newton? The man contributed the foundations to more science disciplines then anyone else in history. He still defines dynamics, orbital mechanics, zero-finding Mathematics, just to name a few. Not only that science was what the man did when we wasn't being held back by the massive amount of weird shit he did in the rest of his time. He also ran the mint, ordered executions, and invented coin ridges.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby danpilon54 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:16 pm UTC

Haploanddogs wrote:No Love for newton?


I think if you look at a biography of him regarding his personality you will find why not many people voted for him.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby rho » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:26 pm UTC

Okay, I'm going with Einstein over Feynman (JUST).

My reasoning is that Einstein always had a bit of an anti-establishment thread to him. He spent his last years attempting to create a 'theory of everything' - fruitlessly - but you have to admire the ambition. I think that an active resistance to being swept along with the crowd is healthy in any scientist worth their NaCl.

(Feynman is so fucking awesome though...)
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby pkuky » Wed Aug 06, 2008 7:32 pm UTC

I do not like feynman. and I voted for newton not because of his achievments in science, but for his biography.
explanation: I find that a sociopath who didn't get along with people and did science dispite them is much more awesome then a socially adept, cool and confident guy. newton is someone I can identify with. feynman is one of those cockey little assholes who people like because of their social aptitude. (ok, I hate von neumann even more then feynman). tesla is also awesome, for the same reson. also gauss and euler, but that's because they did math.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby hitokiriilh » Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:25 pm UTC

Einstein. I think his insights were outstanding. General relativity is the most beautiful physical theory I've ever seen and I share similar sentiments with Einstein as far as regarding the Copenhagen interpretation as dubious and phenomenologically ridiculous. Dirac is probably my runner up because he was simply beyond brilliant (Have you ever seen the clever tricks he used to remove the square root from the relativistic energy operator and obtain the Dirac equation? How about his realization that the negative energy solutions to his equation correspond to particles propagating backwards in time and that first excited states correspond to antimatter? Nothing short of epic. ^_^). Then comes Feynman because he was both brilliant and social. He didn't have the impact in the scientific culture that Einstein or Dirac did (yes, yes, Feynman diagrams are everywhere, but there were other methods to calculate scattering amplitudes), but his contributions were still monumental and his ability to make physics accessible to anyone was simply amazing.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Guest » Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:17 pm UTC

As a physicist, Feynman was great. As a person, I really dislike him... Reading his book "What Do You Care What Other People Think?" I was oddly left with the impression that he actually cares a great deal! I find his character is certainly 'curious' though probably not in the way he meant it. As for his 'adventures', they are pretty commonplace.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby danpilon54 » Wed Aug 06, 2008 10:19 pm UTC

I picked maxwell for his contributions to science, rather than base it on personality. Not that the others didn't contribute, but after studying e&m for a full year at the 400 level, I have grown to greatly appreciate maxwell's equations and realise how beautiful they are. Not to mention they are lorentz invariant which is even more cool. The guy figured out the solution to every e&m problem by coming up with 4, count them 4!, equations. Not only that, they are easy to solve. Imagine that...
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Vortex » Wed Aug 06, 2008 11:56 pm UTC

santiago ramon y cajal

for his passion.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Master Gunner » Thu Aug 07, 2008 1:33 am UTC

This is a loaded poll, as I'm pretty sure most of the people on that list are the same person.

That said, I went for the Tesla incarnation, for embodying the "Mad Scientist" trope, Feynman ties though, but I only have one vote. Then Einstein for obvious reasons, then Archimedes and Euler, and the rest of them fit in there somehow as well.

We really need to come up with a name for the Time Lord that has contributed so much to our scientific progress, from Archimedes to Euler to Tesla to Feynman and beyond, we owe so much to him.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Yggdrasil » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:16 am UTC

Although I'd have to put down Pauling as my favorite scientist (I'm a biochemist), Boltzmann probably comes in a close second and I'm surprised no one has mentioned him yet. After all, he came up with statistical mechanics even before we knew about atoms, molecules, or quantum.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby danpilon54 » Thu Aug 07, 2008 2:42 am UTC

yea but at least everyone I know who has done statistical mechanics hates it with fiery passion, and they hate it all the more because it's so damn useful :P
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby You, sir, name? » Thu Aug 07, 2008 11:54 pm UTC

Too many. I can just barely manage if I list them by fields.

Physics: Richard Feynman.
Mathematics: Leonhard Euler.
Computer science: Charles Babbage (in no small part for being delightfully eccentric).
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby ducksan » Fri Aug 08, 2008 1:03 am UTC

It's been mentioned before, and I'll mention again that there aren't enough chemists on that list. I don't really have a favorite in any discipline, but Lavoisier, Dalton, and many other founding fathers of chemistry all deserve at least a quick thought.
Maybe chemistry is applied physics, but it's really goddamned useful applied physics. :wink:
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Strange Quark » Fri Aug 08, 2008 2:20 am UTC

Einstein. In the way he wielded the hammer of cunning-sideways-thinking and the sword of cutting-though-the-mess-that-maths-tends-to-create-to-see-the-physics.

Oh, and lets not forget, being happy to admit to being wrong.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby scarecrovv » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:26 pm UTC

I personally said other, because even though I couldn't decide between Alan Turing and John von Neumann, neither was on the list, so I didn't have to choose. Computers have been such an incredible enabler for everything else.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Indon » Fri Aug 08, 2008 4:46 pm UTC

I would vote for a fictional scientist (well, statistician), Hari Seldon, but that seems quite outside the scope of the vote.

My serious vote would be Alan Turing.
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Divinator » Fri Aug 08, 2008 5:37 pm UTC

Tesla, but he was more of an visionaire than a scientist.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Bassoon » Fri Aug 08, 2008 7:13 pm UTC

Well, I would have said Riemann, should this have been in the math forum. But it didn't, so I went with Tesla. It's really a tie for me between Tesla, Euler, Descartes, Gauss, and Tycho Brahe. I've got nothing against the others. I'm just sick of the scientists who get all the publicity: Galileo, Newton, Einstein, Darwin, and friends. I'd rather have a small sect of people recognize my work than have it be known the world over and misquoted, misused, and misunderstood.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby The cheese. » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:11 pm UTC

I voted for 'ancient scientists' because I find it amazing how little they had to work with, yet they could still work out things like the relative distances of the Moon and the Sun.

And Newton is really the God of science...too bad he was a bit of a dick.

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby crowey » Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:16 pm UTC

other: Werner Forssmann
He was the first person to catheterise a living heart. His own heart. Then he walked to the x-ray dept and went "hey guys, look what I did!" *. That is so bad ass.

Drs. Warren and Marshall were a close second, drinking bacteria to prove that they give you stomach ulcers. A-mazing. 8)

*paraphrasing.

Not that the others werent all cool too, but there's something brilliant about the blatant disregard for their own safety just for the sake of curiosity :lol:

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby The cheese. » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:44 am UTC

Newton stuck a needle in his own eye, you know. (It got infected.)

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby crowey » Sat Aug 09, 2008 9:50 am UTC

not his heart though innit?

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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Hit3k » Sat Aug 09, 2008 10:08 am UTC

fenrir_darkwolf wrote:
pushpork wrote:
This seems kind of biased toward physics

as Feynman would have pointed out in 'six easy pieces', and which I am inclined to agree with, All sciences can be described through physics.
And Feynman worked on not only furthering the intellectuals understanding, but tried to simplify science for the moronic masses, like me :D.


One of my favourite Feynman quotes has to be on this topic: "All theoretical chemists are physicists, all theoretical chemists know it."


So your favourite quote is my signature? It's mine too! And isn't all science in a way, physics? :wink:
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Re: Favorite Scientist?

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sat Aug 09, 2008 7:02 pm UTC

The cheese. wrote:Newton stuck a needle in his own eye, you know. (It got infected.)


And once stared at the sun for like twenty minutes to see what would happen. (He had to spend three days in a dark basement afterwards.) For Science!
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