Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

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Favourite scientist?

Richard Feynman
27
24%
Albert Einstein
5
4%
Linus Pauling
5
4%
James Clerk Maxwell
3
3%
Enrico Fermi
3
3%
Stephen Hawking
3
3%
Howard Florey
0
No votes
Nikola Tesla
24
21%
Niels Bohr
3
3%
Max Planck
4
4%
Marie Curie
1
1%
Carl Gauss
4
4%
Galileo
2
2%
Paul Dirac
2
2%
Elias James Corey
0
No votes
Michael Faraday
0
No votes
Lise Meitner
0
No votes
Ernest Rutherford
0
No votes
John von Neumann
2
2%
Carl Sagan
4
4%
Alan Turing
6
5%
Leo Szilard
0
No votes
Isaac Newton
7
6%
Hans Bethe
0
No votes
Other
7
6%
 
Total votes: 112

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Minerva
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Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Minerva » Fri Jun 13, 2008 7:46 pm UTC

Just a new poll with a longer list of candidates.

Hope it's helpful.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Cytoplasm » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:42 pm UTC

My favorite scientist so far is Rosalin Franklin.

It was funny, odd, and slightly sad.
In 7th grade my biology class said I would be the next Rosalin Franklin. All I could think was, I'm going to die young from cancer doing the job I love and get my work stolen? Great.

But still..to have her wits. Too bad her, Watson and Crick didn't work together. Things would have been very different and they would have all been remembered. Not that they aren't, but many forget how imporant Franklin was to their find'.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby ave_matthew » Fri Jun 13, 2008 10:48 pm UTC

I still like Schrödinger, but voted Feynman
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Mr. Beck » Sat Jun 14, 2008 5:56 am UTC

I like the big list- perhaps the other thread should be merged in here?
Sill voted Feynman, but really appreciate the addition of Turing to the list.

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Vaniver
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Vaniver » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:40 am UTC

Man, I'm still the only person to vote for Fermi.
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby kellsbells » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:54 am UTC

Yeah, I would have gone Schrödinger but picked Tesla.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby psyck0 » Sat Jun 14, 2008 3:41 pm UTC

Wow. The physics bias of the board is really shining through in the choices.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby thecommabandit » Sat Jun 14, 2008 4:40 pm UTC

psyck0 wrote:Wow. The physics bias of the board is really shining through in the choices.

Well I'm certain Charles Darwin was on the other one...
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby HtwoOhBaby » Sun Jun 15, 2008 9:01 am UTC

Vaniver wrote:Man, I'm still the only person to vote for Fermi.

Hi, mind if I join you in your dark lonely corner?
Too late if you do. Already voted. :wink:
Humpty was pushed.

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Vaniver
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Vaniver » Sun Jun 15, 2008 5:42 pm UTC

High five!
I mostly post over at LessWrong now.

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ian
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby ian » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:52 pm UTC

Aww, I was trying to decide between Tesla and Feynman (and to a lesser extent good old Einstein) and thought Tesla would only have a few votes, so decided on that basis. Ah well, it's pretty close between them, I think Feynman is the greater scientist/person, but Tesla, well...death rays!


Edit: Does anyone know of a good biography of Tesla? Preferably one that deals with his work (in a scientific manner) as well as his life.

Edit 2: Oh, poor Bohr! Someone vote for him quick.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby DarkKnightJared » Sun Jun 15, 2008 7:54 pm UTC

ian wrote:Aww, I was trying to decide between Tesla and Feynman (and to a lesser extent good old Einstein) and thought Tesla would only have a few votes, so decided on that basis. Ah well, it's pretty close between them, I think Feynman is the greater scientist/person, but Tesla, well...death rays!


Yeah, that was my dilemma too, and eventually chose Tesla for the same reason. I mean...death rays, man!

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Charlie! » Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:00 pm UTC

It's hard to take tesla's death ray claims seriously. From a quick survey of this site ( http://www.tfcbooks.com/teslafaq/q&a_011.htm ) it becomes clear that his dream (or grasp for attention) was impossible. It would require dragless metal particles that aren't repelled by like charges.

P.S. Sorry for the derailment :)
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Whim » Sun Jun 15, 2008 10:43 pm UTC

Why am I the first to vote for Bohr? Sure, he didn't have the charisma of Feynman or the insanity of Tesla but he was such a monumental and influential figure.

On the topic of Tesla, a friend of mine insists he had an ice palace. I'm skeptical and he doesn't know where he heard it from but claims that he couldn't have made it up. Anyone ever hear anything about it?
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Azrael001 » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:00 pm UTC

I don't know if he was an actual scientist or not, but I am appalled Bill Nye is not on the list. I would have voted Tesla anyways, but my interest in sciencey stuff was definitely started by him.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Vaniver » Sun Jun 15, 2008 11:45 pm UTC

Whim wrote:Why am I the first to vote for Bohr? Sure, he didn't have the charisma of Feynman or the insanity of Tesla but he was such a monumental and influential figure.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby thoughtfully » Mon Jun 16, 2008 4:27 pm UTC

Vaniver wrote:Man, I'm still the only person to vote for Fermi.

It is said that Enrico Fermi was the last person to have a mastery of both theoretical and experimental physics. Oh, and he built the first atomic pile. Coolies and stuff.

Those first three are hard. All were great scientists, Einstein and Pauling were great humanitarians, and they were all (at least Einstein and Feynmann, don't know Pauling's personality) nice guys. You know, as in unlike Newton or Teller :)

Feynmann just dribbled a trail of coolness wherever he went. He was really a great "ambassador," if you like, for physics, and science in general, to laypeople.

I do have a soft spot for Dirac. He showed that Shroedinger's Equation and Heisenberg's Matrix Mechanics were equivalent, and then topped them by adding special relativity and predicting antiparticles. I just love how he really had a sense for the underlying mathematical beauty of physics.

Kepler rocks, too.

Gosh the whole Kepler/Tycho Brahe thing is too involved to give a fair summary, but his were some of the loftier of the shoulders that Newton perched upon so that he might see a little futher. Notwithstanding that this was just a barb at his small-statured rival, Hooke.

http://galileoandeinstein.physics.virgi ... ychob.html
The next two lectures (links at the end of that page) are about Kepler.
Last edited by thoughtfully on Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:09 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Beacons! » Mon Jun 16, 2008 6:24 pm UTC

Ah, I'm not alone in liking Max Planck. Good to know. I like him because he just seems to name everything after himself. Planck Distance, Planck Constant, Planck Energy. I wonder who the most prolific self-namer of constants is? I'm willing to bet he'd be pretty high up there.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Mr. Beck » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:12 pm UTC

Apparently, Cracked.com thinks that "Max Plank" is the Seventh Manliest Name In The World.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby thoughtfully » Mon Jun 16, 2008 7:19 pm UTC

Mr. Beck wrote:Apparently, Cracked.com thinks that "Max Plank" is the Seventh Manliest Name In The World.


But at least he didn't suffer the fate of this poor ornithologist.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Sungura » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:57 am UTC

Cytoplasm wrote:My favorite scientist so far is Rosalin Franklin.

It was funny, odd, and slightly sad.
In 7th grade my biology class said I would be the next Rosalin Franklin. All I could think was, I'm going to die young from cancer doing the job I love and get my work stolen? Great.

But still..to have her wits. Too bad her, Watson and Crick didn't work together. Things would have been very different and they would have all been remembered. Not that they aren't, but many forget how imporant Franklin was to their find'.


I voted Feynman because Rosalin wasn't listed. I didn't see the other in time. Quoted post = very true.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Aldarion » Wed Jun 18, 2008 9:25 am UTC

Well, I, obviously, chose Feynman.
Smart, funny and by many standards insane, that's the kind of people I like.
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DarkLordofSquirrels
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby DarkLordofSquirrels » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:12 am UTC

I'm having a horrible time trying to pick between Feynman and Bohr. They're really similar, in many ways... in the end though, I think I've gotta pick Feynman. He's just has more fun.

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krikke
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby krikke » Wed Jun 18, 2008 11:53 am UTC

couldn't find Erwin Schrödinger so chose feynman instead.
linus pauling and paul dirac would also be among the nominated.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Korandder » Wed Jun 18, 2008 12:13 pm UTC

I just like saying the name Schrödinger although I am likely horribly mispronouncing it.
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Mettra » Thu Jun 19, 2008 1:58 am UTC

Given n votes and x options on a poll where Feynman is an option (x being the set of all options whose probabilities add to 1): as n approaches infinity, Pr(Feynman) approaches 1.

Mettra's Law ;)

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby fenrir_darkwolf » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:07 am UTC

Mettra wrote:Given n votes and x options on a poll where Feynman is an option (x being the set of all options whose probabilities add to 1): as n approaches infinity, Pr(Feynman) approaches 1.

Mettra's Law ;)

http://www.wellingtongrey.net/miscellan ... an-do.html

I believe you're looking for this topic... http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=17&t=22006&st=0&sk=t&sd=a

*Edit*
I just read your link, that's awesome :mrgreen: .
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby McHell » Thu Jun 19, 2008 2:13 pm UTC

I'm impressed how such a long list with all kinds of minor deities in them can be made, and then you leave out Charles Darwin. Obviously you mean by "science" actually "physics".

My vote for famous tragic scientist goes to WNP Barbellion, he's like Rosalind F. but without actually achieving anything (not even becoming a scientist), but oh, the rage...

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby hagger » Thu Jun 19, 2008 4:02 pm UTC

I went for Newton. Theres just so much more to the man than just the "apple fell on his head, found gravity" story you hear in high school. These kinds of lists always feel inadequate. There will always be people missed out, because being a scientist more than 100 years ago had a very different meaning. Some greek philosophers had some very fundamental ideas which influenced "scientific" thought for centuries afterwards, which I would consider an important criteria.

But yeah, death rays are incredibly cool. Especially if you are so long before your time.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Noughmad » Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:33 pm UTC

So little love for the person of the century?
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Mr. Beck
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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby Mr. Beck » Thu Jun 19, 2008 11:39 pm UTC

Noughmad wrote:So little love for the person of the century?

Einstein may be a genius, but he had little charisma- that's why Feynman is winning.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby ian » Fri Jun 20, 2008 8:29 am UTC

exactly, note this is a poll about 'favourite scientist' not 'greatest scientist'

feynman would be a great character regardless of his science.

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Re: Favourite Scientist - extended poll.

Postby DarkLordofSquirrels » Fri Jun 20, 2008 11:49 am UTC

Whereas Newton could easily win a "who's the biggest dick of the 17th century" run off. Great scientist, not so great a person.


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