2013 sketch


1. М. Кондорсэ, «Эскиз исторической картины прогресса человеческого разума», 1793, тетради «Развитие производительных сил», 1997.1

2. M. Guizot, “Histoire de la Civilisation en Europe, depuis la chute de l’empire Romain jusqu’a a la Revolution Francaise”, 1853, в тетраде «Французская революция», 1997.1

3. «Хрестоматия по истории материальной культуры», сост. И. Бронштейн, 1924 в «История развития производительных сил», 1996/1У

5. «Нарисы з истории техники», В. Данилевский, 1928 в «История развития производительных сил», 1996/1У

6. «История техники», В. Данилевский, в «Развитие производительных сил», 1997.1

7. «Очерки истории техники докапиталистических формаций», М. 1935 в «История развития производительных сил», 1996/1У

8. Т. Кун, «Структура научных революций», в “Science”, 1998/1

9. “Asimov’s Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology: The Lives and Achievements of 1195 Great Scientists from the Ancient Times to the Present, Chronologically Arranged”, by I. Asimov, 1964, in notebook “Development of Science and Technology”, 1999/1

10.   “A Science Odyssey” in “Science”, 1998/1

11.   “Brief history of technology change in XX century” in “Science”, 1998/1

12.   “The Story of Science”, from BBC, episodes 1-6

13.   “History of mathematics”, from BBC, episodes 1-4

14.   My essay on the history of productive forces

15.   Popularization of science - Популяризация науки


The word “scientist” was coined in 1840’s by a British scholar, William Whewell. This implies that a word for an attitude to knowledge is coined when that attitude is already well practiced, or at its zenith, even! W. Whewell has extensive histories of science.

A popular quote attributed to physicist Richard Feynman goes, "Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds". In other words, there are those who study science, and those who do science, and the two don't communicate with each otherl

a. Ancient world

Thales – 624-546 B.C., visited Egypt and Babylonia, predicted sun eclipse, May 28, 585 B.C., developed deductive math, urged a political union of Greek cities. He said that the basic element of the universe is water.

Anaximander, 610-546 B.C., a pupil of Thales, first Greek to use sundial, “first to attempt to draw a map of the whole earth as he knew it”, carried out the earliest known scientific experiment.

Pythagoras, VI century B.C. - a mathematician, philosopher, found many relationships between length, tension, etc. of strings and sounds. He believed that the universe is based on numbers and their relationships

Hanno – VI century B.C., Carthage, circumnavigated Africa. Knowledge is born on the voyages of discovery.

Alcmaeon – circa 500 B.C., a philosopher and a doctor, “human body was a microcosm, reflecting in small the universe or macrocosm”. Many of the ancient Greeks were both philosophers and scientists.

Hippocrates – 460-370 B.C., “born of a family who were members of a hereditary guild of magicians”. Doctors emerge from magicians and shamans, as science generally emerges out of religious cults. “The Hippocratic school believed in moderation of diet, in the efficacy of cleanliness and rest for the sick or wounded man… They thought that the physician should interfere as little as possible with the healing process of nature…” Good thought! Hippocratic oath is still taken by medical students

Euclid, III century B.C. – a geometer, “what made him great was to take all knowledge accumulated in mathematics since the days of Thales and codify 2 ½ centuries of labor into a single work”. Stated axioms with elegance, arranged theories in logical order.

Erasistratus, 304-250 B.C. – “he compared the convolutions in the brain of man with those of animals and decided (correctly) that the complexity of convolutions was related to intelligence. (Excitement – a kind of a sense, which is a companion to discovery. E.g. “Eurika!” of Archimedes).

Archimedes, III century B.C. – a mathematician and an inventor.

Aristarchus, III century B.C. – a Greek astronomer and mathematician who placed the sun in the center of the Universe.

Eratosthenes – circa 250 B.C. – made a map of the known world, from the British Isles to Ceylon, and from the Caspian Sea to Ethiopia.

Ctesibius – II century B.C., an inventor, “son of a barber and his first invention was for his father’s benefit. He supplied the barber’s mirror with a lump of lead as a counterweight so that it could more easily be raised or lowered”; made an “air-powered catapult”. The Greeks were definitely going towards the Industrial revolution!

Hipparchus – 190-120 B.C. – the first accurate star map, divided stars into classes depending upon their brightness.

Hero – I century A.D. – an early steam engine.

Ptolemy, II century A.D. – an astronomer and a mathematician, a geographer.

Galen, 129 A.D.-200 – a prominent doctor and a philosopher, wrote a treatise “That the Best Physician is also a Philosopher”

b. The Middle Ages

Avicenna, 980-1037 A.D. – a polymath, a philosopher and a doctor

Omar Khayyam, 1050-1123 – a polymath, an astronomer and a poet

Fibonacci, 1170-1230 – “explained the use of ‘Arabic numerals’. He also made clear the values of positional notation, which made the numbers 213, 123, 132, 321, 231 and 312 all have different values. And, of course, he explained the use of zero”.

Roger Bacon, 1220-1292 – “attempted to write a universal encyclopedia of knowledge”, which is a sign of a dawning of a new age. He is characterized by “vehement pioneering belief in experimentation and mathematics as the true routes of scientific advance”.

c. The capitalist society

Marco Polo, 1254-1324 – traveled as a merchant to the East for 24 years, to China, introduced the East to Europe.

Gutenberg, c.1398-1468 – invented printing around 1435; his printing press helped the Reformation of Luther, also printing made possible the Scientific and Industrial revolution. “Scholars began to act as a team, instead of as isolated individuals”. Similar is done today by Internet. A culture in general is an accumulated wealth of information, abilities, attitudes, principles. Also see Michael Hart, 1947-2011, below.

Christopher Columbus, 1451-1506, an Italian seaman and a discoverer of the Americas. (Хорошая биография Колумба в «Павленков Флорентий - Колумб, Левингстон, Стэнли, А.Гумбольдт, Пржевальский», аудиокнига.)

Copernicus, 1473-1543 – heliocentric model of the Universe, beginning of “Scientific revolution”

Magellan, 1480-1521 – first expedition around the globe. Out of 260+ people who sailed out of Spain on 5 ships only 18 returned on 1 ship. Read Stefen Zweig, "The Feat of Magellan".

Paracelsus, 1493-1541 – “he marks the beginning of transition from alchemy to chemistry… The purpose of alchemy, he decided, was not to discover methods for manufacturing gold but to prepare medicines with which to treat disease”.

Agricola, 1494-1555 – “he summarized all the practical knowledge gained by the Saxon miners. It was clearly written and had excellent illustrations of mining machinery”, “father of mineralogy”.

Tartaglia, 1500-1557 – “the first to work out a general solution for equations of the third degree (cubic equations). In those days, mathematicians posed problems for one each other, and upon their ability to solve those problems rested their reputations”. Similar in XX century, with David Hilbert’s problems, but he just posed the challenges.

Pare, 1510-1590 – “a father of modern surgery”, scorned by “learned ignoramuses” of the day for not knowing Latin. “Pare followed Hippocrates’ principle of interfering as little as possible with nature. He practiced cleanliness and he used soothing ointments for gunshot wounds” instead of searing or boiling oil. “He also tied off arteries to stop bleeding”. Battlefield medicine.

Mercator, 1512-1594 – starts modern geography

Vesalius, 1514-1564 – conducts careful dissections, beginning of modern anatomy

John Napier, 1550-1617 – invented logarithms

Francis Bacon, 1561-1626 – Asimov writes: “experimental science became fashionable among English gentlemen. A group of them began to gather to discuss and practice the new intellectual fad, in imitation of the ‘House of Solomon’, a community of investigators and philosophers described by Bacon in his ‘The New Atlantis’. This finally developed into a Royal society”. Hence, Bacon was one a founding influence on the Royal Society. “Novum Organum” his major work, looks into new methods of investigating nature (1620). See “Bacon and Descartes on learning

Galileo Galilei, 1564-1642 – an astronomer who invented the first telescope. Tested the statement of Aristotle that heavier bodies fall faster than light ones. Persecuted by the Church for thinking that the Earth rotates around the sun. “Even as a college student, he had been nicknamed ‘the wrangler’ because of his argumentativeness and nonconformity. He even refused to wear academic robes, though this cost him several fines… a brilliant lecturer”. “He was the first to show that if a structure increased in all dimensions equally, it would grow weaker… This is what is now known as the square-cube law. The volume increases as the cube of linear dimensions, but the strength only as the square. For that reason larger animals require proportionately sturdier supports than small ones”

Johann Kepler, 1571–1630, - a heliocentric model of the Universe, with elliptical planetary orbits. Asimov writes: “orbits of the other planets could also be drawn as ellipses, with the sun always as one of the foci”. This is the 1st law of Kepler. Fathered 13 children, family and financial troubles. Read Einstein on Kepler.

William Oughtred, 1575 -1660 – in 1626 he invented “two rulers along which logarithmic scales were laid off. By manipulating the rulers and sliding one against the other, calculations could be performed mechanically by means of logarithms”, i.e. a slide ruler. This is a forerunner of a modern computer.

William Harvey, 1578-1657 – the founder of modern physiology; set up a medical practice, but “more interested in medical research than in routine practice”, discovered the circulation of the blood. “Harvey was ridiculed at first, for it was no light matter to refute Galen. His practice fell off and learned doctors wrote tomes refuting him (by quoting Galen and not by repeating Harvey’s experiments”.

Hans Lippershey, 1587-1619 – a lens maker who invented the telescope

René Descartes, 1596-1659 – a mathematician, philosopher, proposed system of huge swirling whirlpools of aethereal or fine matter produces what we would call gravitational effects; “worked out a theory according to which all space was filled with matter arranged in rotating vortices”.  See "Декарт", мое сочинение 1997 г.

J. VERMEER - El geógrafo (Museo Städel, Fráncfort del Meno, 1669)

1632-1723 – hobby: grinding lenses. Makes the first microscope. (Picture on the left:Vermeer, “A geographer”, probably made after Leeuwenhoek.)


Robert Hooke


Hooke, 1635-1703 – a researcher in many directions, “English’s Leonardo”, “discovered that spiral springs will expand and contract about an equilibrium position in equal periods regardless of the length of the in-and-out swing… (this) made small and accurate timepieces possible”

Isaac Newton, 1642-1727 – an English physicist and mathematician, formulated laws of motion important for the Industrial revolution. In 1692 had a nervous break-down. Read Einstein on Newton, 1927. William Wordsworth on contemplating the bust of Newton:, wrote: “The marble index of a mind forever Voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone”

Gottfried Leibniz, 1646-1716, a German philosopher and scientist of encyclopedic knowledge

Halley, 1656-1742 – “concluded that stars had proper motions of their own”, Halley’s comet is named after him.

Newcomen, 1663-1729 – “a blacksmith by profession but an eager and inquiring one”, improved upon the steam engine

Rene Reaumur, 1683-1757 – “Pliny of 18th century”, interested in natural philosophy, insects, devised a temperature scale that bears his name

John Harrison, 1693-1776 – invented a marine chronometer. Asimov: “from the difference between Greenwich time and the local time… the longitude could be calculated… in 1707 a British fleet miscalculating its position came to grief on rocks off Cornwall. In 1713, therefore, the British government offered a series of prizes of up to 20,000 pounds (today: around $3 million) for an accurate ship’s chronometer… the problem was tackled by John Harrison, a Yorkshire mechanic and the son of a carpenter, self-trained and equipped with nothing but an almost supernatural mechanic sense”.

Voltaire, 1694-1778 – Asimov: “the living embodiment of the Age of Reason… in which it was chic for a man of humanistic culture to understand and admire science and for a scientist to love the humanities”. Specialization became required, for there was a need to advance; to do that, it is necessary to absorb all the existing information in a field. Today, the opposite of specialization is needed for advance, we can call it “generalization” or unification”. The reason for such a change (from specialization to generalization) is because today the productive forces have developed since XVIII century, in particular, the Information revolution, making use of computers and Internet. We can obtain and process the information much faster, even centralize it, to some extent, and hence advance in knowledge. Modern discoveries require knowledge in many fields, as we see with Gregory Perelman's mathematical proof.

Ben Franklin, 1706-1790 – son of a candlemaker, “printer, writer, politician, diplomat and scientist… had only 2 years of formal schooling… founded America’s first scientific society, the American Philosophic Society, in 1743”, conducted the famous kite experiment on electricity. Most notable is his “Autobiography” for a proper way of living.

Linnaus, 1707-1778 – father of modern taxonomy

Lomonosov, 1711-1765 – a father of Russian science, a polymath, a poet, an artist, an astronomer.

James Lind, 1716-1794 – “suggested that sea water be made a source of ship-board fresh water, through distillation” (Asimov)

Immanuel Kant, 1724-1804 – a philosopher who proposed a nebular hypothesis of the origin of the Solar system

James Cook, 1728-1779 – a scientific captain.

Henry Cavendish, 1731-1810 – discovered hydrogen

James Watt, 1736-1810 – “a rather sickly child who could not go to school and was taught to read and write by his mother”, 1764 – repaired a model of Newcomen’s steam engine, wanted to improve it. His improved steam engine helped to bring about the Industrial revolution. Watt defined “horsepower” as 550 foot-pounds per second. 1 HP =746 watt.

Lagrange, 1736-1813 – “worked out mathematical treatment of the motions of systems containing more than two bodies, such as the earth-moon-sun sytem and the system of Jupiter and its moons” (Asimov). Wikipedia writes of Largrange that he “formed a basis for the development of mathematical physics in the nineteenth century”.

William Herschel, 1738-1822 – “in analyzing the proper motions of a large number of stars, he believed, by 1805, that he could explain the regularities he observed by assuming that the sun itself was moving toward a point in the constellation Hercules… Just as Copernicus had dethroned the earth as the motionless center of the universe, so Herschel dethroned the sun” (Asimov), made numerous big telescopes. H. was also a composer, with 24 symphonies.

Lavoisier, 1743-1794 – discovered the law of conservation of mass. “It is very difficult to classify living species without thinking in terms of evolution”. Wikipedia: “He named both oxygen (1778) and hydrogen (1783) and predicted silicon (1787). He helped construct the metric system, put together the first extensive list of elements, and helped to reform chemical nomenclature. He was also the first to establish that sulfur was an element (1777) rather than a compound. He discovered that, although matter may change its form or shape, its mass always remains the same.”

Volta, 1745-1818 – invented electric battery

Charles, 1746-1823 – in 1787: “For each degree (Centrigrade) rise in temperature, he found, the volume of a gas expanded by 1/273 of its volume at 0 degrees Celsius. For each degree of fall, the volume contracted by 1/273 of that volume”. Hence, there is no lower temperature than -273. Built a balloon in which he ascended.

Jenner, 1749-1823 – discovered vaccination. “Neither he, nor anyone else knew why vaccination worked”

Laplace, 1749-1827 – a mathematician and astronomer. “He restated and developed the nebular hypothesis of the origin of the solar system and was one of the first scientists to postulate the existence of black holes and the notion of gravitational collapse.” Laplace went to Napoleon to present a copy of his work, and the following account of the interview is well authenticated, and so characteristic of all the parties concerned that I quote it in full. Someone had told Napoleon that the book contained no mention of the name of God; Napoleon, who was fond of putting embarrassing questions, received it with the remark, 'M. Laplace, they tell me you have written this large book on the system of the universe, and have never even mentioned its Creator.' Laplace, who, though the most supple of politicians, was as stiff as a martyr on every point of his philosophy, drew himself up and answered bluntly, Je n'avais pas besoin de cette hypothèse-là. ("I had no need of that hypothesis.") Napoleon, greatly amused, told this reply to Lagrange, who exclaimed, Ah! c'est une belle hypothèse; ça explique beaucoup de choses. ("Ah, it is a fine hypothesis; it explains many things.")

Appert, 1749-1841 – spent 14 years “working out a system in which by first heating the food and then sealing it from air, putrefaction was prevented”. This was around time of Napoleon’s reign. Hence, a development of canned food industry.

Blanchard, 1753-1809 – invented parachute. “In 1785 in London he became the first man in history to make use of a parachute, dropping a dog (or cat) in a basket attached to one”.

Murdock, 1754-1839 – invented gas lighting. “In 1807 some London streets began to use gas lighting” (Asimov)

Proust, 1754-1826 – “formulated the generalization that all compounds contained elements in certain definite proportions and no others, regardless of conditions of production. This is called the law of definite proportions…”

Olbers, 1758-1840 – “He was the first to suggest that the planetoids had originated through the explosion of a moderately sized planet once moving in an orbit in the planetoid zone (between Mars and Jupiter)”

Saint-Simone, 1760-1825 – an early socialist. Wikipedia: “In opposition to the feudal and military system he advocated a form of state-technocratic socialism, an arrangement where industrialists would lead society and found a national community based on cooperation and technological progress, which would be capable of eliminating poverty of the lower classes. In place of the church, he felt the direction of society should fall to the men of science. Men who are fitted to organize society for productive labour are entitled to rule it”. The presented the idea of a synthesis of all sciences.

Niepce, 1765-1833 – a French inventor, produced a primitive photograph in 1822. Also invented the first internal combustion engine. Improved upon bike.

Eli Whitney, 1765-1825 – “best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South.” Introduced interchangeable parts. Asimov: “Slavery was dying out in the United States, even in the South, because slavery is no match economically for free labor plus machines”. Old mode of production dies out first for economic reasons.

Alexander von Humboldt, 1769-1859, a traveler and a man of encyclopedic knowledge. (Хорошая биография Гумбольдта в «Павленков Флорентий - Колумб, Левингстон, Стэнли, А.Гумбольдт, Пржевальский», аудиокнига). Asimov on Humboldt: “he remained unmarried and was therefore spared the distractions of a wife and children”. Humboldt’s “Kosmos”: “first reasonably accurate encyclopedia of geography and geology”, and cosmology!

Avogadro, 1776-1856 – hypothesis: “all gases (at a given temperature) contain the same number of particles per unit volume”, 1811

Gauss, 1777-1855 – “his intense concentration on the great work that poured from him withdrew him sometimes from contact with humanity. There is a story that when he was told in 1807 that his wife was dying, he looked up from the problem that engaged him and muttered, ‘Tell her to wait a moment till I’m through’.” His personal motto was pauca sed matura ("few, but ripe"). Taught himself Russian at 62 years old. Another famous story has it that in primary school after the young Gauss misbehaved, his teacher, J.G. Büttner, gave him a task : add a list of integers in arithmetic progression; as the story is most often told, these were the numbers from 1 to 100. The young Gauss reputedly produced the correct answer within seconds, to the astonishment of his teacher and his assistant Martin Bartels. Gauss's presumed method was to realize that pairwise addition of terms from opposite ends of the list yielded identical intermediate sums: 1 + 100 = 101, 2 + 99 = 101, 3 + 98 = 101, and so on, for a total sum of 50 × 101 = 5050. At the end of XVIII – beginning of XIX centuries, electricity was at the forefront of science. Today: gravitation, the elusive “theory of everything”, string theory.

Gay-Lussac, 1778-1850 – “In 1802 he showed that different gases all expanded by equal amounts with rise in temperature”

Karl Drais, 1785-1851- invented the forerunner of today’s bike.

Charles Babbage, 1791-1871 – a mathematician, logician and an inventor of one of the first mechanical computers

Faraday Michael Christmas lecture detail

Faraday delivering a Christmas lecture in 1856 at the Royal Institution


Faraday, 1791-1867 – studied electricity. “F. successfully converted electrical and magnetic forces into continual mechanical movement”, i.e. invented the electric motor. F. also invented the first electrical generator (1831). This was an improvement on a battery. F. provided “the beginning of a picture of the universe as consisting of fields of various types, one that was more subtle, flexible and useful than the purely mechanical picture of Galileo and Newton”. Conducted popular demonstrations. “The objective of Faraday’s Christmas lectures was to present science to the general public in the hopes of inspiring them and generating revenue for the Royal Institution. They were notable events on the social calendar among London’s gentry. Over the course of several letters to his close friend Benjamin Abbott, Faraday outlined his recommendations on the art of lecturing: Faraday wrote “a flame should be lighted at the commencement and kept alive with unremitting splendour to the end”.[42] His lectures were joyful and juvenile, he delighted in filling soap bubbles with various gasses (in order to determine whether or not they are magnetic) in front of his audiences and marveled at the rich colors of polarized lights, but the lectures were also deeply philosophical. In his lectures he urged his audiences to consider the mechanics of his experiments: “you know very well that ice floats upon water . . . Why does the ice float? Think of that, and philosophise”. Nervous breakdown of such men as Newton and Faraday may be result of too strenuous mental effort, w/out relief of a physical work.

Baer, 1792-1876 – an embryologist. “B. pointed out that the early stages of development of vertebrate embryos were quite similar even among creatures that in the end were quite dissimilar”. This suggests primitive archetype for all animals. Perhaps, they are all tending to a new, higher synthesis.

Lobachevsky, 1792-1856 – invented non-Euclidian geometry. A step towards understanding the curvature of space-time, and hence space-time travel.

Comte's Theory of Science

According to Comte, the whole of the sciences consists of theoretical and applied knowledge. Theoretical knowledge can generally be divided into physics and biology, which are the object of his research and can be further partitioned into subfields such as botany, zoology or mineralogy. Comte's ranking of scientific fields - in order, mathematics, astronomy, physics, chemistry, biology and sociology - symbolizes a decreasing range of research and complexity of theoretical tools, but a growing complexity of the phenomena under investigation. Each field in this ranking depends upon those that came before it; for instance, our understanding of chemistry depends upon our understanding of physics, as all chemical phenomena are more complicated than the physics that underlie them, and although the laws of chemistry are affected by the laws of physics, the converse is not true.


1798-1857 – a founder of positivism, sociology and a first philosopher of science. Formulated the Law of Three Stages: “society as a whole, and each particular science, develops through three mentally conceived stages: (1) the theological stage, (2) the metaphysical stage, and (3) the positive stage.” Influenced by Saint-Simone. Theological Stage includes: Fetishism, polytheism, monotheism. Picture: Compte’s theory of science. “The exactness of a science is in inverse proportion to its complexity”.

Rosse, 1800-1867 – discovered other galaxies.

Wohler, 1800-1882 – “formed an organic compound out of inorganic one”, 1828, towards synthesis of life from inorganic materials. (Around this time, “Frankenstein” was written, by Mary Shelley, 1818. This is the early science fiction, and it anticipates reality by centuries, yet, modest beginnings are present at its time.)

Borden, 1801-1874 – “in connection with 1849 Gold rush on California, produced a dried beef product called pemmican… In 1853 he produced evaporated milk, used extensively by the armed forces during the Civil war. Later he prepared concentrates of fruit juices and of various beverages…” Fat is the fuel of the body. Use it!

Bolyai, 1802-1860 – one of the inventors of non-Euclidian geometry. Parallel work of Lobachevsky, Gauss, and Bolyai suggests that this direction of mathematics was not accidental, and that there is a great future behind this abstract concept.

J.S. Mill, 1806-1873 – a polymath, most interesting is his “Autobiography”, for education. Also important is his “System of Logic”.

Augustus de Morgan, 1806-1871 – a British mathematician and logician

Charles Darwin, 1809-1882 – developed the theory of evolution through travelling around the globe, wrote most interesting autobiography about own development, letters to his children, useful for self-education.

Bessemer, 1813-1898 – in connection with the needs of cannon industry found how to make steel cheaply, in 1856. “It meant the coming of giant ocean liners, of steel-skeletoned skyscrapers, of huge suspension bridges. Bessemer did not invent steel but he made it available to everyone”.

Claude Bernard, 1813-1878 – investigated what has become known as “homeostasis”: "The constancy of the internal environment is the condition for a free and independent life”. What makes a scientist important, he states, is how well he or she has penetrated into the unknown. In areas of science where the facts are known to everyone, all scientists are more or less equal—we cannot know who is great. But in the area of science that is still obscure and unknown the great are recognized: “They are marked by ideas which light up phenomena hitherto obscure and carry science forward”. It is through the experimental method that science is carried forward—not through uncritically accepting the authority of academic or scholastic sources. In the experimental method, observable reality is our only authority. Bernard writes with scientific fervor: ”When we meet a fact which contradicts a prevailing theory, we must accept the fact and abandon the theory, even when the theory is supported by great names and generally accepted”. Experimental science is a constant interchange between theory and fact, induction and deduction. Induction, reasoning from the particular to the general, and deduction, or reasoning from the general to the particular, are never truly separate. The scientist tries to determine the relation of cause and effect. This is true for all sciences: the goal is to connect a “natural phenomenon” with its “immediate cause.” We formulate hypotheses elucidating, as we see it, the relation of cause and effect for particular phenomena. We test the hypotheses. And when an hypothesis is proved, it is a scientific theory. “Before that we have only groping and empiricism”. We must always try to disprove our own theories. “We can solidly settle our ideas only by trying to destroy our own conclusions by counter-experiments”. “Ardent desire for knowledge, in fact, is the one motive attracting and supporting investigators in their efforts; and just this knowledge, really grasped and yet always flying before them, becomes at once their sole torment and their sole happiness….A man of science rises ever, in seeking truth; and if he never finds it in its wholeness, he discovers nevertheless very significant fragments; and these fragments of universal truth are precisely what constitutes science”. So, science is fragments of universal truth, but we want the whole thing. Wikipedia on Claude Bernard: " Among many other accomplishments, he was one of the first to suggest the use of blind experiments to ensure the objectivity of scientific observations.[2] "

Mayer, 1814-1898 – “argued that solar energy was the ultimate source of all energy on earth”, “He is best known for enunciating in 1841 one of the original statements of the conservation of energy or what is now known as one of the first versions of the first law of thermodynamics, namely that "energy can be neither created nor destroyed"

Wunderlich, 1815-1877 – “during 1840’s and 50’s was the first to recognize that fever was not a disease in itself but merely a symptom”. “He is known for his measurement of mean healthy human body temperature of 37°C (98.6°F), now known more accurately to be about 36.8°C (98.2°F)”

Long, 1815-1878 – “On March 30, 1842 he used ether to induce insensibility before removing a tumor from the neck of a patient. This was the first recorded use of an anesthetic in surgery”.

George Boole, 1815-1864 – mathematician, logician and philosopher, author of “The Laws of Thought”. Asimov: “Boole’s great discovery was that one could apply a set of symbols to logical operations”. Established symbolic logic.

Ada Lovelace, 1815-1852 – worked on Charles Babbage’s first computer.

Secchi, 1818-1889 – “the classification of stellar spectra begun by Secchi led to schemes of stellar evolution, as the classification of species by Ray and Linnaeus had led to schemes of the evolution of species”. “He was a pioneer in astronomical spectroscopy, and was one of the first scientists to state authoritatively that the Sun is a star.”

Joule, 1818-1889 – formulated the law of conservation of energy, although previously it was formulated by Mayer (see above)

Howe, 1819-1867 – invented the sewing machine, hence lightened mostly women’s work.

Foucault, 1819-1868 – a pendulum has a tendency to maintain the plane of oscillation however the point of attachment might be twisted. F. “was interested only in his work (too much so, apparently, for overwork seems to have made him an invalid and contributed to his early death”). Wikipedia: “best known for the invention of the Foucault pendulum, a device demonstrating the effect of the Earth's rotation. He also made an early measurement of the speed of light, discovered eddy currents, and although he did not invent it, is credited with naming the gyroscope.”

Herbert Spencer, 1820-1903 – first mention of sociology as a science, a polymath

Virchow, 1821-1902 – Asimov: “As a young surgeon he was the first to describe leukemia (in 1845), but he also showed too pronounced a sympathy for the revolutionaries that were threatening the stability of the ultraconservative Prussian government in 1848. While investigating a typhus epidemic in Silesia that year he denounced social conditions scathingly and lost his university position in consequence. This was not an entirely bad thing, for it forced Virchow into a semiretirement and steered him into thoughtful consideration of the microscope structure of diseased tissues”. He was a founder of cellular pathology: “showed that the cells of diseased tissue were descended from normal cells of ordinary tissue. There was no sudden break or discontinuity signifying the disease, but a smooth development of abnormality”. This leads to the study of molecules within the cells. “He took the position that it was useless to try to treat sick people until one treated a sick society”.

Clausius, 1822-1888 – coined the term “entropy”: “entropy was a measure of the extent to which energy could be converted into work; the higher the entropy, the less the quantity of energy for such conversion”. The landmark 1865 paper in which he introduced the concept of entropy ends with the following summary of the first and second laws of thermodynamics:[3] The energy of the universe is constant. The entropy of the universe tends to a maximum."

Lenoir, 1822-1900 – in 1859 invents the first workable internal combustion engine.

Galton, 1822-1911 – “the incidence of desirable characteristics in man could be increased by proper breeding and in 1883 he gave the name eugenics to the study of methods whereby this could be brought about”. A polymath.

Thomson, 1822-1895 – invented a pneumatic tyre.

Pasteur, 1822-1895 – known for “gentle heating, intended to kill undesirable microscopic organisms”. Disproved the theory of spontaneous generation. “germ theory of disease of Pasteur’s was probably the greatest single medical discovery of all time”, i.e. the idea that diseases are spread by germs.

Wallace, 1823-1913 – following confirms my idea of how to proceed with education: to sail. Wallace, an English naturalist, “Like Darwin he found his opportunity at last as a naturalist on a ship sailing off on a voyage of scientific exploration. In 1848 he traveled to the Amazon basin and on his return wrote a book about his travels”. Invented the theory of evolution independently of Darwin. Many scientists did well in business, which allowed them free time to turn to science.

Kelvin, 1824-1907 – a British physicist, associated with 0 degrees Kelvin, i.e. absolute zero. Asimov: “It is sometimes the fate of scientists who in their youth forged new trails and led the way toward new concepts to pass their last days bewildered by still newer developments they cannot accept… [Kelvin] who had been so brilliantly revolutionary in his youth, set his face against novelty (of the 1880’s) and bitterly opposed the notion that radioactive atoms were disintegrating or that the energy they released came from within the atom”.

Kirchhoff, 1824-1887 – “each element, when heated to incandescence, produced its own characteristic pattern of colored lines… In a sense the elements were producing their ‘fingerprints’…” K. “concluded that when light passed through a gas, those wavelengths were absorbed which that gas would emit when incandescent”.

Reimann, 1826-1866 – advanced non-Euclidian geometry in 1854.

James Maxwell, 1831-1879 – an English theoretical physicist, contributed to theory of electricity. Asimov: “Maxwell’s theory showed that electricity and magnetism could not exist in isolation”. M. “suggested that light itself arose through an oscillating electrical charge and was therefore an electromagnetic radiation”.

Nobel, 1833-1896 – “He was a bachelor, moody, lonely, and unpopular, and people could not be made to realize that the inventor and producer of dynamite actually thought that his explosives would outlaw war by making it too horrible”.

Mendeleev, 1834-1907 – “published his first table in 1869 and for the first time in the history of science a Russian scientist obtained a hearing at once… In 1890 he finally resigned his academic post in protest over the oppression of students. His sympathy for the common people led him to travel third-class on trains in order to be with them”. First, qualitative observations, then quantitative. “He created the first version of the periodic table of elements, and used it to predict the properties of elements yet to be discovered.” Similarly for map of knowledge: it can be used to discover things yet undiscovered, by mapping “holes” in knowledge. Mendeleev’s work was a generalizing work.

Zeppelin, 1838-1917 – in 1863 he rose in a balloon, this gave him an inspiration. “On July 2, 1900, one of Zeppelin’s beautiful cigar-shaped vessels rose into the air. Beneath it was a gondola bearing an internal combustion engine & propellers. It took off on a stately flight that, despite damage on landing, was the first effective directed flight by man, antedating by three and a half years the first heavier-than-air flight of the Wright brothers”.

Abbe, 1838-1916 – an American meteorologist who proposed an establishment of standard time zones.

Maxim, 1840-1916 – invents a fully automatic gun, 1883. “Whatever happens, we have got the Maxim gun and they have not”.

Georg Cantor, 1845-1918 – a mathematician whose work is important for philosophy and logic. Discovers “different orders of infinity”.

Roentgen, 1845-1923 – discovered X-rays, 1895. “He was expelled from one school for ridiculing a teacher”, “in 1901, when the Nobel Prizes were set up, the first to be honored with a Nobel Prize in physics was Roentgen”. The Smithsonian institution, 1846-present – “a clearing house of scientific knowledge… scientific communication on world-wide scale”.

Edison, 1847-1931 – an inventor; “turned to books for education”. “His favorite method of working was to read everything and try everything in an all-devouring attack on every phase of a problem. He often conquered by sheer weight of effort”. “Genius is 99% perspiration, and 1% inspiration”. “An American inventor and businessman” – these people became businessmen for there was no other way forward, or they didn’t see it. They were not capitalists, first. They were inventors, discoverers, first. Edison invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and a long-lasting, practical electric light bulb. Dubbed "The Wizard of Menlo Park",[1] he was one of the first inventors to apply the principles of mass production and large-scale teamwork to the process of invention, and because of that, he is often credited with the creation of the first industrial research laboratory.

Gottlob Frege, 1848-1925 – a mathematician, logician and philosopher

Pavlov, 1849-1936 – Asimov: “a hungry dog which is shown food will salivate. That is an unconditioned reflex. If a bell is made to ring every time he is shown food, he will eventually salivate when the bell rings even though food is not shown him. The dog has associated the sound of the bell with the sight of food and reacts to the first as though it were the second. This is a conditioned reflex”. -> “Studies of the conditioned reflex led to the theory that a good part of learning and of the development of behavior was the result of conditioned reflexes of all sorts picked up in the course of life”.

Le Chatelier, 1850-1936 – Le Chatelier principle: “Every change of one of the factors of an equilibrium brings about a rearrangement of the system in such a direction as to minimize the original change”. Any change in status quo prompts an opposing reaction in the responding system.' Or: If a chemical system at equilibrium experiences a change in concentration, temperature or total pressure, the equilibrium will shift in order to minimize that change.

Lorentz, 1853-1928 – together with Fitzgerald “postulated that there are contractions of length with motion”. Mass increases with velocity.

Charles Parsons, 1854-1932 – invented a steam turbine, around 1884. With it a ship could go at 35 mph.

George Eastman, 1854-1932 – simplified and improved photography. “As head of a large business Eastman introduced many enlightened business practices, such as sickness benefits, retirement annuities, and life insurance for his employees” (Asimov). In the last few years of his life Eastman suffered with chronic pain and reduced functionality due to a spine illness. On March 14, 1932 Eastman shot himself in the heart, leaving a note which read, "To my friends: my work is done. Why wait?"

Nocola Tesla, 1856-1943 - an inventor in electricity.

J.J. Thomson, 1856-1940 – discovered electrons, promoted subatomic physics

Freud, 1856-1939 – a father of psychoanalysis, brought sexuality to the light of the public.

Keeler, J.E. 1857-1900 – “photographed numerous spiral galaxies and showed that the spiral form was the rule rather than the exception”.

Chertrg Tsiolkovsky
Tsiolkovsky E.K.
, 1857-1935 – deaf

from the age of 9, educated himself. 1895 – first mention of a spaceflight (before the airplanes!). Picture of a first space ship of Ts., 1883.

Max Planck, 1858-1947 – a physicist responsible for quantum theory

Eijkman, 1858-1930 – “was the first to pinpoint what we now call a ‘dietary-deficiency disease’, that is, a disease caused by the absence from the diet of some essential component that need to be present only in traces to prevent disease”, i.e. a vitamin.

Peano, 1858-1932 – invented an international language “Interlingua”, contributed to math logic, “in-betweenness” of most revolutionary work makes it hard for old specialists to comprehend it.

Pierre Curie, 1859-1906 – noted that electric potential varied directly with the pressure. This effect is used in microphones and speakers (piezoelectricity).

Maria Curie, 1867-1934, a discover of radium

Karl Landsteiner, 1868-1943 – “L. made blood transfusions safe. He discovered that human blood differed in the capacity of serum to agglutinate red cells (that is, to cause them to clump together… By 1902 L. and his group had clearly divided human blood into 4 blood groups, which he named A, B, AB, and O… In 1940 he was also involved in the discovery of the Rh blood groups”.

Leavitt, Henrietta, 1868-1921 - Leavitt discovered the relation between the luminosity and the period of Cepheid variable stars. Though she received little recognition in her lifetime, it was her discovery that first allowed astronomers to measure the distance between the Earth and faraway galaxies. After Leavitt's death, Edwin Hubble used the luminosity-period relation for Cepheids to determine that the universe is expanding (see Hubble's law). 1904: “the longer the period of light variation, the greater the average brightness of the star” (Asimov)

Abegg, 1869-1910 – discovers that a chemical reaction is “the transfer of electrons and chemical bonds became the attraction between opposite electric charges”. Hence, “the right chemistry” means one supplementing the other, while both tending towards the same goal. He proposed that the difference of the maximum positive and negative valence of an element tends to be eight. This has come to be known as Abegg's rule. He was a gas balloon enthusiast, which caused his death at the age of 41 when he crashed in his balloon in Silesia.

Boltwood, 1870-1927 – “In 1907 he was the first to suggest that, from the quantity of lead in uranium ores and from the known rate of uranium disintegration, it might be possible to determine the age of the earth’s crust”, i.e. discovered radioactive dating. However, “In 1927, due to the strain of overwork, Boltwood suffered a nervous breakdown and, in a fit of depression, committed suicide”. Like Newton, like many other scientists, artists, and all creative people.

Claude, 1870-1960 – “His researches, beginning in 1910, showed that electric discharges through (inert) gases could be made to produce light, and this was the beginning of neon lights, which made Claude rich”. Collaborated with the Nazis during WWII.

Orville Wright, 1871-1948 – 1903- first powered flight. 1905 – ½ hour flight, 24 miles (“Scientific American” suggested the flight was a hoax!), 1908 – fly for an hour, 1909 – first flight across the English channel, 1927 – Lindbergh flies solo across the Atlantic. Airplanes are now replacing the ships and trains as the long-distance means of communication. Wright brothers “were quite in the tradition of the American inventive tinkerers who make instinct, intuition and endless intelligent effort replace theory – after the fashion of the greatest noneducated intuitive genius of them all, Edison”. Development of airplane: kite -> glider -> airplane. In 1903 the brothers built the powered Wright Flyer I, using their preferred material for construction, spruce,[49] a strong and lightweight wood, and Pride of the West muslin for surface coverings. They also designed and carved their own wooden propellers, and had a purpose-built gasoline engine fabricated in their bicycle shop. The Flyer cost less than a thousand dollars, in contrast to more than $50,000 in government funds given to Samuel Langley for his man-carrying Great Aerodrome.[54] The Flyer had a wingspan of 40.3 ft (12.3 m), weighed 605 lb (274 kg)[55] and sported a 12 horsepower (8.9 kW) 180 lb (82 kg) engine. (It’s obvious that a modern electrical motor can develop more than that). On September 17, 1908 Army lieutenant Thomas Selfridge rode along as his passenger, serving as an official observer. A few minutes into the flight at an altitude of about 100 feet (30 m), a propeller split and shattered, sending the aircraft out of control. Selfridge suffered a fractured skull in the crash and died that evening in the nearby Army hospital, becoming the first airplane crash fatality.

Earnest Rutherford, 1871-1937– discovered nucleus of an atom. Asimov: “Since alpha particles were deflected sharply, even at right angles and more, it meant that somewhere in the atom was a very massive positively charged region capable of turning back the positively charged alpha particles (like charges repeal). From this experiment Rutherford evolved the theory of the nucleus of the atom (in 1911)” Rutherford “was the first man ever to change one element into another”.

Walter Cannon, 1871-1945 – “studied the manner in which the body met emergency stresses… He developed the notion of ‘homeostasis’; that is, the effort by the body to maintain a stable internal environment despite fluctuations (within reason) of the outside environment. Primarily responsible for this were the various hormones, particularly adrenaline”.

Betrand Russell, 1872-1970 – a British philosopher

Carl Jung, 1875-1861 – coined the term “collective unconscious”: “The child is born with a mind containing an imprint from quite primitive times; the deeper unconscious levels can be interpreted in terms of mythology”.

Frederick Soddy, 1877-1956 – in 1913 coined the concept of “isotope”. Isotopes are different versions of a single chemical element; they differ in the mass of an atom, but not in chemical properties.

Henry Russell, 1877-1957 – proposes a life cycle for a star

Albert Einstein, 1879-1955, a discoverer of the theory of relativity, a socialist and a humanist

Alfred Wegener, 1880-1930 – “In 1912 Wegener proposed that originally the continents had formed a single mass (Pangaea, or ‘All Earth’) surrounded by a continuous ocean… This large granite mass broke into chunks that slowly separated”, i.e. the idea of continental drift

Alexander Fleming, 1881-1953 – discovered penicillin around 1928, a bacteria-killing substance

Max Born, 1882-1970 – a physicist who contributed to quantum theory

Robert Goddard, 1882-1945 – a rocket scientist. “When German rocket experts were brought to America after the war and were questioned about rocketry, they stared in amazement and asked why American officials did not inquire of Goddard, from whom they had learned virtually all they knew”. "Every vision is a joke until the first man accomplishes it; once realized, it becomes commonplace."[29][30] (His response to a reporter's question following criticism in The New York Times, 1920) Arthur Eddington, 1882-1944 – in 1924 Eddington announced the mass-luminosity law: “the more massive a star, the greater the pressure in its interior, and the greater the countering temperatures and radiation pressure, consequently the more luminous the star”. Oh leave the Wise our measures to collate One thing at least is certain, LIGHT has WEIGHT One thing is certain, and the rest debate - Light-rays, when near the Sun, DO NOT GO STRAIGHT.

Otto Warburg, 1883-1970 – studies vitamins, control of metabolic functions. Investigated cancer. In 1924, Warburg hypothesized that cancer, malignant growth, and tumor growth are caused by tumor cells mainly generating energy (as e.g. adenosine triphosphate / ATP) by nonoxidative breakdown of glucose (a process called glycolysis) and the subsequent recycling of the metabolite NADH back to its oxidized form, for reuse in the glycolytic cycle to complete the process (known as fermentation, or anaerobic respiration). This is in contrast to "healthy" cells, which mainly generate energy from oxidative breakdown of pyruvate. Pyruvate is an end product of glycolysis, and is oxidized within the mitochondria. Hence, and according to Warburg, cancer should be interpreted as a mitochondrial dysfunction. "Cancer, above all other diseases, has countless secondary causes. But, even for cancer, there is only one prime cause. Summarized in a few words, the prime cause of cancer is the replacement of the respiration of oxygen in normal body cells by a fermentation of sugar" —Otto H. Warburg, Warburg continued to develop the hypothesis experimentally, and held several prominent lectures outlining the theory and the data.[11] The concept that cancer cells switch to fermentation in lieu of aerobic respiration has become widely accepted, even if it is not seen as the cause of cancer. Some suggest the Warburg phenomenon could be used to develop anticancer drugs.[12

Auguste Piccard, 1884-1962 – designed a bathyscaphe, investigated the Marianas French: “This was the deepest known spot in the Pacific, thought to be at 33600 feet. The ‘Trieste’ reached a bottom even lower than that, dropping down to 35,000 feet (6 ¾ miles) below sea level”.

Niels Bohr, 1885-1962 – explained the internal structure of the atom. Electron – both a particle and a wave. In 1927 Bohr puts forth “the principle of complimentarity – that a phenomenon can be looked upon in each of 2 mutually exclusive ways, with both outlooks nevertheless remaining valid in their own terms”.

Erwin Schrodinger, 1887-1961 – contributed to quantum theory. «Волновая природа любви» - аудио рассказ о Шродингере. Философские книги Шродингера

Remains of Fokker aircraft, First Byrd Expedition

Remains of a Fokker aircraft of the first Byrd expedition to the Antarctica, in 1993


Byrd, 1888-1957 – “forecast his career when he made a trip around the world, unattended, at the age of 12”. Explorer of the Antarctic.

Alexander Friedman, 1888-1925 – created a non-stationary theory of the Universe.    

Vladimir Zworykin, 1888-1982 – invented a TV set.

Edwin Hubble, 1889-1953 – discovered galaxies beyond our own. First one was Andromeda. In 1929 suggested that the speed at which a galaxy receded from us was directly proportional to its distance: “at some vast distance from ourselves, the velocity of recession should attain the speed of light and neither light nor any other form of communication would reach us from any of those galaxies or others, still more distant. The distance would represent the effective ‘Hubble radius’ of that portion of the universe which we can come to know. Hubble radius of the universe has been estimated at 13 billion light-years”.

Vannevar Bush, 1890-1974 – in 1925 at MIT built the first analog computer. This is when the proponents of the theory of workers as revolutionary class should have started questioning their theory.

Hermann Muller, 1890-1967 – promoted “the establishment of sperm banks so that the genetic endowment of gifted men could be spread through space and time”

Frederick Banting, 1891-1941 – discovered insulin, a cure for diabetes.

Robert Watson-Watt, 1892-1973 – invented radar in 1930’s

Louis Debroglie, 1892-1987 – postulated that everything is both a wave and a particle. Particle-wave dualism.

Georges Lemaitre, 1894-1966 – created a theory of Big Bang

Norbert Weiner, 1894-1966 – developed information theory and cybernetics.

Joseph Rhine, 1895-1980 – studied ESP phenomena, e.g. perception of thought by thought

Fritz Zwicky, 1898-1974 – distribution of galaxies is similar to the distribution of molecules in a gas. Postulated dark matter.

Max Theiler, 1899-1972 – developed a vaccine against yellow fever. Form of treatment: 1) produce and inject a weak form of disease, 2) formation of anti-bodies which protect against the strong form of disease.

Admiral Rickover, 1900-1986 – adopted nuclear engine to submarine, in 1955 launched “U.S.S. Nautilius”.

Wolfgang Pauli, 1900-1958 – postulated the existence of neutrino, in 1931, actually discovered in 1956

Alfred Tarski, 1901-1983 – a mathematician, logician, and philosopher

Enrico Fermi, 1901-1954 – in charge  of Manhattan Project, developed an atomic bomb with Oppenheimer. Died from cancer, due to nuclear radiation.

Ernest Lawrence, 1901-1958 – built the first cyclotron in 1930 to bombard and investigate the atomic nuclei.

Werner Heisenberg, 1901-1976 – formulated “the uncertainty principle”: “it is impossible to make an exact and simultaneous determination of both position and the momentum (mass times velocity) of any body”. During WWII H. was in charge of the Nazi research on atomic bomb. In later life became an enthusiastic mountain climber.

Paul Dirac, 1902-1984 – an English theoretical physicist, worked on quantum theory. In 1930 suggested that there must be a positive twin of electron. In 1932, positron was discovered.

Charles Lindbergh, 1902-1974 – first solo flight across the Atlantic, May 20 -1, 1927

John von Neumann, 1903-1957 – “Von Neumann left Hungary in 1919, during the disorders that followed the defeat of Austria-Hungary in WWI”, son of a banker. An anti-communist. A polymath. Most known for his theory of self-replicating mechanisms.

John Bittner, 1904-1961 – in 1936 he noticed that “if the young mice of a cancer-resistant strain were transferred to the breast of a foster mother of a cancer-prone strain, the young developed cancer in the course of their lives. If, on the other hand, young mice of a cancer-prone strain were fed at the breast of a foster mother of a cancer-resistant strain, they did not usually develop cancer. Apparently this particular type of cancer in these particular animals was infectious and the mother’s milk carried the infectious agent”. So, is cancer infectious? Is it virus caused?

George Gamow, 1904-1968 – worked out a mechanism for creation of elements out of Big Bang

Kurt Godel, 1906 – 1978 – a logician. Asimov: “He translated the symbols of symbolic logic into numbers in a systematic way and showed that it was always possible to construct a number which could not be arrived at by the other numbers in his system”.

Hans Bethe, 1905-2005 – a physicist involved in making the nuclear bomb for the U.S. Asimov: “When hydrogen is converted into helium… nearly 1% of the mass of hydrogen is converted into energy… At the rate the sun radiates energy it must be losing 4,200,000 tons of mass every second”.

Vincent Schaefer, 1906-1993 – known for producing the first artificial rain in 1946.

Cousteau, 1910-1997 – developed the aqualung and studied the underwater sea. “Scuba” stands for “self-contained underwater breathing apparatus”. “He has also designed underwater structures that can house men for prolonged periods of time. Men have stayed in such devices, forty feet below the surface, for weeks, and some optimists forecast man’s colonization of the continental shelf before very long”.

Melvin Calvin, 1911-1997 – worked out the details of the photosynthesis. This, according to Asimov, is the most important biochemical process on earth.

Erwin Mueller, 1911-1977 – built microscopes that allowed to see atoms.

Grote Reber, 1911-2002 – “In 1937 he built the first radio telescope in his back yard”.

Wernher Braun, 1912-1977 – a German rocket scientist. Responsible for V-2, and for Saturn rockets. Urged humanity to go to the stars to save civilization from self-destruction.

Carl von Weizsacker, 1913-2007 – “He suggested that the original dust cloud out of which the solar system was formed did not rotate as a single system (as was supposed in the Kant-Laplace theory) but as a system of vortices. These vortices fell into gradually larger systems with increasing distance… At the boundaries at the set of vortices, particles concentrated and fused into planetesimals and eventually into planets” -> “If W. theory is right, then the formation of a set of planets is a normal part of the evolution of stars… This raises the strong possibility that there may be myriad inhabited planets”.

Thor Heyerdahl, 1914-2002 – “Kon-Tiki” expedition across the Pacific in 1947, also “Ra” and “Tigris”.

Claude Shannon, 1916-2001 - “the fundamental unit of information is a yes-no situation. Either something is or is not… More complicated information can be viewed as built up out of combination of bits”. Developed information theory, working at Bell Labs on the problem of efficient transmitting of information. It is people like Claude Shannon that are revolutionaries for their times.

Francis Crick, 1916-2004 -in 1953 Crick and Watson suggest DNA is a double helix. Molecular biology is a wave of the future.

Ilya Prigogine, 1917-2003 - a physicist who studied self-organization in nature.

Richard Feynman, 1918-1988 – a physicist, “renowned for his excellence as a lecturer”, in 1940’s developed ‘quantum electrodynamics’. Suggested nanotechnology in late 1950’s.

Isaac Asimov, 1920-1992 – a science fiction writer and popularizer of science. Guide to Science, the three volume set Understanding Physics, Asimov's Chronology of Science and Discovery, as well as works on astronomy, mathematics, the Bible, William Shakespeare's writing and chemistry. In “Guide to Science”: “In organizing the various fields of science, Asimov chose to begin with the universe as a whole and work inward in narrowing circles until he was inside the brain at the end.[5]”

Lotfi Zadeh, 1921 – an inventor of fuzzy logic.

Christiaan Barnard, 1922-2001 - on December 3, 1967, performed the first successful heart transplant. 1960’s - 1970's was an era of the dawn of organ transplants + space flight + computers.

Benoit Mandelbrot, 1924-2010 – invented the concept of a “fractal”.

Nick Holonyak, b. 1928 – invented practical light-emitting LED, 1962. This kind of light has got a widespread application since 2000’s.

E.O. Wilson, b. 1929, an American biologist - science is a continuum of knowledge

Murray Gell-Mann  b. 1929 –discovered quarks, i.e. particles of proton. TedTalks March 2007: Beauty and truth in physics Beauty – a criteria for choosing theories. Beauty is an ability to express an complex concept in simple math. Same law is manifested at different scales. This is self-similarity in nature (symmetry). Beauty is a statement that makes sense across different scales. (That’s why I find “Revolution” to be beautiful: it’s both social and in production.)

Carl Sagan, 1934-1996 - pioneered exobiology and promoted the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence (SETI). Sagan is known for his popular science books and for the award-winning 1980 television series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage, which he narrated and co-wrote.[3] The book Cosmos was published to accompany the series.

Stephen Hawking, b. 1942 – a modern physicist and cosmologist, with reactionary social views.

David Christian, b. 1946 – a pioneer in “Big History”

Michael Hart, 1947-2011 - a founder of "Project Gutenberg", an attempt to digitize and put into free usage as many books as possible. Readobituary.

Michio Kaku, b. 1947 – a string theory physicist and a popularizer of science. See "history of physics 2013"

Robin Graham, b. 1949 – sailed around the world in 1965 in “Dove”, a 24 foot sloop (8 meters)

Sergey Brin, b. 1973 - one of the founders of "Google".

Zac Sundeland, b. 1991 – completed a voyage around the world solo, on a yacht, at the age of 16-17. Voyage took 13 months. Used an 11 meter boat, bought for $6000.

Michael Perham, b. 1992 – circumnavigated the globe at 17, in a 50 foot boat (see video). Crossed the Atlantic at 15 in a 8 meter boat.

Jessica Watson, b. 1993 – the youngest person to sail around the world unassisted. Used a 10 meter boat.

Abby Sunderland, b. 1993 – attempted to circumnavigate the globe. Sister of Zac Sunderland.

d. The transitional society

Kurchatov, Igor, 1903-1960 - a "father" of the nuclear bomb in the USSR, 1949, hydrogen bomb, 1952. Designed the concept of the first nuclear power station.

Zinoviev, Alexander, 1922-2006 - a critic of the Soviet model of soceity, a philosopher.

Yuri Gagarin, 1934-1968 - the first man in space, 12 April, 1961

Fyodor Konukhov, b. 1951 - a Russian explorer. In a rowing boat, crossed the Atlantic in 46 days. Listen to audiobook «Гребец в океане».

Gregory Perel'man, b.1966 - a Russian mathematician who solved in the affirmative "the Poincare conjecture", but declined several prizes in mathematics. Believes that the official world of mathematics is not honest.

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