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Old 19th June 2012, 12:57 PM   #1
JolyV Thread Starter
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Default The best scientist of the last years?

Which is the best scientist of recent times, after Albert Einstein?

My vote for Stephen Hawking!

Found that there is no God
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Old 19th June 2012, 1:02 PM   #2
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Which is the best scientist of recent times, after Albert Einstein?

My vote for Stephen Hawking!

Found that there is no God
how do you prove a negative?

i'll counter hawking with Freeman Dyson. i haven't read any of hawking's stuff but it all seems a bit weirdy spacy stuff without any significant contributions to science fiction.
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Old 19th June 2012, 1:16 PM   #3
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Do you mean "most popular theoretical physicist"? Science is much broader than just physics, and there's a lot of scientists who don't write popular books.

Need to define "best". Might want to start somewhere like http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/
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Old 19th June 2012, 2:50 PM   #4
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Crick AND Watson

this is actually a pretty dumb question.
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Old 19th June 2012, 4:25 PM   #5
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Neil Degrasse Tyson





While the need for science is always there, the need to translate what scientists are actually doing and making it cool in the process is climbing every day.
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Old 19th June 2012, 5:49 PM   #6
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Scientists end up as one of three things.

1 People who are communicating science
2 People who made great discoveries through research/experiment
3 People who just blew everyone away with understanding or a new concept

Enhanced by overcoming some tremendous issue, stories of awesomeness etc.

Physicists more often make the grade because physics tends to reinvent everything when you make a major discovery or advancement. Its the most fundamental of the sciences so redefines Chem, Bio, engineering, medicine etc.

Now really an ideal hero scientist should have all three. Hawking fits in to this (kind of), 2 is a bit weaker (but definitely there) but 1 and 3 are really strong. He overcame some huge personal issues and also has several stories of sheer awesomeness. Path integrals in his head stuff. Hes alive today but bought us some massive idea

Watson and Crick seemed to have moved lower on my list. Watson resigned after a racist scandal, they have an uncredited collaborator (Rosalind Franklin) who did some of the most innovative stuff, and there's an argument than DNA would have been mapped within 12 months by some one else once X-ray diffraction took off. Maurice really did the advanced stuff but biologists never want to give Physicists credit for finding the key to biology (he did get a share of the Nobel prize).

Enrico Fermi I think is an understated hero these days (he was much better known in the 50's, sometimes better than Albert). Firstly he was awesome at everything. Experimentally a genius, theoretically a genius, he willingly and knowingly sacrificed his life to accelerate the atomic research to end the war to save others. The stories put him as a walking god, even working among people Like Albert. We should really credit Fermi with the atomic bomb and not Albert.

Feynman fits this mould well with an extra dose of wackiness as well.

Oppenheimer went from hero to treasonous villain in a story people wouldn't believe if it was fiction.

Curie I think stands alone as the only one to have won two Nobel prizes in two hard core sciences (physics and Chem).

Sagan was probably the best science communicator of all time. But research wasn't quiet as earth shaking (but tangible if not Nobel winning). But he has had massive political and social impact. If you look at Neil Degrasse Tyson, he owes himself directly to Sagan. Sagan picked him, influenced, taught etc.

9 out of 10 times if you ask people to name a famous scientist they will name a physicist. Physics has the status. Physicists also win prizes in Chem, medicine and biology. Where rarely if ever happens the other way round.
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Old 19th June 2012, 6:55 PM   #7
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The Mayans didnt need to see the Spanish coming as their civilisation had already collapsed by then.
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Old 20th June 2012, 5:34 AM   #8
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Crick AND Watson


physical, doctors, biologists, mathematicians and chemists, I just want to know (names) of great minds of the past years. I think SH has made great contributions in the field of physics.

You´re right Watson(American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist) and Crick (English molecular biologist, biophysicist, and neuroscientist) are also great minds of the last years.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 11:52 AM   #9
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The most influential/important mathematician of the 20th century would most likely be Alexander Grothendieck.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:32 PM   #10
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The most influential/important mathematician of the 20th century would most likely be Alexander Grothendieck.
in pure mathematics? i'd say Alan Turing was a much more influential mathemagician, and not just because i've never heard of Grothendieck.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:36 PM   #11
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prob not a scientist but pretty cool, that Asian guy with long hair that does various lectures on space/physics
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:37 PM   #12
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in pure mathematics?
Indeed.
The ramificatons of his work extend to theoretical physics.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:43 PM   #13
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Indeed.
The ramificatons of his work extend to theoretical physics.
OK, i'm an engineer so am biased towards things i can hold and use and break.
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:50 PM   #14
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You can hold an infinite ticker tape? =P
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Old 22nd June 2012, 12:54 PM   #15
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Crick AND Watson.
I'd agree with that. I also vote for Edward O. Wilson for influencing the "general public's" view of science. Perhaps also Dawkins but he's a bit more controversial to non-scientists (especially religious people).

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