Here come the big playmakers:
Carson began her scientific career as a marine biologist at the United State Bureau of Fisheries. She later became a full-time natural history and science writer. Her books including The Sea Around Us, The Edge of the Sea, and Under the Sea Wind established her status as both a scientist and writer. She is best known for her book, Silent Spring, which brought attention to the environmental problems caused by chemical pesticides, particularly DDT. The book led to a nationwide ban on DDT and other pesticides. The book also was a key factor behind the growth of local and national environmental groups.
Robert Goddard was a physicist and is considered today as the father of liquid-filled rocketry. In March of 1926, he built and lanched the first liquid-fueled rocket. After this first successful launch, he continued to work on his design until he managed to attain a rocket that attained speeds up to 885 kilometers per hour. Despite his advances, Goddard was often mocked for his belief that rockets could propel mankind into space, an idea that seemed delusional to many at the time. Goddard also experimented with radio signals and built the first vacuum tube amplifier.
Jane Goodall is best known for her extensive studies of chimpanzees Tanzania. Goodall’s research delved into the fields of social learning, primate cognition, thinking and culture in wild chimpanzees, their differentiation from the bonobo, and the inclusion of both chimpanzee species, and the gorilla, as Hominids. Perhaps Goodall’s major break-throughs in the field of primatology was her discovery of chimps using self-fashioned tools. Although, tools are used by many animals, chimps were the first to be observed actually making them. Tool making was a skill previously considered by many as the foundation of being human. In 1977, Goodall established the Jane Goodall Institute, which supports chimpanzee research. She is currently heavily involved in environmental and animal rights movements.
Jonas Salk was a medical researcher who is best known for his discovery and development of a vaccine against polio, then a virulent, debilitating disease. He made the discovery in April of 1995. At that time, he was hailed as a true American hero. He was so popular, in fact, that the datealmost became Jonas Salk Day. Astonishingly, he refused to patent the vaccine (unheard of by today’s standards (I wish more people would follow his example)). Salk said he had no desire to profit from his discovery and only wished to see it distributed to everyone who needed it.
Coperinicus was a Polish “Renaissance man” who was instrumental in many discoveries in mathematics, physics, astronomy, medicine, economics, religion, and art. Most notably, however, he was the first astronomer to formulate a comprehensive theory of heliocentric cosmology, which placed the sun, instead of the earth, at the center of the solar system. His discovery is marked by many as the first spark of the Scientific Revolution.
Charles Darwin, as everyone should well know, was an English naturalist who realised and presented compelling evidence that all species of life have evolved over time from common ancestors, through the process he called natural selection. On his voyage on HMS Beagle, Darin became interested by the geographical distribution of wildlife and fossils he collected on the voyage. He began to study the transmutation of species and conceived his theory of natural selection in 1838. His 1859 book: On the Origin of Species established evolutionary descent with modification as the basic scientific explanation of diversity in the natural world. Darwin’s discovery is perhaps the greatest idea of the life sciences, as it provides a logical explanation for the diversity of life.
Brahmagupta was an Indian mathematician and astronomer who “discovered” the concept of the number zero. His works also were among the first, if not the first, to show how to solve linear and quadratic algebraic functions.
Tesla was an inventor and a mechanical and electrical engineer. He is best known for many revolutionary contributions in the field of electricity and magnetism early 20th century. His research formed the basis for modern alternating current electric power and AC power distribution systems. He also is credited (finally) as the official inventor of the radio. Tesla also was the victor over Thomas Edison in the “War of Currents”, during which a fierce rivalry was hatched. His other inventions include the Tesla Coil and AC Motor. Tesla was ultimately viewed as a mad scientist because of some of his more fantastic claims and rather peculiar habits. Tesla also contributed to the establishment of robotics, remote control, radar computer science, ballistics studies, and theoretical physics.
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