Science Birthdays, May 2

5/2/1601          Athanasius Kircher,    scholar,  he worked on many things, a magic lantern, an aeolean harp, a speaking tube and hieroglyphics, he also worked on microscopy and disease. He died in 1680 at age 79.

5/2/1797          Abraham Pineo Gesner, physician/geologist/inventor, He discovered a process to refine kerosene from coal, bitumen and oil shale. His discovery led to the search for petroleum.  Kerosene burned more cleanly, was less expensive than whale oil.  This might be one of the greatest discoveries in the last 200 years.

5/2/1802          Heinrich Gustav Magnus,       chemist/physicist, although he made many contributions to chemistry, he is best known for the Magnus effect in which a spinning object curves away from it’s principle flight path.  This explains the infamous golf “slice.”  He also published on electromagnetic induction of currents from 1858 to 1861. 

5/2/1860          Sir William Bayless,    biologist worked with starling on discovery of hormones, worked on the heart. He died in 1924 at age 64.

5/2/1866          Jesse Lazear,               physician, he was interested in insects but when one landed on his arm and he allowed it to bite him, he was dead in about a week of yellow fever. He died in 1900 at the age of 34.

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