Science Birthdays, May 23

5/23/1734        Franz   Mesmer,           physician,         He was a mystic, interested in astrology. He got interested in magnetism and passed magnets over patients. He found he could get just as good results by passing his hands over the patients. He called this “animal magnetism” He was charged with malpractice in many places and even Ben Franklin investigated him. He is know because of Franklin for first using suggestion to cure disease even though he didn’t know it. Today hypnotism is sometimes called mesmerism or mesmerized. He died in 1784 at age 50.

5/23/1707        Carolus Linnaeus,        botanist,           Carl von Linn, he was a dull child but he went to medical school. Celsius took him in. He was interested in plants as early as 8 years old and was called the “little botanist”.  He introduced the symbols for male and female. He died in 1778 at age 71.

5/23/1848        Otto Lilienthal,                        physicist,          built a glider, made many glides, but killed himself in 1896 an unsuccessful glide at age 48. On his tombstone read, “sacrifices must be made”.

5/23/1908        John Bardeen,              physicist,          helped in developing the transistor.

5/23/1925        Joshua Ledenberg,       geneticist,         showed that bacteriophage viruses could transfer genetic material form bacterium to bacterium. He named this process transduction.

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