Science Birthdays, August 1

Today is the birthday or Jean Baptiste Lamarck, born in 1744, he was one of the early evolutionary naturalists who’s theory of evolution maintained that organisms become more complex through the use and disuse of structures.  They are  forced to adapt to the changing environment.  He coined the term invertebrate and was the first to use the term biology. Maybe by today’s standards we have rejected his theory of evolution, but he still has 116 plant species and 103 marine species named after him.

Today is also the birthday of Lorenz Oken, born in 1779, he was a German naturalist, he placed animals in classes based on their sense organs

Maria Mitchell, born in 1818 was the first American woman to work as a professional astronomer, she discovered a comet and had it named after her, it was called “Miss Mitchell’s Comet”

George de Hevesy, born in 1885 was the co-discoverer of the element hafnium, he developed radioactive tracers to study metabolism in animals.

Walter Gerlach, born in 1889, was the co-discoverer of spin quantization in a magnetic field, called the Stern-Gerlach effect.

William Hamilton, born in 1936 was a British evolutionary biologist often considered the best evolutionary theorist of the 20th century.

 

And David Osheroff, born in 1945, discovered the superfluidity of helium.

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