Category Archives: Scientist’s Birthdays

Science Birthdays, June 26

Today is the birthday of William Thompson, born in 1824, he coined the term “kinetic energy,” did important work in formulation of the first and second law of thermodynamics, he was knighted for his work on the transatlantic telegraph and became Lord Kelvin.

Quote: “When you are face to face with a difficulty, you are up against a discovery.”

6/26/1730        Charles Messier           astronomer, published an astronomical catalog of deep space objects, called 110Messier objects, they are still used today. He also discovered 13 comets, he died in 1817 at the age of 86.

6/26/1914        Spitzer Lyman             astronomer, invented the stellarator and is the namesake of NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope. he was one of the first to recognize that star formation was an ongoing and contemporary process. He died in 1997 at age 82.

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Science Birthdays, June 25

6/25/1560        Wilhelm Fabry, German Surgeon, The Father of German Surgery, his wife Marie Colinet used a magnet to remove metal from a patient’s eye. She also improved methods of Cesarean section childbirth.  He died in 1634 at age 74.

6/25/1814        Gabriel Daubree,          geologist, he died in 1896 at age 82.

6/25/1864        Hermann Walter Nernst,          chemist, in 1897 he invented the Nernst lamp, a precursor to the carbon rod incandescent lamp, established the third law of thermodynamics, which describes matter as temperatures approach absolute zero. He developed a means of determining free energies of chemical reactions from heat measurements and the Nernst equation.  He also developed an electric piano.  he died in 1941 at age 77.

“Knowledge is the death of research” and “one should avoid carrying out any experiment with more than ten percent accuracy”.     

6/25/1894        Hermann Oberth, German physicist, one of the founding fathers of rocketry and astronautics, his thesis on rocketry was first rejected, he made his living as a high school teacher.

6/25/1905        Rupert Wildt,               astronomer, he specialized in the properties of atmospheres. he died in 1976 at age 70.

6/25/1911        William Howard Stein, American chemist, worked on ribonucleas, he also built the first amino acid analyzer to determine protein sequences, Nobel laureate, he died in 1980 at the age of 69.

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Science Birthdays, June 24

Today is the birthday of Fred Hoyle, born in 1915.  He coined the term “Big Bang” as a joke in his rejection of the theory.  He is most famous for his theory of stellar nucleosynthesis.

Fred Hoyle quote: “space isn’t remote at all, it’s only about an hour away if you drive your car straight up”.

Others born on this day:

6/24/1661        Gregory David,            astronomer

6/24/1795        Ernst Weber,                physiologist, professor of anatomy and physiology, founder of experimental psychology, he died in 1878 at the age of 83.

6/24/1835        Johannes Wislicenus,   chemist, famous for his work in stereochemistry, he discovered that lactic acid had two forms with different physical properties but identical structure.     He died in 1902 at age 67.

6/24/1852        Friedrich Loffler,         biologist, he discovered the organism Corynebacteria diptheriae, that causes diphtheria, and the cause of foot and mouth disease ( a viral disease). He died in 1915 at age 63.

6/24/1883        Victor Hess,                 physicist, discovered cosmic rays. He died in 1964 at age 81.

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Science Birthdays, June 23

From Biologist to Sexologist, Alfred Kinsey was born on this day in 1894.  He wrote a popular textbook;  An Introduction to Biology that was used for many years. The Kinsey Institute began in the attic of his home where he not only interviewed and observed people having sex, he often participated and encouraged co-workers to do the same. He came from a family of devout Christians to become the father of sexology. He was also an entomologist.


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Science Birthdays, June 22

6/22/1864        Hermann Minkowski, mathematician, developed geometry of numbers, he was one of Einstein’s teachers, he died in 1909 at age 44.

6/22/1887        Julian Huxley, British biologist, proponent of natural selection, and evolutionary synthesis, he died in 1975 at age 88.

6/22/1934        James Bjorken, American theoretical physicist, he discovered light-cone scaling, a phenomenon in the deep inelastic scattering of light on strongly interacting particles known as hadrons.

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Science Birthdays, June 21


Today is the birthday of Clara Immerwahr, born in 1870.  Clara received a Ph.D. in chemistry, but due to female stereotypes of the time, she was able to do little of her own research.  She married Fritz Haber and contributed much to his research with little of her own recognition. She committed suicide in 1915 due to his role in supervising  chemical war gas weaponry.

Others born on this day were:

6/21/1805        Charles Jackson,          chemist, polymath, brother in law of Ralph Waldo Emerson, made a geological exploration of Nova Scotia, he died in 1880 at age 75 after suffering a mental illness.

6/21/1863        Maximillian Wolf,       astronomer, pioneer in the field of astrophotography, he died in 1932 at the age of 69.

6/21/1880        Arnold Gesell,             psychologist, he died in 1961 at age 81.

6/21/1916        Herbert Friedman,       astronomer, pioneer in the application of sounding rockets to solar physics, he died in 2000 at age 84.

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Science Birthdays, June 20

Today is the birthday of Jacob Hubner, born in 1761, he wrote Sammlung Europaischer Schmetterlinge, a founding work on entomology.

Also born on this day:

6/20/1861        Frederick Hopkins, Awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his discovery of vitamins. He also discovered the amino acid tryptophan, he died in 1947 at age 85.

6/20/1875        Reginald Punnett, he created the Punnett Square to predict the probability of possible genotypes of offspring, He wrote the book Mendelism in 1905 and it was probably the first textbook on genetics. He died in 1967 at age 91.

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