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Author Topic: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists  (Read 27696 times)

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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #90 on: September 27, 2012, 10:31:02 AM »
10


Neil deGrasse Tyson

115 points - 8 lists - Highest Position: 1 (Mrs. Dick Courier)

Short Biography

Neil deGrasse Tyson is an American astrophysicist and science communicator. He is currently the Frederick P. Rose Director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space and a research associate in the department of astrophysics at the American Museum of Natural History. At the age of nine, Neil visited the Hayden planetarium (where he would one day become the director) and found that "so strong was that imprint [of the night sky] that I'm certain that I had no choice in the matter, that in fact, the universe called me." He attended the Bronx High School of Science (which I didn't know was a thing until now; so jealous). His love of astronomy deepened so much so that Carl Sagan attempted to woo him into studying at Cornell, though he ended up going to Harvard.


Major Discovery

While he has done research as an astronomer--observational astrophysics, mostly--Neil is best-known as a popularizer of science. He speaks so well of science, I'll just let him go right ahead and do it


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/9D05ej8u-gU" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/9D05ej8u-gU</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/3_F3pw5F_Pc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/3_F3pw5F_Pc</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/jfDNl0IQ7T4" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/jfDNl0IQ7T4</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/6RjW5-4IiSc" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/6RjW5-4IiSc</a>
(the video is out of alignment on this one, but the speech is so good, who cares)

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/wiOwqDmacJo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/wiOwqDmacJo</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/aadYN5OPKN8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/aadYN5OPKN8</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/h1iJXOUMJpg" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/h1iJXOUMJpg</a>


Up Next: Who you gonna call? Our next scien--wait, I've already used that one. I know: don't cross the streams!
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #91 on: September 27, 2012, 10:31:41 AM »
9


Egon Spengler

117 points - 6 lists - Highest Position: 2 (Cole Stratton, ScottotD, Pak-Man)

Portrayed By: Harold Ramis (films and video games), Maurice LaMarche (animated series)

Short Biography

Egon Spengler is a fictional character and member of the Ghostbusters. In his spare time, he collects spores, molds, and fungus. He doesn't express his emotions well and has described himself as "always serious." His childhood may have been normal in many regards, but one strange fact is that he didn't play with toys. Egon said that his parents did not believe in toys. He was given part of  a Slinky once, but he straightened it. He is a former professor of parapsychology at Columbia University. Although book smart, Spengler does not have much social ability, as demonstrated by his stiff interactions with the Ghostbusters' secretary Janine Melnitz, and his reliance on Peter as spokesperson for the group. He is the technical and theoretical leader of the team, creating their equipment. He also once attempted self-trepanation, but was stopped by Peter Venkman. As Venkman told Spengler "This reminds me of the time you tried to drill a hole in your head," to which Spengler replied, "That would have worked if you hadn't stopped me." According to the 2009 Video Game, Spengler sleeps an average of 14 minutes per day, leaving him "a lot of time to work."


Major Discovery

Spengler's major discoveries were in the technology which allowed the detection and storage of paranormal psychic energy. These devices include the PKE meter, the proton pack, the ghost trap, and the storage grid. Egon puts few restraints on the scope of his paranormal research. This is evident in Ghostbusters II, as he conducts experiments in his lab in which he deliberately incites couples to argue. When the mood slime is being tested, Egon sleeps with it in order to check its response to nurturing behavior. Science tends to take precedence over people's well being, as Egon is rather detached in his instructions regarding psychological experiments with couples and children in the second movie.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/D3v_ogRaTf4" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/D3v_ogRaTf4</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/pzaQjS1JstY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/pzaQjS1JstY</a>


Up Next: Beetles! Oh, and something about the multitudinous forms of life. But mostly beetles.
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #92 on: September 27, 2012, 10:32:12 AM »
8


Charles Darwin

130 points - 7 lists - Highest Position: 1 (Imrahil)

Short Biography

Charles Darwin was an English naturalist in 19th century England. He apprenticed as a Doctor with his father, before going to the University of Edinburgh Medical School with his brother Erasmus in October 1825. He found lectures dull and surgery distressing, so neglected his studies. In Darwin's second year he joined the Plinian Society, a student natural history group whose debates strayed into radical materialism. He assisted Robert Edmond Grant's investigations of the anatomy and life cycle of marine invertebrates, and presented at the Plinian his own discovery that black spores found in oyster shells were the eggs of a skate leech. This neglect of medical studies annoyed his father, who shrewdly sent him to Christ's College, Cambridge, for a Bachelor of Arts degree as the first step towards becoming an Anglican parson. Inspired with "a burning zeal" to contribute to natural philosophy, Darwin planned to visit Tenerife with some classmates after graduation to study natural history in the tropics. However, it was suggested to Darwin that he be gentleman naturalist for a self-funded place with captain Robert FitzRoy, more as a companion than a mere collector, on HMS Beagle which was to leave in four weeks on an expedition to chart the coastline of South America. The voyage lasted almost five years and, as FitzRoy had intended, Darwin spent most of that time traipsing about, investigating geology and making natural history collections, while the Beagle surveyed and charted coasts. It was upon returning to England that he began to collect his observations into a cohesive idea, and pursued further investigations. Darwin was also obsessed with beetles.


Major Discoveries

Darwin's major contribution was that of evolution by natural selection. In essence, an organism that is better adapted to its environment will survive to reproduce, thus ensuring its legacy for at least one generation. Though he was unable to describe how the traits of the parents were passed on to the children, the general framework was--and continues to be--wildly successful in describing life on Earth. Darwin also made many discoveries throughout the voyage of the Beagle. At Punta Alta in Patagonia he made a major find of fossil bones of huge extinct mammals in cliffs beside modern seashells, indicating recent extinction with no signs of change in climate or catastrophe. He identified the little known Megatherium by a tooth and its association with bony armour which had at first seemed to him like a giant version of the armour on local armadillos. The finds brought great interest when they reached England. When the Beagle reached home, Darwin was already a celebrity in scientific circles as earlier Henslow had fostered his former pupil's reputation by giving selected naturalists a pamphlet of Darwin's geological letters. Darwin was a prolific writer. Even without publication of his works on evolution, he would have had a considerable reputation as the author of The Voyage of the Beagle, as a geologist who had published extensively on South America and had solved the puzzle of the formation of coral atolls, and as a biologist who had published the definitive work on barnacles. While On the Origin of Species dominates perceptions of his work, The Descent of Man and The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals had considerable impact, and his books on plants including The Power of Movement in Plants were innovative studies of great importance, as was his final work on The Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms.





Up Next: An actual renaissance man.
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Offline Tripe

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #93 on: September 27, 2012, 10:35:04 AM »
8


Charles Darwin
I liked his Granddad better.


Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #94 on: September 27, 2012, 10:35:31 AM »
7


Leonardo da Vinci

139 points - 8 lists - Highest Position: 2 (Mrs. Dick Courier)

Short Biography

Leonardo di ser Piero da Vinci was an Italian Renaissance polymath: painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, anatomist, geologist, cartographer, botanist, and writer. His genius, perhaps more than that of any other figure, epitomized the Renaissance humanist ideal. Leonardo has often been described as the archetype of the Renaissance Man, a man of "unquenchable curiosity" and "feverishly inventive imagination". Leonardo was educated in the studio of the renowned Florentine painter, Verrocchio. Much of his earlier working life was spent in the service of Ludovico il Moro in Milan. He later worked in Rome, Bologna and Venice, and he spent his last years in France at the home awarded him by Francis I. He has been parodied in the Discworld series of novels as Leonard of Quirm, who doodles terrifying war machines in the corners of his drawings on anatomy or submarines. He also appears on Futurama as an alien bent on revenge against his fellow aliens.


Major Discovery

Renaissance humanism recognized no mutually exclusive polarities between the sciences and the arts, and Leonardo's studies in science and engineering are as impressive and innovative as his artistic work. These studies were recorded in 13,000 pages of notes and drawings, which fuse art and natural philosophy, made and maintained daily throughout Leonardo's life and travels, as he made continual observations of the world around him. Leonardo's approach to science was an observational one: he tried to understand a phenomenon by describing and depicting it in utmost detail and did not emphasize experiments or theoretical explanation. Since he lacked formal education in Latin and mathematics, contemporary scholars mostly ignored Leonardo the scientist. Leonardo made over 200 pages of drawings and many pages of notes towards a treatise on human anatomy. Leonardo also studied and drew the anatomy of many animals, dissecting cows, birds, monkeys, bears, and frogs, and comparing in his drawings their anatomical structure with that of humans. He also made a number of studies of horses. When he fled to Venice in 1499 he found employment as an engineer and devised a system of moveable barricades to protect the city from attack. He also had a scheme for diverting the flow of the Arno River. Leonardo's journals include a vast number of inventions, both practical and impractical. They include musical instruments, hydraulic pumps, reversible crank mechanisms, finned mortar shells, and a steam cannon. For much of his life, Leonardo was fascinated by the phenomenon of flight, producing many studies of the flight of birds as well as plans for several flying machines, including a light hang glider and a machine resembling a helicopter. Leonardo's treatment of light in paintings such as The Virgin of the Rocks and the Mona Lisa was to change forever the way in which artists perceived light and used it in their paintings. Of all Leonardo's scientific legacies, this is probably the one that had the most immediate and noticeable effect.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/IpL-Nz5RQyY" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/IpL-Nz5RQyY</a>


Up Next: Our next scientist has some good news. Everyone listen up.
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #95 on: September 27, 2012, 10:35:54 AM »
6


Hubert J. Farnsworth

148 points - 9 lists - Highest Position: 4 (Pak-Man)

Portrayed By: Billy West (animated series)

Short Biography

Hubert J. Farnsworth was born April 9th 2851 2841 in New New York's nerdiest slum, Hell's Laboratory. A precocious child, young Hubert learned to read while he was still in diapers -- at age 8. And before long he blossomed into a greasy teenager. After 14 years of graduate school, Farnsworth settled into the glamorous life of a scientist: Fast cars, trendy nightspots, beautiful women -- the Professor designed them all working out of his tiny, one-room apartment. For 50 years he worked at Mom's Friendly Robot Company, where he created the first robot capable of qualifying for a boat loan. And even as he nears his 150th birthday, the Professor retains the fiery passion of youth.


Major Discovery

Farnsworth's major contributions were in the world of robotics, where he created the basis for all 30th century robots. He has nearly perfected cloning, except that he must remember when to move the clone to a larger tank. He has also constructed a Smell-O-Scope, which allows the user to smell distant objects. Among his other inventions are
 - a universal translator whose output is in the dead language French
 - QT McWhiskers
 - Fing-Longer
 - Makeup for dogs
 - engines that use dark matter as fuel
 - an Electronium hat that increases the intelligence of the wearer
 - the What-If machine


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/1D1cap6yETA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/1D1cap6yETA</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Q2iMES08D44" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Q2iMES08D44</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/wIeDeI3K-1k" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/wIeDeI3K-1k</a>

I need to get one of these for my office:
<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZCZbb85R0B0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/ZCZbb85R0B0</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/XqcaaUtPdAo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/XqcaaUtPdAo</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/_P1bu4HUAMs" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/_P1bu4HUAMs</a>


Up Next: Oh, sure, in 1985, plutonium is available in every drug store, but on this list, it's a little hard to come by.
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #96 on: September 27, 2012, 10:36:15 AM »
5


Dr. Emmett Brown

161 points - 10 lists - Highest Position: 1 (Cole Stratton)

Portrayed By: Christopher Lloyd (films and video games), Dan Castellaneta (animated series)

Short Biography

Emmett Brown grew up with a love of science, after reading Verne as a child. Unfortunately, he was forced into working for his father at the courthouse. Later, he worked as a professor of physics at Hill Valley University until he was dismissed for refusing to work on certain research projects. Brown took on unsavoury patrons so that he could continue his research, which would come back to haunt him.


Major Discovery

Doc Brown's greatest achievement is one that so many scientists have searched for: time travel. He did this by creating the flux capacitor. The original concept, that the flux capacitor causes a dispersal of the time flux, came to him after he fell of a toilet. He was able to construct the device into a Delorean DMC-12, because "if you're gonna build a time machine into a car, why not do it with some style?" When he became stuck in 1885, he was able to re-construct the flux capacitor and attach it to a steam locomotive. The train was then used like a time-travelling Winnebago to transport the Doc and his new family throughout time.


<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/I5cYgRnfFDA" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/I5cYgRnfFDA</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Or7P9jfhcZ0" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Or7P9jfhcZ0</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/wFaXTcR4dtE" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/wFaXTcR4dtE</a>


Up Next: The internet loves him. Also, without him the internet might not have come around.
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #97 on: September 27, 2012, 10:36:57 AM »
4


Nikola Tesla

166 points - 9 lists - Highest Position: 1 (Darth Geek, Tripe Hound Redux, Kete)

I don't think anything I could possibly write here can top what The Oatmeal wrote. So click on that link, but be warned: there is some swearing.

Although,





Up Next: This next scientist described wine as "Light held together by moisture."
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #98 on: September 27, 2012, 10:37:30 AM »
3


Galileo Galilei

172 points - 9 lists - Highest Position: 2 (lassieface, CJones)

Short Biography

Galileo was born in Pisa in 1564. At the insistence of his father, he enrolled as a medical student at the University of Pisa rather than entering the priesthood. He was to come into strong conflict with the church, however, during his scientific career. His rejection of geocentrism (the idea that the Earth was at the centre of the Universe) led to house arrest, and the banning of his works from publication.


Major Discoveries

Though he didn't invent the telescope, Galileo was perhaps the first to turn one to the heavens. In doing so, he discovered that Jupiter had moons--the Galilean moons: Io, Europa, Ganymede and Callisto--and provided proof that not all objects in the solar system orbited the Earth. This, along with is observations of the phases of Venus, reinforced the idea of heliocentrism. He also used Kepler's supernova as proof against Aristotle's assertion that the skies were immutable. He was also the first to recognize sunspots. His contributions to physics include the idea that gravity affects bodies based solely on their mass, and that pendulums of equal length will have the same period regardless of their initial amplitude.

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/BFnh7s4i-Jo" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/BFnh7s4i-Jo</a>


Up Next: "Do not worry about your difficulties in Mathematics. I can assure you mine are still greater."
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #99 on: September 27, 2012, 10:37:57 AM »
2


Albert Einstein

174 points - 11 lists - Highest Position: 1 (Gunflyer)

Short Biography

Albert Einstein was born in 1879 in Ulm, Germany. He grew up with a passion for models, mathematics, and reading. As a young man, he worked at the patent office, examining mostly electrical transmission and mechanical time-synchronization patents.


Major Discoveries

The year was 1905. In that year, Einstein published works that would transform our understanding of physics. His annus mirabilis papers discussed four topics:
1. the photoelectric effect, which describes how light can displace electrons in a material, causing a current to flow when light is shone on a metal. To explain this, he invoked the idea of quanta of light--discrete packets of light called photons;
2. brownian motion, which is the apparently random motion of particles in a fluid. This was due, he explained, to the particles colliding with atoms. It provided empirical evidence that atoms were real objects as well as establishing fluid mechanics and statistical mechanics;
3. special theory of relativity, which describes an absolute speed limit and the equivalence of the results of physical experiments in all inertial reference frames (ie. observers that are moving with constant velocity with respect to each other);
4. the equivalence of mass and energy. This is the one most people are familiar with. The actual form of the equation is E^2 = p^2*c^2 + m^2*c^4, which relates the total energy of a body, E, with its mass, m, and its momentum, p. Ten years later, Einstein furthered our understanding of gravity with his general theory of relativity, which relates acceleration, mathematical curvature, and gravity. If we know how a space is described mathematically, we can calculate how bodies moving through the space will interact.




<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/nC5a0ceUzak" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/nC5a0ceUzak</a>

<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/Eurlpk3trA8" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/Eurlpk3trA8</a>


Up Next: "If I have seen further it is by standing on ye sholders of Giants."
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #100 on: September 27, 2012, 10:38:28 AM »
1


Isaac Newton

210 points - 11 lists - Highest Position: 1 (lassiface, D.B. Barnes, CJones)

Short Biography

Newton was born on Christmas 1642* in Lincolnshire. At the end of his University education, he decided to return home to avoid the Black Plague. It was then that he developed his most influential scientific ideas. Due to these revolutionary ideas, he enjoyed some celebrity. He was appointed to the Royal Mint he uncovered and prosecuted rampant forgery. Though he is most well-known for his scientific and mathematical work, he wrote more--and spent more time--on the subject of alchemy than any other topic. Newton was often known to claim priority on many discoveries presented to him. He would often say that he had made the same discovery years earlier, but had neglected to publish, or had lost the papers.


Major Discoveries

The biggest contribution made by Newton to science would have to be the infinitesimal calculus. This mathematical invention has allowed the description of any continuous process to be codified and calculated. Though there is continued debate on who first came up with calculus (either Newton or Gottfried Leibniz), Newton did provide a more complete description. Unfortunately for him, though, Leibniz's notation and methods were more convenient. Newton also gave us a much deeper understanding of optics and mechanics, and provided a description of gravity which is sufficient to send astronauts to the Moon.




<a href="http://www.youtube.com/v/danYFxGnFxQ" target="_blank" class="new_win">http://www.youtube.com/v/danYFxGnFxQ</a>


* Julian calendar, or 4 January 1643 Gregorian.
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Offline goflyblind

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #101 on: September 27, 2012, 10:39:00 AM »
Some Final Thoughts

So that's the countdown. I hope everyone had a good time. I enjoyed running the list, though I think it might be a while before I try my hand at another one. I forgot, when submitting the idea, that I'd have to do all the write-ups (even if it was mostly just copy-n-paste from the intertubes).

There were a few scientists I was disappointed not to see place higher, including Emmy Noether, Alan Turing, Walter Bishop (a collection of Walter quotes), and Évariste Galois. Also, someone voted for Edward Teller, which to me seems like voting for Brutus or Judas when the topic is "friends" :P . Again, thanks for letting me host the Top Fifty-Two Scientists LoC. I've added the whole countdown at the end of this post.

I would like to leave you with an illustrated quote from an astronomer and science popularizer who didn't appear on anyone's list. It's a rather huge image, so you'll have to click on it to read it clearly.


Spoiler: The Whole List (click to show/hide)
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Offline ScottotD

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #102 on: September 27, 2012, 10:41:23 AM »

4


Nikola Tesla
6


Hubert J. Farnsworth

If only he'd invented the Fing-Longer, he would be number 1... oh my, yes.



« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 10:43:41 AM by ScottotD »
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Offline Tripe

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #103 on: September 27, 2012, 10:42:16 AM »
Man, Sagan got beat by that immoral douchebag of a huckster Thomas Edison? You guys suck.

I'm hoping there will be some redress of that in the top ten....

And, being familiar with the intertubes, I think my hopes may be met.

And indeed

4


Nikola Tesla
They were. :)


Offline Tripe

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Re: LoC #64: Top 52 Scientists
« Reply #104 on: September 27, 2012, 10:46:02 AM »
Nice work, here's mine:

1. Nikola Tesla
2. Stephen Hawking
3. Erasmus Darwin
4. Heron of Alexandria
5. Auguste Marie Louis Nicolas and  Louis Jean Lumière
6. Thomas Henry Huxley
7. Patrick Moore
8. Neil deGrasse Tyson
9. Carl Sagan   
10. Isaac Newton
11. Prof. Heinz Wolff
12. Gregor Mendel
13. Charles Babbage
14. Augusta Ada King, Countess of Lovelace
15. Karl Popper
16. Johannes Kepler
17. Heddy Lamar
18. Isambard Kingdom Brunel
19. Charles Darwin
20. Magnus Pyke
21. Albert Einstein
22. Johnny Ball
23. Richard Dawkins
24. Tycho Brahe
25. Brian May

EDIT: Now with colour-coding and hyperlinks and stuff.
« Last Edit: September 27, 2012, 12:14:54 PM by Tripe H. Redux »