Artturi Virtanen… Burrhus Frederic Skinne:… Barbara Mcclintock… Beatrix Potter… Scientists › Multiposts

Biographies of Famous Scientists

Biographies of Famous Scientists, his life and achievements

Biographies of Famous Scientists:

  1. Who is Artturi Virtanen: Biography
  2. Who is Burrhus Frederic Skinner: Biography
  3. Who is Barbara McClintock: Biography
  4. Who is Beatrix Potter: Biography
  5. Who is Benjamin Cabrera: Biography
  6. Who is Benjamin Franklin: Biography
  7. Who is Bernardo Houssay: Biography
  8. Who is Bill Nye: Biography
  9. Who is Blaise Pascal: Biography
  10. Who is Brian Cox: Biography
  11. Who is Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman: Biography
  12. Who is Carl Bosch: Biography
  13. Who is Carl Sagan: Biography
  14. Who is Charles-Augustin de Coulomb: Biography

Who is Artturi Virtanen: Biography

A Nobel Prize Laureate, Artturi Virtanen was recognized in 1945 for his inventions and research in agricultural as well as nutrition chemistry. He is more particularly known for the AIV fodder which is important for the prolonged storage of grain especially during long winter months.

Early Life and Educational Background

Artturi Virtanen was born Artturi Ilmari Virtanen to his parents Serafiina Isotalo and Kaarlo Virtanen on the 15th of January in 18His hometown was in Helsinki, Finland, and he received his education from the Classical Lyceum located at Viipuri, Finland.
Upon finishing his basic education, he furthered his knowledge by taking biology, physics, and chemistry courses at the University of Helsinki. There, he was able to obtain his M. Sc. in 1916 and three years later, his D. Sc for organic chemistry. He then had the opportunity to work as a chemist in the Laboratory of Valio under the Finnish Cooperative Dairies’ Association which was a major manufacturer of dairy products. In 1920, he became the director of this laboratory.
Artturi didn’t stop at these academic achievements, and felt that he wasn’t fully qualified yet. He left Valio the same year he became its director and pursued his interests in zoology and botany. He studied physical chemistry in the University of Münster and soil chemistry at the ETH in Zurich. A year later, he went to Stockholm to study bacteriology.
From 1923-1924, he studied more about enzymology, and this was also when his interest focused on biochemistry. During this time, he was under the tutelage of Hans von Euler-Chelpin, a 1929 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry.


Having undertaken several academic supplementation to his knowledge, he became one of the lecturers at University of Helsinki in 19He was popular for his lectures which revolved around the chemistry of life. At the same time, he was also working in the Butter Export Association’s laboratory which later on became the university’s laboratory as well. Virtanen founded the Institute for Biochemistry in 1930 and a year later he became Helsinki University of Technology’s professor of biochemistry. In 1939, he also held a professorship at the University of Helsinki.
It was in 1924 when Virtanen was able to establish how cozymase was indispensable for propionic and lactic acid fermentation processes along with sugar phosphorylation. Because of his work and observations, it was made clear how different fermentation processes had similar initial stages especially where sugar decomposition was concerned. Along with his research partners, Virtanen pushed through with fermentation experiments with special attention given on how bacterial fermentation occurred.
An important note in their study was dioxyaceton’s fermentation to glycerol as well as glyceric acid while exposed to phosphates by the effect that Coli bacteria has was the very first sugar fermentation process they were able to process from beginning up to the end, and this was done in 19While working on this, they also paid attention to how enzymes formed adaptively.
Because of his studies, Virtanen was able to identify how phosphorylation is the very first step in different fermentation processes and reactions, and this is also the foundation of what is known as the Embden-Meyerhof pathway which is the most common kind of glycolysis or conversion of glucose into pyruvate.
After this successful phase in his research work, Virtanen’s interest shifted to the nitrogen fixation that occurs in leguminous nodules. Several further investigations on nitrogen fixation were done in the laboratory and soon enough, he was able to prove the importance of leghaemoglobin or the red pigment abundant in some leguminous plants. He was able to note that it was responsible for the nitrogen fixation observed in these plants. He continued to study vitamin formation in plants along with how plants utilized organic nitrogen compounds to become their main nitrogen source.
By the end of the 1940’s, he had been able to isolate a large number of amino acids from plant sources. Along with these amino acids, Virtanen was also able to identify and isolate a number of organic sulphur compounds from fodder plants as well as different vegetables. These compounds were thought to have an important role in the nutrition of both man and animals.
Because of the discoveries that Virtanen had, he was also able to improve butter preservation methods. He was able to achieve this by adding some disodium phosphate in order to prevent the occurrence of acidic hydrolysis. This method of preserving butter was used in Finland for many decades. During 1925 up to 1932, Virtanen’s research work led to the successful invention of a method for preserving fodder which is now known as the AIV Fodder. This method was patented in 1932, and the idea behind it was that it acted as a kind of silage which improved how green fodder was stored—this was especially important especially during long winter months.
The process of using the AIV Fodder made use of diluting sulfuric or hydrochloric acid on grain which had just been stored. The increased acidity is what stops harmful fermentation from happening, and it has no adverse side effects on the nutritional value that the fodder has as well as to the animals who will be consuming it. It was because of this invention that Virtanen received his Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He spent his latter years studying how to develop partially synthetic feed for cattle.

Personal Life and Latter Years

He was married in 1920 to the botanist Lilja Moisio and they had two sons. Virtanen bought a farm somewhere near Helsinki and this was where he tested some of the results he was able to come up with in the laboratory. He was a man who enjoyed the simple life and he never even had a car of his own despite his many achievements.
Virtanen remained in the Institute for Biochemistry which he founded until his death came in 1973 caused by a hip fracture and ensuing complications. As an honor to his legacy, the Virtanen lunar crater and asteroid 1449 Virtanen were both named after him.

Who is Burrhus Frederic Skinner: Biography

Burrhus Frederic Skinner, more commonly known as B. F. Skinner, was an American psychologist, philosopher, scientist and poet. An important advocate of behaviourism, Skinner is known for inventing the operant conditioning chamber, and for his own experimental analysis of behavior. He is widely considered as one of the most influential psychologists of all time.

Early Life and Education:

Born in 1904 in Susquehanna, Pennsylvania, Skinner’s father was a lawyer. Skinner went to Hamilton College, New York, as he wanted to become a writer. After getting his B.A. in English literature in 1926, Skinner attended Harvard University, where he later received a PhD in 19After becoming disenchanted with his literary skills, and inspired by John B. Watson’s Behaviorism, he acquired a degree in psychology, which led to the development of his influential operant behaviorism.

Contributions and Achievements:

B. F. Skinner was a prominent researcher in Harvard University until 19He accepted teaching positions at the University of Minnesota and Indiana University. In 1948, he returned to Hardvard as a tenured professor.
Skinner devised the operant conditioning chamber. He introduced his own philosophy of science known as “radical behaviorism”. His brand of experimental research psychology is highly regarded, and deals with the experimental analysis of behavior. Skinner’s analysis of human behavior enhanced his work “Verbal Behavior”, which has lately seen a boost in interest experimentally and in applied settings. Skinner’s science also made other advances in education through the work of his students and colleagues, particulary in special education. He was a prolific author who wrote about 21 books and 180 articles.
Skinner worked out the rate of response as a dependent variable in psychological research. He also figured out the cumulative recorder to assess the rate of responding as part of his highly influential work on schedules of reinforcement. Although Skinner’s work reach back toward the founding of educational psychology, and forward into its modern era, they arguably never attained their true potential.

Later Life and Death:

B. F. Skinner died of leukemia on August 18, 19He was 86 years old.

Who is Barbara McClintock: Biography

Barbara McClintock made a great name as the most distinguished cytogeneticist in the field of science. Her breakthrough in the 1940s and ’50s of mobile genetic elements, or “jumping genes,” won her the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine in 19Among her other honors are the National Medal of Science by Richard Nixon (1971), the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research, the Wolf Prize in Medicine and the Thomas Hunt Morgan Medal by the Genetics Society of America (all in 1981) and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University (1982).

Early Life, Education and Career Achievements:

Barbara McClintock was born on June 16, 1902 in Hartford, Connecticut. She was the third child of Sara Handy McClintock and Thomas Henry McClintock, a physician. After completing her high school education in New York City, she enrolled at Cornell University in 1919 and from this institution received the B.Sc degree in 1923, the M.A. in 1925, and the Ph.D. in 1927.
When McClintock began her career, scientists were just becoming aware of the relationship between heredity and events they could actually examine in cells under the microscope. She served as a graduate assistant in the Department of Botany for three years from 1924-27 and in 1927, following completion of her graduate studies, was employed as an Instructor, a post she held until 19She was awarded a National Research Council Fellowship in 1931 and spent two years as a Fellow at the California Institute of Technology. After receiving the Guggenheimn Fellowship in 1933, she spent a year abroad at Freiburg. She returned to the States and to the Department of Plant Breeding at Cornell the following year. McClintock left Cornell in 1936 to take the position of an Assistant Professorship in the Department of Botany at the University of Missouri. In 1941 she became a part of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, and began a happy and fruitful association which continued for the rest of her life.
In 1950, Dr. McClintock first reported in a scientific journal that genetic information could transpose from one chromosome to another. Many scientists during that time assumed that this unconventional view of genes was unusual to the corn plant and was not universally applicable to all organisms. They were of the view that genes generally were held in place in the chromosome like a necklace of beads.
The importance of her research was not realized until the 1960s, when Francois Jacob and Jacques Monod discovered controlling elements in bacteria similar to those McClintock found in corn and in 1983 McClintok received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her discovery of mobile genetic elements. Her work has been of high value assisting in the understanding of human disease. “Jumping genes” help explain how bacteria are able to build up resistance to an antibiotic and there is some indication that jumping genes are involved in the alteration of normal cells to cancerous cells.


McClintock died in Huntington, New York, on September 2, 1992.

Who is Beatrix Potter: Biography

Beatrix Potter may be a familiar name in children’s literature, but what a lot do not know is that she is a notable woman of science as well. Her stories about Peter Rabbit and a lot of other fictional characters she created served as an outlet in her frustration to break into a career in science.

Early Life and Education

She was born Helen Beatrix Potter on July 28, 1866 in London as the older of the two children of Rupert Potter and Helen Leech. Rupert Potter was a lawyer and the Potters lived a comfortable life. Her parents mingled with politicians, writers and artists, and enjoyed drawing and painting immensely. This is why Beatrix has always possessed a keen eye for details which showed in the art she created from her younger years to adulthood.
Beatrix Potter may have come from a well-off family, but she did not grow up to be like the other wealthy ladies of the same age. She spent most of her time at home under the care of a governess while her brother Bertram was sent to some of the finest schools known. When he was home however, they spent a lot of time together playing with creatures that they found around their property and in the woods where they explored. They would often bring these creatures home and draw or paint them. Their collection included a hedgehog, some rabbits, bats and mice, as well as a few insects. She grew up to be a very shy girl and would rarely share her thoughts with anyone. She wrote in a secret diary using a code that only she can understand.
Beatrix’s interest in natural science was spurned when her uncle who was a chemist gave her the permission to use his microscope and other equipment. She would study and inspect plants, insects and other animals, and she would draw each of them in great detail.

Notable Contributions

It was in South Kensington Museum that Beatrix Potter further developed a keen interest in a lot of natural sciences. She was eager to learn more about botany, mycology and entomology, among others.
What fascinated Beatrix the most were fungi. She started a detailed study of them when she turned Her drawings showed in great detail how lichens, a common type of fungi found on rocks and trees, were actually not one but two different organisms that lived together. Her studies showed that this was actually a union between an alga and a fungus. She was the first Briton to recognize this fact and was also among the first few in the world who did. This was how she formulated her conclusion of symbiosis. Through symbiosis, two different organisms are able to live together with each of them benefitting the other in some way. In this case, the fungus provided a haven for the alga. It was responsible for gathering the water and minerals that they needed to complete the process of photosynthesis. In turn, the alga is the one that converted the sunlight into nourishment which is basically the photosynthesis process.
It took her 13 long years to complete her research and finalize her paper on the things she discovered. Of course, her theory was not given the support that it needed and botanists she showed her work to refused to even discuss the drawings she made. The only time she was given the permission to present her work to The Linnaean Society of British Scientists was when her uncle interceded for her. She submitted her study “On the Germination of the Spores of Agaricineae” but was not allowed to read it herself because only men were invited to their meetings. The organization at that time was not yet open to the thought of accepting women in their midst.

Other Achievements

It was very frustrating for Beatrix Potter not to be accepted in the science circles. Because of this she started to concentrate on her drawing and writing instead. She had always been a self-taught artist and used different media in her work. She had the ability to illustrate using pencils, oils, watercolor, pen and ink. She also followed her father’s footsteps in developing her talent in photography.
She became famous for the characters that she told stories about in the children’s books she wrote and illustrated with Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny and Jemima Puddle Duck being among some of the most well-loved. The Tale of Peter Rabbit was published in 1902 when she was 36 years old. All in all, she had 28 books published, all of which are still read by children all over the world. Over 150 million copies of her books have been sold with all of them translated into 35 different languages.
As her books gained popularity, she channeled all the profit towards a large property called Hill Top. Found in England’s Lake District, this was her first farm. She enjoyed the quiet and solitude that the property brought her which allowed her to work more efficiently. Aside from being a farmer and landowner, she also became recognized as a sheep breeder. She never lost her love for nature and became an advocate of traditional farming and the preservation of the wild environment surrounding the area.
This was where she found William Heelis, a handsome solicitor who was 5 years younger. He became Beatrix’s legal adviser and eventually, Beatrix’s husband of 30 years. The marriage did not bear them any children.
She continued buying patch after patch of land as she continued to enjoy living surrounded by nature. The British Natural Trust eventually became recipient to her donation of 4,000 acres of land which includes 15 farms and cottages. By doing so, she hoped to further pursue her dream to provide land for the creatures that she grew to love.
Beatrix Potter died of bronchitis in 1943, leaving behind a legacy across different fields of study. Upon her death, the secret diary she kept as a child was also released, setting forth a story of frustration for not being given the chance to pursue her passion for science early on.

Who is Benjamin Cabrera: Biography

Filipino scientist Benjamin Cabrera is one person that really deserves a pat on the back because not only is he a physician but he is also known for his works on public health and medical parasitology. He is a scientist that never seems to run out of ideas and uses his brain to bring advances solutions to problems. He has had a lot of achievements and while most of the have been significant, there are some works of his that just really stand out and are still significant and in use up until today. He boasts more than a hundred scientific publications to his name. His specialities were focused on public health and parasitology and this is where he did a lot of work and introduced a lot of breakthroughs in. It is important to note that he made his discoveries and breakthroughs during a time when technology wasn’t yet too advanced and yet he managed and excelled and made some of the most ground-breaking breakthroughs and innovations in his chosen field and speciality.

His Life

Dr. Benjamin Cabrera was born on March 18, 1920 and enrolled in the University of the Philippines in 1945 when he was about This was where and when he got his medical degree after which he decided to pursue further studies in the US and enrolled at Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana. This was where he studied for and earned a Master’s Degree in Public Health. He majored in Public Health and Parasitology. He finished with this schooling in 1950.
Dr. Cabrera was quite prolific and published more than a hundred studies that on medical parasitology and public health. Not only did he write and publish his findings but he also made some very important innovations that changed the way diseases from mosquitoes were treated. He also made headway into developing treatments for parasite-infested agricultural soil. Seeing as his native country relied heavily in agriculture, his findings and innovations brought a lot of benefits to his homeland and alleviate a lot of their problems with land and parasites.
11 years after he graduated with his Master’s Degree, he and a certain Lee M. Howard conducted the very first study that focused on simian malaria. The study was conducted in the Philippines where they found that 8.6% of the animals they tested had malaria. The study was admittedly somewhat limited but it did show significant findings and suggested that the cases of simian malaria weren’t really all that significant and didn’t pose a real threat to the Filipino population.
His works were all significant but one stood out above the rest and it was about the study he conducted on filariasis which is an infectious and parasitic tropical disease that is brought about by infestations of thread-like nematode worms that belong to the Filariodea family. Dr, Cabrera’s work on this tropical disease is what garnered him the Philippine Legion of Honor which was a Presidential Award back in the year 19In his study, he came to know the life cycles and the epidemiology of these parasites and that was how he figured out how to come up with drug treatments that were necessary in keeping people safe from the disease. He also figured out ways in which people can stay free of the mosquitoes that spread the parasites that lead to the disease. The country was in danger of an epidemic from the mosquitoes and the disease they carried and his study was the one thing that saved them all from disaster. His work didn’t just garner him a prestigious award but it also saved a lot of his country-men from developing the disease so it as indeed an award that he truly deserved.
Aside from his work with filariasis, Dr. Cabrera also invested in some time in figuring out a way to control ascariasis which is a disease humans get by way of parasitic roundworms. He conducted some studies and with the results, he was able to come up with a model that allowed people to reduce the hazards brought about by the helminths that were found on the soil. His study also touched on how the parasites could be reduced and until today, the measures he introduced are still in place.

Significance of his Works

Seeing as the Philippines is both a tropical and agricultural country, it just makes sense that his works and innovations were considered innovative and ground-breaking. They really changed the way people lived and the quality of their lives. His findings gave the people and government a fighting chance to defend themselves against the many parasites that plagues them.
Of course, his studies and breakthroughs weren’t just important to the Filipino people since they were used in other tropical and agricultural countries as well. Many countries in the tropics made use of his findings to protect their own citizens from the same diseases and infestations. It just goes to show how significant his studies and breakthroughs were since they are still considered important up until today. Of course, there are other breakthroughs since then but these breakthroughs were all based on his studies.
Dr. Cabrera was a man before his time and because his work is proof of his forward-thinking ways. There is no telling want could have happened if Dr. Cabrera didn’t make the findings that he did when he did because the health of a whole country would have been at stake. At the time of his death, he was remembered as one of the most important and prolific Filipino scientists of his time and is being honoured in his alma mater up until today. These days, it is not rare for his works to be cited in more modern studies because he was very thorough. Any modern vaccines and measures taken against the parasites and diseases he studied before look back to his own works. Truly, this is a world-class scientist that did his best to bring honour not just to family but also to his country.

Who is Benjamin Franklin: Biography

Sir Benjamin Thompson, count von Rumford was an American-born British physicist and inventor who was a founder of the Royal Institution of Great Britain. One of the leading figures in the history of thermodynamics, his work rejected the popular belief that heat is a liquid form of matter and laid down the modern theory that heat is a form of motion. Benjamin Thompson also performed services for military and drew designs for warships.

Personal Life:

Born in Woburn, Massachusetts, Benjamin Thompson never received formal education. Instead, he joined a store as an apprentice. At nineteen, he married a rich widow named Sarah Walker and lived in Rumford. When the Revolutionary War started, he sided with the British. He also spied for the British Army.
After the war, he went to England, and later to Germany in 17In recognition of his civilian and military services, he was given the title of a Count.
He returned to England in 17He was made a member of the Royal Society due to his extraordinary scientific accomplishments. Thompson died near Paris in 18He was 61 years old.

Contributions and Achievements:

While serving for the military in 1798, Thompson noted that during the process of boring cannons, the metal turned red hot and even boiled the water used to keep it cool. The old explanation was that, if the metal is broken to pieces, the caloric is liberated from the metal. This gives rise to heat.
Thompson rejected this because, even when filing is not made, heat is emitted by simple friction. Actually, he demonstrated that the amount of heat involved in boring was so much that if it were poured back, it could melt the metal. Otherwise stated, more caloric could be achieved from the metal than it could possibly bear.
Thompson’s view was that the heat was due to the mechanical motion of the borer. He showed that the quantity of heat was equal to the motional energy of the borer. He made it clear that heat is a form of energy. Thompson even assessed how much heat was produced by a given amount of motion. He was the first scientist to measure the mechanical equivalent of heat (MEH).
Thompson’s figure of 5.57 Joules was considered too high; only 50 years the first logical value of 4.16 Joules was measured. He also examined the insulating properties of several objects such as wool, fur and feathers.

Who is Bernardo Houssay: Biography

A 1947 Nobel Prize winner, Bernardo Alberto Houssay is known for his research on the role that pituitary hormones play in sugar metabolism. He was the first Latin American and Argentine to receive the Nobel Prize.

Early Life and Childhood

Bernardo Alberto Houssay was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina on April 10, 18He was the son of a lawyer by the name of Albert Houssay who also worked at the National College of Buenos Aires teaching literature. His other half was Clara Laffont. Houssay’s parents were both originally from France and migrated to Argentina just before he was born.
Houssay showed a lot of potential early on, gaining top marks and showing academic excellence at a very young age. He completed his secondary education in Colegio Britanico and was merely 14 years old when he attended the University of Buenos Aires. It took him only three years to graduate from Pharmacy School under the same university where he graduated with highest honors. He went on to attend medical school while working as a pharmacy assistant to somehow help cover some of the costs of his education. He eventually earned his degree in medicine at the age of 23.
Houssay married a chemist named Maria Angelica Catan in 19They had three children together; the eldest was Alberto Bernardo, the second was Hector Emilio Jose, and the youngest was Raul Horacio. All three of them followed their parents’ footsteps and earned their own medical degrees.

Notable Contributions

It was in medical school that endocrinology sparked Houssay’s interest. He was especially fascinated with the different hormones that the endocrine glands secreted and specially paid great attention to how the pituitary gland worked. His doctoral thesis was entitled “Studies of the Physiological Action of the Pituitary Extracts”, which earned him a special award.
In 1921, three individuals discovered the importance of insulin for a body that suffers diabetes. They were Charles Best and Frederick Banting who were Canadians and John Macleod, a Scottish physiologist. Their research and the results they gained from it became part of the foundation of Houssay’s own studies.
Houssay started to concentrate on two things from 1923 to 1937: the interaction between insulin and the pancreas and the interaction between the pituitary gland and its secretions. At that time, the pituitary gland was still known as the hypophysis. A major breakthrough came when he discovered the role that the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland played in carbohydrate metabolism. He also discovered that insulin’s interaction with other hormones also has a great impact on the oxidation of sugar, and not just its absence or presence. Hormones that insulin interacts with include somatotropin and prolactin, both of which are produced within the pituitary gland. These discoveries led him to his Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine which he shared with Gerty Cori and Carl Ferdinand Cori. The two discovered the role that glucose played in carbohydrate metabolism, a study that was greatly related to Houssay’s work.

Other Works and Achievements

Around 1910, Bernardo Houssay went back to the University of Buenos Aires as a professor, this time under the School of Veterinary Medicine. He left for some time when he became Alvear Hospital’s chief physician. He was also assigned as laboratory director of the experimental National Public Health Laboratories under the National Department of Hygiene. He went back to the university as a Professor of Physiology in 19During his stay, he founded a new research center for the university, the Institute of Physiology. While Houssay was in charge, he had around 135 graduate students from all over the world working on different projects for the institute, which further widened Houssay’s influence in his chosen field of specialization.
Juan Peron became President of Argentina in 19There were a lot of uprisings during that period and Houssay was among those who petitioned for the Argentine government to be changed into a democratic one. Because of this, Peron dismissed Houssay, along with around 150 other academics from the university. This was not a reason for Houssay to lose his resolve however, and continued with his research. Houssay’s dismissal was considered void shortly after and in 1944, he founded the Institute of Biology and Experimental Medicine. He was then asked to retire in 1946.
Although endocrinology was his specialization, Houssay worked in several other fields as well. He took interest in the digestive, nervous, circulatory and respiratory systems and did his share in understanding these other processes.
Houssay received a Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1947 for his research on the role that pituitary hormones play in sugar metabolism. He then travelled to the United States and became University of California’s Hitchcock Professor of Physiology.
In 1950, Houssay shared his insights and knowledge through a book entitled Physiologie Humaine. Because of its huge success, an English version was published and sold all over the world.
Looking at Houssay’s entire career, he was in part an important factor that held Argentina’s scientific growth together. He was responsible for founding and assisting in building almost all of the major scientific organizations all over the country and was assigned as a head in most of them at one point. He also earned honorary doctorates granted to him by over 25 universities all over the world, not to mention being invited and elected as a member of different prestigious scientific societies in France, Italy, Great Britain, Germany, Spain and the United States. All these were ways by which the world’s scientific community honored the importance of Houssay’s discoveries and the impact that these discoveries had in the further growth and advancement of science.
Houssay also trained a lot of people who eventually made their mark on the sciences as well. One of them was Miguel Rolando Covian who later on became the Father of Brazilian Neurophysiology. He also mentored Eduardo Braun Menendez, a noted Argentine physiologist.
Houssay died on September 21, 1971 in Buenos Aires. He was 84 years old and was survived by his three sons. His wife, Maria Angelica Catan, died a decade ahead of him.

Who is Bill Nye: Biography

“The Science Guy.” William Sanford Nye who goes by his more popular moniker Bill Nye is a science educator who began his career in science as one of Boeing’s mechanical engineers. He is most popularly known as Bill Nye the Science Guy where he hosts the Disney/PBS science show for children. Bill Nye is also a comedian, actor, scientist, and a writer. He has gained popularity for his many appearances in today’s media as a fun to watch science educator.

Early Life and Education

Bill Nye was born in November 27, 19His mother was a codebreaker named Jacqueline, and his World War II veteran father was named Edwin Darby. His father had experienced being a prisoner of Japanese war camps, and this made him an enthusiast of sundials. This later on had a significant influence on one of Bill’s scientific works.
For a year, Bill attended Lafayette Elementary as well as Alice Deal Junior High in Washington. He graduated in 1973 after being on partial scholarship at Sidwell Friends School. Four years later, he was one of the students of Carl Sagan, a science popularizer and communicator, when he took his mechanical engineering courses at Cornwell University.
Bill Nye’s career began in Seattle when he worked for Boeing where he then began to be part of training films. Also, he was able to develop a resonance suppressor making use of hydraulic pressure which is still a part of today’s Boeing 7A few years later, Bill worked in the aeronautics industry as a consultant. In an interview for the St. Petersburg Times in 1999, he once told that he applied to become one of the astronauts of NASA every once in a while but was never accepted.

Bill Nye the Science Guy

His name is always associated with “The Science Guy,” which is the character in a children’s science show. His professional career in entertainment began when he had to correct the pronunciation of “Almost Live’s” show host for the word “gigawatt” and said it as “jigowatt.” The host of the local sketch comedy program of Seattle then replied “Who do you think you are—Bill Nye the Science Guy?” which then earned him this moniker.
From 1991-1993, he appeared in the segments of Back to the Future: The Animated Series as Dr. Emmett Brown’s assistant who would demonstrate the science activities as Christopher Lloyd who played Dr. Emmet Brown was explaining. Because of the segment’s popularity, Bill Nye had a show of his very own called “Bill Nye the Science Guy” which was aired from 1993-19While the shows were aimed to catch the attention of younger audiences, it gained viewership from the adults as well and were even used as effective educational aids for science classes.
The Science Guy has written several books, and Bill himself wrote and produced his show which was filmed entirely in Seattle. His image as a jocose science educator made it possible for him to reach out to more audiences while conveying factual scientific principles and elements. Whenever he portrayed The Science Guy, he wore a lab coat in a light blue color with a bow tie. This image has been parodied by several sources, which gained The Science Guy even more recognition.

Edutainment Career and Scientific Work

Even after his work as The Science Guy, Bill still had an interest for science education by means of entertainment. In the 1998 Disney Movie called “The Principal Takes a Holiday,” Bill made a hovercraft while demonstrating scientific applications in a novel classroom setup. From 2000-2002, he was the technical expert of BattleBots, and in 2004-2005, he hosted the award winning series of The Science Channel called 100 Greatest Discoveries. Apart from those, he also hosted the 8-part series of Discovery Channel called Greatest Inventions with Bill Nye. For older audiences, he had the 13-episode series from PBS KCTS-TV which was called The Eyes of Nye.
In the more recent years, he appeared in an acting role portraying himself in Stargate Atlantis’ fifth episode called “Brain Storm” where fellow astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson also appeared. In 2012, he made appearances in “Here Comes the Summer” by Palmdale and in The Dr. Oz Show. In 2011, he had appearance on CNN to talk about the nuclear issues being observed in Japan caused by the tsunamis in the area.
His scientific works include the development of a kind of small sundial which was included in the missions of the Mars Exploration Rover. It was called the MarsDial and hit had small panels of different colors which made color calibration as well as timekeeping possible. For 5 years since 2005, Bill was The Planetary Society’s vice president, and they advocated space research especially on other planets—Mars in particular. In 2006, Bill was one of those who supported Pluto’s reclassification from being a planet to a dwarf planet.
In 2010, he became the face of Oakland, California’s Chabot Space & Science Center where his Climate Lab featured the Clean Energy Space Station where he was the commander. The exhibit aims to show people the impact of climate change, and opens the eyes of the viewers on what can be done regarding energy consumption and how smart innovations can change the state of the world.
Bill Nye holds several U.S. patents for some of his works which include ballet pointe shoes and a kind of educational magnifying glass which can be created by filling a plastic bag with some water among others. Apart from his career as a host and television personality, he served as a university professor at Cornell University.
While he is a member of several academic and scientific organizations, he is also a fellow of the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry which is a non-profit educational and scientific organization which promotes scientific inquiry as well as investigation while using reason to examine various claims.
He has lived in Los Angeles since 2006, and married Blair Tindall on February of the same year. He has received an honorary doctorate award from the Johns Hopkins University, and an Honorary Doctor of Science degree from Willamette University among other awards. He is a self-proclaimed lover of swing, and has been spotted having fun in dancing venues in the Los Angeles area.

Who is Blaise Pascal: Biography

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662), the French philosopher and scientist, was one of the greatest and most influential mathematical writers of all time. He was also an expert in many fields, including various languages, and a well-versed religious philosopher.

Early Life and Contributions:

Born at Clermont-Ferrand on June 19, 1623, Pascal’s father was Étienne Pascal, a counselor of the king who later became the president of the Court of Aids at Clermont. His mother died in 16The Pascal family settled in Paris in 1631.
At a tender age of 12, Pascal began participating in the meetings of a mathematical academy. He learned different languages from his father, Latin and Greek in particular, but Pascal Sr. didn’t teach him mathematics. This increased the curiosity of young Pascal, who went on to experiment with geometrical figures, even formulating his own names for standard geometrical terms.
Pascal started working on a book, Essay on Conics. The book was published in 1640, and its highlight was the “mystic hexagram”, a theorem related to the collinearity of intersections of lines. It also had hundreds of propositions on conic sections, and influences from Apollonius and his successors. The book gained publicity not only because of the writer’s young age, 16, but also due to its unique accounts about tangency, and several other qualities.

Mathematical and Scientific Achievements:

Pascal’s contributions to hydrostatics, particularly his experimentations with the barometer and his theoretical work on the equilibrium of fluids, were made public one year after his death. The development of probability theory is often considered to be the most significant contributions in the history of mathematics. The Treatise on the Equilibrium of Liquids by Pascal is an extension to Simon Stevin’s research on the hydrostatic paradox and explains what may be termed as the final law of hydrostatics; the famous Pascal’s principle. Pascal is known for his theories of liquids and gases and their interrelation, and also his work regarding the relationship between the dynamics of hydrodynamics and rigid bodies.
Post-Port Royal, perhaps Pascal’s most important to mathematics dealt with the issuess related to the cycloid; a curve, with the area of which the best mathematicians of the day were occupied. Pascal introduced most of his theorems without proof, thus issuing a challenge to his contemporaries, for instance Christopher Wren, John Wallis and Christian Huygens, who happily accepted and figured them out. He also put forward his own solutions, “Amos Dettonville”, an assumed alias. Later, many mathematicians often referred to him by this alias.
The mathematical theory of probability became popular when a communication between Pascal and Pierre de Fermat disclosed that both had concluded to almost similar results. Pascal designed a treatise on the subject, which was also published after his death, though only a few parts of it have survived. Pascal was always concise and sharp when it came to mathematics.


Blaise Pascal died of tuberculosis on 19 August, 1662 at a young age of 39.

Who is Brian Cox: Biography

The pop idol turned Science idol, Professor Brian Edward Fox is an English physicist, PPARC Advanced Fellow and a Royal Society University Research Fellow as the University of Manchester. He is an active affiliate of the group of High Energy Physics in the university. He graduated and enjoys his job on the experiment of ATLAS at CERN in the vicinity of Geneva, Switzerland. He is currently running through on the development and research of the FP420 experiment in a collaboration of all nations to promote the Compact Muon Solenoid or CMS experiment and ATLAS by putting in additional, lesser detectors with a space of 420 meters from the main points of interaction of the core experiments.Brain Cox is best recognized by the people and viewers as the broadcaster of several science programs for the British Broadcasting Corporation, whose role mainly boosts the recognition of subjects that are perceived to be difficult and least favorite, Physics and Astronomy. He has been recognized as the usual descendant for BBC’s scientific programs by both bereaved Patrick Moore and David Attenborough. He was also able to gain some popularity during the 90’s as the one playing the keyboards for the popular band which was named D: Ream.

Early Life and Educational Background

Brian Edward Cox was born on March 3, 1968 to banker parents. From 1979 to 1986, he attended and studied at the independent establishment of Hulme Grammar School. During his interview in The Jonathan Ross Show, he revealed that he poorly performed on his A-level on Math and got a grade of D, which he then considered as a very bad score and needed to really pour time and effort to practice. He mentions two reasons for his Math grade result – fledging band commitments and lack of interest.
Cox acquired first class Bachelor of Science and Master of Philosophy degrees in Physics. After his band, D: Ream disbanded in the year 1997 Brian Cox completed Doctor of Philosophy degree in high energy particle Physics at the University of Manchester. Supervised by Robin Marshall, he came up with a thesis entitled, “Double Diffraction Dissociation at Large Momentum Transfer” which he worked on at DESY laboratory in Hamburg, Germany basing on the H1 experiment at the HERA particle accelerator.
He recollects a joyful childhood in Oldham, which included pursuits like gymnastics, dance, spotting planes, and even spotting bus. He has mentioned in various interviews and in one episode of Wonders of the Universe that there was one book that really turned the table for him and inspired him to become a physicist. It was reading the book written by Carl Sagan called Cosmos when he was still Professor Cox is a humanist and is a “Distinguished Supporter” of the BHA or the British Humanist Association.
In the year 2003, he tied the knot with the love of his life and married U.S. Science presenter Gia Milinovich and had their first son named George on May 26, 20The middle name of George is “Eagle” gotten from the lunar module Apollo The whole family currently resides in Manchester.

Career in Science

Brian Edward Cox, after gaining popularity over his musical career as a keyboard player in his pop band in the 90’s, he focused on his career in Science. He returned to the heart of Physics and landed himself a led researcher position at CERN, which put him in a higher pace and position to perform numerous interviews tackling about the run up to the Great Switch On of the Large Hadron Collider.
His works and knowledge on the field was accentuated through his broadcasting career. He targets boosting science in the minds of people and the importance of studying it. He appeared in a lot of science programs for both BBC television and radio, which included In Einstein’s Shadow, the BBC Horizon series and also worked as a voice-over for the British Broadcasting Corporation’s Bitesize review programs. Cox became a presenter in a five-part BBC Two series on television entitled Wonders of the Solar System during the early 2010 and a follow-up 4-part series called the Wonders of the Universe that began on March 6, 20In June 2012, another series called Wonders of Life filmed which Cox describes as a physicist’s take on natural history and life.
In January 2011, Cox and comedian Dara O Briain hosted the BBC’s Stargazing Live where they acted like small and curious children looking at meteor showers and different planets. Because of his eagerness to impart his knowledge on physics and astronomy, he voiced out his interest in giving out proper lectures than just sounding and sighting the Wonders. This was generally realized in December 2011 when he gave lectures in television about the basic principles of quantum mechanics. There, he was given a complete lecture set with a blackboard in front of a lot of celebrity guests who also raised their hands on demonstrations where Jonathan Ross was seen struggling with elementary mathematics.
Brian Cox appeared as well for numerous times at TED (Technology, Entertainment, and Design) in which he gave talks on the particle and LHC physics. He was then featured in 2009 as one of the Sexiest Men Alive in People’s Magazine. The Symphony of Science featured him in The Case for Mars in 2010.
Cox gave a lecture on “Science, a Challenge to TV Orthodoxy” during the Royal Television Society’s Memorial Lecture in 20There, he examined problems and issues in media coverage of news about science and science in the general aspect. It was consequently broadcasted on BBC Two.
Apart from broadcasting science, he has also co-authored and numerous books about Physics, which include The Quantum Universe and Why does E=mc2, both with Jeff Forshaw.
His effort to broadcast and publicize science has brought him numerous awards and recognitions. In the year 2002, he was voted for an International Fellow of The Explorers Club. After 4 years, Brian Cox received the award on British Association’s Lord Kelvin because of this craft. It was the same year that he was awarded an early career research fellowship system – the Royal Society University Research Fellowship.
In 2012, he was awarded for his exemplary work and expertise in science communication with Michael Faraday Prize of the Royal Society.

Who is Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman: Biography

One of the most prominent Indian scientists in history, C.V. Raman was the first Indian person to win the Nobel Prize in science for his illustrious 1930 discovery, now commonly known as the “Raman Effect”. It is immensely surprising that Raman used equipment worth merely Rs.200 to make this discovery. The Raman Effect is now examined with the help of equipment worth almost millions of rupees.

Early Life:

Chandrasekhara Venkata Raman was born at Tiruchirapalli in Tamil Nadu on 7th November 1888 to a physics teacher. Raman was a very sharp student. After doing his matriculation at 12, he was supposed to go abroad for higher studies, but after medical examination, a British surgeon suggested against it. Raman instead attended Presidency College, Madras. After completing his graduation in 1904, and M.Sc. in Physics in 1907, Raman put through various significant researches in the field of physics. He studied the diffraction of light and his thesis on the subject was published in 1906.
Raman was made the Deputy Accountant General in Calcutta in 1907, after a successful Civil Service competitive examination. Very much occupied due to his job, he spent his spare time in the evenings conducting scientific research at the laboratory of the Indian Association for Cultivation of Sciences. On certain occasions, he even spent entire nights there. Such was his passion that in 1917, he resigned from the position to become the Professor of Physics at Calcutta University.

Contributions and Achievements:

On a sea voyage to Europe in 1921, Raman curiously noticed the blue color of the glaciers and the Mediterranean. He was passionate to discover the reason for the blue color. Once Raman returned to India, he performed many experiments regarding the scattering of light from water and transparent blocks of ice. According to the results, he established the scientific explanation for the blue color of sea-water and sky.
There is a captivating event that served as the inspiration for the discovery of the Raman Effect. Raman was busy doing some work on a December evening in 1927, when his student, K.S. Krishnan (who later became the Director of the National Physical Laboratory, New Delhi), gave him the news that Professor Compton had won the Nobel Prize on scattering of X-rays. This led Raman to have some thoughts. He commented that if the Compton Effect is applicable for X-rays, it must also be true for light. He carried out some experiments to establish his opinion.
Raman employed monochromatic light from a mercury arc which penetrated transparent materials and was allowed to fall on a spectrograph to record its spectrum. During this, Raman detected some new lines in the spectrum which were later called ‘Raman Lines’. After a few months, Raman put forward his discovery of ‘Raman Effect’ in a meeting of scientists at Bangalore on March 16, 1928, for which he won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1930.
The ‘Raman Effect’ is considered very significant in analyzing the molecular structure of chemical compounds. After a decade of its discovery, the structure of about 2000 compounds had been studied. Thanks to the invention of the laser, the ‘Raman Effect’ has proved to be a very useful tool for scientists.
Some of Raman’s other interests were the physiology of human vision, the optics of colloids and the electrical and magnetic anisotropy.

Later Life and Death:

Sir C.V. Raman became the Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 19A year later, he set up Raman Research Institute near Bangalore, where he continued scientific research until his death which was caused by a strong heart attack on November 21, 19His sincere advice to aspiring scientists was that “scientific research needed independent thinking and hard work, not equipment.”

Who is Carl Bosch: Biography

Carl Bosch was a prominent German industrial chemist and entrepreneur. Notable for the development of the Haber-Bosch process for high-pressure synthesis of ammonia, he was one of the founders of IG Farben, which became one of the world’s largest chemical companies. Bosch won the 1931 Nobel Prize for Chemistry for formulating chemical high-pressure methods.

Early Life and Education:

Born in Cologne, Germany to a rich gas supplier, Carl Bosch’s uncle was the legendary industrialist Robert Bosch who helped develop the first spark plug. He attended the Technical College of Charlottenburg and the University of Leipzig for six years, from 1892 to 18Bosch later accepted an entry level job at BASF, a leading German chemical company.

Contributions and Achievements:

Carl Bosch started working to adapt the laboratory process for synthesizing ammonia for commercial production in 1909.
He formulated the process that bore his name, in which hydrogen is manufactured on an industrial scale by passing steam and water over a catalyst at high temperatures. The Haber-Bosch process turned out to be the most commonly used big-scale process for nitrogen fixation. Bosch was appointed the president of I.G. Farbenindustrie AG.
Bosch shared the 1931 Nobel Prize for chemistry with Friedrich Bergius for his work on the invention and development of chemical high-pressure methods. He became a successor to Max Planck in 1935 as director of the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute.

Later Life and Death:

Carl Bosch died after a prolonged illness on April 26, 1940 in Heidelberg, Germany. He was 65 years old.
Carl Friedrich GaussJohann Friedrich Carl Gauss, more commonly known as Carl Friedrich Gauss, was a German mathematician, widely known as one of the greatest mathematicians in history. He made crucial contributions to geometry, statistics, number theory, planetary astronomy, the theory of functions, potential theory, optics and geophysics.

Early Life and Education:

Born on April 30, 1777 in Brunswick, Germany to a very poor family, the father of Carl Friedrich Gauss was a gardener and brick layer. His mother was, however, very keen to educate her son. Gauss was a child prodigy in mathematics. The Duke of Brunswick was very impressed with his computing skills when he was only 14, so his stay at the Brunswick Collegium Carolinum, Hanover was generously financed.
Gauss attended the University of Göttingen from 1795 to 17He earned his doctorate in 1799 at the University of Helmstedt.

Contributions and Achievements:

Gauss was made the director of the Göttingen Observatory in 1807, as well a professor of mathematics at the same place. During his tenure, he spent much of his time establishing a new observatory. He also worked with Wilhelm Weber for almost six years making a primitive telegraph device which could send messages over a distance of 1500 meters. A a statue of Gauss and Weber was later built in Göttingen.
Carl Friedrich Gauss was a prolific author who wrote more than 300 papers, mostly in Latin. He also knew Russian and other foreign languages. He was appointed a foreign member of the Royal Society of London in 1801, mainly due to his his calculations of the orbits of the asteroids Ceres and Pallas. He also won the Copley Medal in 1838.

Later Life and Death:

Carl Friedrich Gauss was appointed a Geheimrat; a privy councilor, and he was also featured on the 10 Deutsche Mark note. He died on February 23, 1855 in Göttingen, Germany. He was 77 years old.

Who is Carl Sagan: Biography

Carl Sagan, also known as the “the astronomer of the people”, was an American astronomer, astrophysicist, author and researcher. He made crucial contributions in popularizing astronomy to the public. He authored over 600 scientific papers and several books about astronomy and natural sciences. He also gained worldwide fame for narrating and writing the popular 1980 television series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage”.

Early Life and Education:

Carl Sagan was born in New York in 1934 to a garment worker. When he was four, his parents took him to the 1939 New York World’s Fair. This became a turning point in his life and little Sagan developed an early interest in skyscrapers, science, space and the stars. His parents encouraged his growing interest in science by gifiting him chemistry sets and books. After graduating from Rahway High School in 1951, he went on to acquire three different science degrees.
Sagan was a lecturer and researcher at Harvard University until 19He then joined Cornell University in Ithaca, where he became a full Professor in 1971, and later, the director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies. He remained at Cornell until 1981.

Contributions and Achievements:

Saga authored more than 20 books about space and the universe. He won a Pulitzer Prize for his work. His TV series Cosmos still remains one of the most-watched shows in television history. Sagan helped NASA with U.S. space missions to Venus, Mars, and Jupiter. Particularly, his discovery of the high surface temperatures of the planet Venus is highly regarded. He also worked on understanding the atmospheres of Venus and Jupiter and seasonal changes on Mars.
The 1997 film Contact has been inspired by Sagan’s book of the same name. Contrary to the popular belief that aliens would be destructive to mankind, Sagan advocated that aliens would be friendly and good-natured.
Sagan is known to be one of the earliest scientists to propose that there might be life on other planets. He encouraged NASA to explore the solar system for signs of life. He received the Public Welfare Medal, the highest award of the National Academy of Sciences, in 1994.

Later Life and Death:

In his last written works, Sagan contended that the possibilities of extraterrestrial space vehicles visiting Earth are vanishingly small.
Carl Sagan died of pneumonia in 1996 at the age of

Who is Charles-Augustin de Coulomb: Biography

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb was an eminent French physicist. He formulated the Coulomb’s law, which deals with the electrostatic interaction between electrically charged particles. The coulomb, SI unit of electric charge, was named after him.

Early Life and Education:

Born in Angoulême, France to a wealthy family, Charles-Augustin de Coulomb was the son of Henri Coulomb, an inspector of the Royal Fields in Montpellier. The family soon moved to Paris, where Coulomb studied mathematics at the famous Collège des Quatre-Nations. A few years later in 1759, he was enrolled at the military school of Mézières. He graduated from Ecole du Génie at Mézières in 1761.
Coulomb worked in the West Indies as a military engineer for almost nine years. When he came back to France, he was quite ill. During the French Revolution, Coulomb lived in his estate at Blois, where he mostly carried out scientific research. He was made an inspector of public instruction in 1802.

Contributions and Achievements:

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb formulated his law as a consequence of his efforts to study the law of electrical repulsions put forward by English scientist Joseph Priestley. In the process, he devised sensitive apparatus to evaluate the electrical forces related to the Priestley’s law. Coulomb issued out his theories in 1785–89.
He also developed the inverse square law of attraction and repulsion of unlike and like magnetic poles. This laid out the foundation for the mathematical theory of magnetic forces formulated by French mathematician Siméon-Denis Poisson. Coulomb extensively worked on friction of machinery, the elasticity of metal and silk fibres and windmills. The coulomb, SI unit of electric charge, was named after him.

Later Life and Death:

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb died on August 23, 1806 in Paris. He was 70 years old.

Sources: Famous Scientists