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Under-appreciated scientists
#1
Over the years, a vast array of scientists have contributed greatly to our understanding of the world and the universe. Some of them - for example, Newton, Darwin and Galileo - have become household names for their work. However, there are others who have made major contributions, but don't have the level of name recognition that they perhaps deserve. So, do you know of any such people?

Up until a few years ago, I would have put both Alan Turing and Nikola Tesla into this category. However, they're both more well-known these days: Turing due to The Imitation Game, and Tesla due to the electric car brand which bears his name. So, I don't think either of them really counts as "under-appreciated" any more :P

For someone who's still under-appreciated, I would nominate James Clerk Maxwell. He formulated the four equations which form the foundation of classical electromagnetic theory. Thanks to this, he's probably the third most important physicist in history, behind only Isaac Newton and Albert Einstein. However, while Newton and Einstein are (rightly) known by practically everybody, Maxwell remains obscure outside scientific circles. I guess he just doesn't have an interesting tale associated with him, nor is his work particularly accessible to a general audience: most people can understand "an apple fell on his head", or even simple equations like "E = mc2" - but, it's much harder to get them to understand the significance of "∇ ^ E = -∂B/∂t" :P

So, are there any under-appreciated scientists, in any field, that you'd like to bring to our attention?
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#2
William Parks; he named Parasaurolophus!
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#3
Alan Turing
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#4
Quote:William Parks; he named Parasaurolophus!

Is that all he's notable for? 

If so, then I'd say he receives about the right amount of appreciation (that is, he's known to dedicated dinosaur fans, to whom that piece of trivia matters - but, completely unknown to everybody else :P
 
(12-06-2018, 07:45 AM)5819 Wrote: Alan Turing

Is he not appreciated in the USA, then? 

He wasn't here in the UK until a few years ago, but I'd say he is now (if only due to The Imitation Game and his homosexuality pardon).
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#5
@ Kyng Nobody really knows who he is. Ask the average non-historian American and they'll give you a blank look.
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#6
Rene Favaloro.

Officially a doctor, he contributed greatly to the study of the heart and is credited with the invention of the bypass, yet not a lot of people know about him.
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#7
(12-06-2018, 08:53 AM)5819 Wrote: @ Kyng Nobody really knows who he is. Ask the average non-historian American and they'll give you a blank look.

That's a pity :( . I hope that changes soon, just as it has done over here in recent years.
 
(12-06-2018, 03:26 PM)Dust Bowl Wrote: Rene Favaloro.

Officially a doctor, he contributed greatly to the study of the heart and is credited with the invention of the bypass, yet not a lot of people know about him.

Yeah, I didn't know him at all. Just looking him up now, it seems that others had performed bypasses before him, but he was the one who invented the bypass technique that's in widespread use today.

And, of course, it's very sad that someone so brilliant ended up committing suicide (as Turing did, for that matter :( ).
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At least he left us with a letter explaining what drove his actions and a very powerful, thought-provoking gesture by shooting himself in the area he fought so hard to preserve.
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#9
(12-06-2018, 08:04 AM)Kyng Wrote:
Quote:William Parks; he named Parasaurolophus!

Is that all he's notable for? 

If so, then I'd say he receives about the right amount of appreciation (that is, he's known to dedicated dinosaur fans, to whom that piece of trivia matters - but, completely unknown to everybody else :P
 
(12-06-2018, 07:45 AM)5819 Wrote: Alan Turing

Is he not appreciated in the USA, then? 

He wasn't here in the UK until a few years ago, but I'd say he is now (if only due to The Imitation Game and his homosexuality pardon). 
Parasaurolophus is my favorite dinosaur!
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