Famous Scientists: Names & Quotes

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov
In this lesson, you're going to explore the names and quotes of some of history's most famous scientists. You'll learn a bit about what they did and how they thought thanks to their quotations.

Famous Scientist Names & Quotes

The number of extremely important scientists in all of history is quite large. We cannot possibly cover them all in one lesson but in this one you'll get to meet a select number, hear their voice through quotes, and learn just a bit about what has made them so famous.

Einstein, Edison, & Newton

It goes without saying that one of the most famous scientists is none other than Albert Einstein, a German physicist famous for his development of the general theory of relativity in the early 1900s. This, and other works of his, contributed much to our understanding of space, time, physics, and astronomy. One of his more famous purported quotes is 'Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I'm not sure about the universe'. Einstein was known for his eccentricity and humor as well as his utter genius.

Of course, another genius would downplay the word genius entirely as 'Genius is one percent inspiration and ninety-nine percent perspiration'. A tireless worker and prolific inventor, Thomas Edison was an American widely known for inventing the phonograph and for his work in the electrical sciences that culminated in the invention of the practical lightbulb.

Many would argue that Einstein's and Edison's work was made possible by the work of prior inventors and scientists, and Englishman Isaac Newton would not have disagreed. He once said that 'If I have seen further than others, it's by standing upon the shoulders of giants', meaning his predecessors. During the Enlightenment, Newton formulated some of the most important physical laws we know of, including those on motion and gravitation.

Pauling, Mendeleev, & Pavlov

American Linus Pauling once said that 'The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas'. Pauling is one of the most important biochemists of all time and the only person to have won two unshared Nobel Prizes in two different fields. He is probably most famous to the lay public for being a huge proponent of consuming large doses of vitamin C.

Another chemist, a Russian by the name of Dmitri Mendeleev, is most famous for his creation of the periodic table of elements, which is able to predict the properties of undiscovered elements! That's because, as Mendeleev himself said: 'If all the elements are arranged in the order of their atomic weights, a periodic repetition of properties is obtained.'

The repeated ringing of a bell led another Russian, that of Ivan Pavlov to become famous for being the father of classical conditioning. He earned the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1904 for his work on the digestive system of dogs. The dogs were conditioned to respond to the stimulus of a tone being associated with food and would eventually salivate at the sound of the bell alone.

Aristotle, Darwin, & Galileo

Speaking of repetition, 'We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit' said Aristotle, one of the most famous ancient Greek scientists of all time. While much of his work in astronomy and the biological sciences was rudimentary or, as we now know completely false, they were revolutionary in his day and actually heavily influenced much of scientific thought and progress for well over a thousand years after his death.

One of the men that was extremely important to disproving much of Aristotle's work was Italian Galileo Galilei, an astronomer and physicist credited by many to be the father of modern physics and observational astronomy and known for publicizing Copernicus' idea that the Earth revolves around sun. Despite his genius, Galileo was also humble man as he said 'I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him'.

Speaking of learning, Englishman Charles Darwin, said 'A man who dares to waste one hour of time has not discovered the value of life.' Darwin is the father of evolutionary biology. His voyage around the world, especially to the Galapagos Islands, and his observations thereof is what led to our eventual understanding of evolution and natural selection as a part of nature and ourselves.

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