These are a few of my favourite peeps: 1.... - Wissenschaft und Deutsch

These are a few of my favourite peeps:

1. Franklin: She earned her doctorate in physical chemistry from Cambridge University in 1945.

After Cambridge, she spent three productive years (1947-1950) in Paris at the Laboratoire Central des Services Chimiques de L’Etat, where she learned X-ray diffraction techniques. In 1951, she returned to England as a research associate in John Randall’s laboratory at King’s College, London.

It was in Randall’s lab that she crossed paths with Maurice Wilkins. She and Wilkins led separate research groups and had separate projects, although both were concerned with DNA. When Randall gave Franklin responsibility for her DNA project, no one had worked on it for months. Wilkins was away at the time, and when he returned he misunderstood her role, behaving as though she were a technical assistant. Both scientists were actually peers. His mistake, acknowledged but never overcome, was not surprising given the climate for women at the university then. Only males were allowed in the university dining rooms, and after hours Franklin’s colleagues went to men-only pubs.

But Franklin persisted on the DNA project. J. D. Bernal called her X-ray photographs of DNA, “the most beautiful X-ray photographs of any substance ever taken.” Between 1951 and 1953 Rosalind Franklin came very close to solving the DNA structure. She was beaten to publication by Crick and Watson in part because of the friction between Wilkins and herself. At one point, Wilkins showed Watson one of Franklin’s crystallographic portraits of DNA. When he saw the picture, the solution became apparent to him, and the results went into an article in Nature almost immediately. Franklin’s work did appear as a supporting article in the same issue of the journal.

A debate about the amount of credit due to Franklin continues. What is clear is that she did have a meaningful role in learning the structure of DNA and that she was a scientist of the first rank. Franklin moved to J. D. Bernal’s lab at Birkbeck College, where she did very fruitful work on the tobacco mosaic virus. She also began work on the polio virus. In the summer of 1956, Rosalind Franklin became ill with cancer. She died less than two years later.

read her full bio here

2. Sagan: Astronomer Carl Sagan was born on November 9, 1934, in Brooklyn, New York. He graduated from the University of Chicago and studied planets and extraterrestrial intelligence. He was named director of Cornell’s Laboratory for Planetary Studies in 1968. Being against nuclear weapons, he introduced the idea of “nuclear winter” in 1983. He wrote several novels and the TV series Cosmos before his death in 1996.

full bio here 

3. Tyson: Born and raised in New York City, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson discovered his love for the stars at an early age. After studying at Harvard University, he earned his doctorate from Columbia University in 1991. Tyson went to work for the Hayden Planetarium in 1996 and still serves as its director. He hosted theNOVA ScienceNow series from 2006 to 2011. Tyson remains a popular TV science expert today.

read full biography here 

4. Nye: Bill Nye, born on November 27, 1955, grew up in Washington, D.C., where he received a mediocre education until hard work and a smalls scholarship got him into a good private school. From there he went on to Cornell University, moved to Seattle to work as a mechanical engineer for the Boeing Company and eventually became a comedy show writer and performer. Nye went on to get his own show, Bill Nye, the Science Guywhich was an educational program that taught science to preteens. Over its five-year run, the show was hugely successful and won 18 Emmy Awards. Nye became a well-known entertainer and went on to perform in films and television shows, among other things, after his show ended. He also remained vocal in the science community.

read full biography here

5. HawkingStephen Hawking has worked on the basic laws which govern the universe. With Roger Penrose he showed that Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity implied space and time would have a beginning in the Big Bang and an end in black holes. These results indicated that it was necessary to unify General Relativity with Quantum Theory, the other great Scientific development of the first half of the 20th Century. One consequence of such a unification that he discovered was that black holes should not be completely black, but rather should emit radiation and eventually evaporate and disappear. Another conjecture is that the universe has no edge or boundary in imaginary time. This would imply that the way the universe began was completely determined by the laws of science.

read the full bio here 

6. Curie: The importance of Mme. Curie’s work is reflected in the numerous awards bestowed on her. She received many honorary science, medicine and law degrees and honorary memberships of learned societies throughout the world. Together with her husband, she was awarded half of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903, for their study into the spontaneous radiation discovered by Becquerel, who was awarded the other half of the Prize. In 1911 she received a second Nobel Prize, this time in Chemistry, in recognition of her work in radioactivity. She also received, jointly with her husband, the Davy Medal of the Royal Society in 1903 and, in 1921, President Harding of the United States, on behalf of the women of America, presented her with one gram of radium in recognition of her service to science.

read full biography here  


7. Einstein: Einstein’s researches are, of course, well chronicled and his more important works include Special Theory of Relativity (1905), Relativity (English translations, 1920 and 1950), General Theory of Relativity (1916), Investigations on Theory of Brownian Movement (1926), and The Evolution of Physics (1938). Among his non-scientific works, About Zionism (1930), Why War? (1933), My Philosophy(1934), and Out of My Later Years (1950) are perhaps the most important.

Albert Einstein received honorary doctorate degrees in science, medicine and philosophy from many European and American universities. During the 1920’s he lectured in Europe, America and the Far East, and he was awarded Fellowships or Memberships of all the leading scientific academies throughout the world. He gained numerous awards in recognition of his work, including the Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London in 1925, and the Franklin Medal of the Franklin Institute in 1935.

Einstein’s gifts inevitably resulted in his dwelling much in intellectual solitude and, for relaxation, music played an important part in his life. He married Mileva Maric in 1903 and they had a daughter and two sons; their marriage was dissolved in 1919 and in the same year he married his cousin, Elsa Löwenthal, who died in 1936. He died on April 18, 1955 at Princeton, New Jersey.

read full biography here 

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