Yearly Archives: 2015

Abraham a Sancta Clara – “Very Eccentric but Popular”

Abraham a Sancta Clara – “Very Eccentric but Popular”

On December 1, 1709, Abraham a Sancta Clara, Austrian divine, court preacher and author passed away. Born as Johann Ulrich Megerle, he has been described “a very eccentric but popular Augustinian monk” and had earned great reputation for pulpit eloquence, the force and homeliness of his language, the grotesqueness of his humor, and the impartial severity with which he lashed the follies of all classes of society and of the court…
Ernst Chladni – The Father of Acoustics

Ernst Chladni – The Father of Acoustics

On November 30, 1756, German physicist and musician Ernst Florens Friedrich Chladni was born. His most important work, for which he is sometimes labeled the father of acoustics, included research on vibrating plates and the calculation of the speed of sound for different gases. He also undertook pioneering work in the study of meteorites and so is also regarded by some as the father of meteoritics. Although Ernst Chladni was…
Pierre André Latreille – The Father of modern Entomology

Pierre André Latreille – The Father of modern Entomology

On November 29, 1762, French zoologist Pierre André Latreille was born. Latreille was considered the foremost entomologist of his time, and was described by one of his pupils as “the prince of entomologists”. Latreille made the first detailed classification of crustaceans and insects using a “natural method” of classification combining the approaches of Linnaeus and Fabricius. Pierre André Latreille was born on November 29, 1762 in the town of Brive,…
Claude Lévi-Strauss and Structural Anthropology

Claude Lévi-Strauss and Structural Anthropology

On November 28, 1908, French anthropologist and ethnologist Claude Lévi-Strauss was born. Lévi-Strauss’ work was key in the development of the theory of structuralism and structural anthropology. He argued that the “savage” mind had the same structures as the “civilized” mind and that human characteristics are the same everywhere. Claude Lévi-Strauss grew up in Paris, living on a street of the upscale 16th arrondissement named after the artist Claude Lorrain,…
Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington

Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington

On November 27, 1857, English neurophysiologist and Nobel Laureate Sir Charles Scott Sherrington was born. Sherrington received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Edgar Adrian in 1932 for their work on the functions of neurons. Prior to the work of Sherrington and Adrian, it was widely accepted that reflexes occurred as isolated activity within a reflex arc. Sherrington received the prize for showing that reflexes require integrated activation…
Marc Aurel Stein and the Dunhuang Caves

Marc Aurel Stein and the Dunhuang Caves

On November 26, 1862, Hungarian-British archaeologist Sir Marc Aurel Stein was born. Stein is primarily known for his explorations and archaeological discoveries in Central Asia. Stein was also an ethnographer, geographer, linguist and surveyor. His collection of books and manuscripts taken from Dunhuang caves is important for the study of the history of Central Asia and the art and literature of Buddhism. When the Dunhuang Caves, China, closed for centuries,…
Herodotus – the Father of History

Herodotus – the Father of History

About in 484 B.C., ancient Greek historian Herodotus was born. A contemporary of Socrates, he is widely referred to as “The Father of History“. Herodotus was the first historian known to have broken from Homeric tradition to treat historical subjects as a method of investigation: specifically by collecting his materials systematically and critically, and then to arrange them into a historiographic narrative. Despite Herodotus‘ historical significance, little is known of…
Esperanto – a Universal International Language

Esperanto – a Universal International Language

On November 24, 1887, the first German translation of Ludwik Lejzer Zamenhof’s ‘Unua Libro’, the first book to describe the artificial universal language esperanto was published. Esperanto is a constructed international auxiliary language. It is the most widely spoken constructed language in the world. Esperanto was created in the late 1870s and early 1880s by L. L. Zamenhof, who was a Polish-Jewish ophthalmologist from Białystok, then part of the Russian…
Doctor Who …

Doctor Who …

On November 23, 1963, the famous British science-fiction television program Doctor Who first appeared on BBC TV. Just imagine, this was more than 50 years ago. Although, I personally learned about Doctor Who when I was already a grownup, I guess this character in the same way as Mr. Spock from the tv series Star Trek[1], might be responsible that many young people have chosen a career in science. In Germany, where…
Benedict Morel and Dementia Praecox

Benedict Morel and Dementia Praecox

On November 22, 1809, French psychiatrist Bénédict Morel was born. Morel was an influential figure in the field of degeneration during the mid-19th century. In 1852, he coined the term ‘precocious madness’ for a chronic, deteriorating psychotic disorder characterized by rapid cognitive disintegration, usually beginning in the late teens or early adulthood, today known as dementia praecox. Benedict Morel was born in Viennain 1809 and was raised by the Luxembourgish…
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