Yearly Archives: 2016

Sir Percivall Pott and his Cancer Research

Sir Percivall Pott and his Cancer Research

On January 6, 1714, English surgeon Sir Percivall Pott was born. Pott is considered one of the founders of orthopedy, and the first scientist to demonstrate that a cancer may be caused by an environmental carcinogen. Percivall Pott was raised by his mother and Joseph Wilcocks, the bishop of Rochester, since his father died when he was still young. Pott attended a private school in Kent and later was an…
Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

Friedrich Dürrenmatt’s ‘The Physicists’

On January 5, 1921, Swiss author and dramatist Friedrich Dürrenmatt was born. Dürrenmatt was a proponent of epic theatre whose plays reflected the recent experiences of World War II. The politically active author‘s work included avant-garde dramas, philosophical crime novels, and macabre satire. Especially his play “The Physicists” (1961) deals with questions of scientific ethics and humanity‘s ability to handle its intellectual responsibilities. “A story is not finished, until it…
Louis Braille and the Braille System

Louis Braille and the Braille System

On January 4, 1809, French educator Louis Braille was born. He is best known for being the inventor of a system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired. His system remains known worldwide simply as braille. Access to communication in the widest sense is access to knowledge, and that is vitally important for us if we [the blind] are not to go on being despised or patronized by condescending sighted people.…
The James Lick Telescope

The James Lick Telescope

On January 3, 1888, the James Lick Telescope saw first light at the Lick observatory, San Jose, USA. The Lick telescope is a refracting telescope with a lens 91 cm in diameter – a major achievement in its day and in its time the largest telescope in the world until 1897. The instrument remains in operation and public viewing is allowed on a limited basis. A lot of astronomical discoveries have…
Johann Daniel Titius and the Titius-Bode Law

Johann Daniel Titius and the Titius-Bode Law

On January 2, 1929, German astronomer Johann Daniel Titius was born. He is best known for formulating the Titius–Bode law, a hypothesis that the bodies in some orbital systems, including the Sun’s, orbit at semi-major axes in a function of planetary sequence. The formula suggests that, extending outward, each planet would be approximately twice as far from the Sun as the one before. The hypothesis correctly anticipated the orbits of…
Jule Gregory Charney and the Weather Prediction

Jule Gregory Charney and the Weather Prediction

On January 1, 1917, American meteorologist Jule Gregory Charney was born. Working with computer scientist John von Neumann, Charney first applied the electronic computer for weather prediction (1950) and brought about a new understanding of the large-scale flow circulation within the atmosphere. He is considered the father of modern dynamical meteorology. In 1979, the Charney report studied the relations of carbon dioxide and climate and became one of the earliest…
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