Monthly Archives: March 2017

Sir Benjamin Baker and the Forth Bridge

Sir Benjamin Baker and the Forth Bridge

On March 31, 1840, British civil engineer Sir Benjamin Baker was born. Baker worked in mid to late Victorian era and helped develop the early underground railways in London with Sir John Fowler, but he is best known for his work on the Forth Bridge. He made many other notable contributions to civil engineering, including his work as an expert witness at the public inquiry into the Tay Rail Bridge disaster. Early Years…
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Melanie Klein and the Psychoanalysis of Children

Melanie Klein and the Psychoanalysis of Children

On March 30, 1882, Austrian–British psychoanalyst Melanie Reizes Klein was born. Klein is known for her work with young children, in which observations of free play provided insights into the child‘s unconscious fantasy life, enabling her to psychoanalyze children as young as two or three years of age. She was a leading innovator in object relations theory. “Feelings of love and gratitude arise directly and spontaneously in the baby in response to…
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Karl Pearson and Mathematical Statistics

Karl Pearson and Mathematical Statistics

On March 27, 1857, English mathematician and biostatistician Karl Pearson was born. Pearson has been credited with establishing the discipline of mathematical statistics. He founded the world’s first university statistics department at University College London in 1911, and contributed significantly to the field of biometrics, meteorology, theories of social Darwinism and eugenics. “It was Karl Pearson, a man with an unquenchable ambition for scholarly recognition and the kind of drive and determination that…
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Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

Norman Borlaug and the Green Revolution

On March 25, 1914, American biologist and humanitarian Norman Ernest Borlaug was born. Borlaug led initiatives worldwide that contributed to the extensive increases in agricultural production termed the Green Revolution and has been awarded with the Nobel Peace Prize. Borlaug is often called “the father of the Green Revolution“, and is credited with saving over a billion people worldwide from starvation. “You can’t build a peaceful world on empty stomachs and human…
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Peter Debye – Dipole Moments, X Rays, and Light Scattering

Peter Debye – Dipole Moments, X Rays, and Light Scattering

On March 24, 1884, Dutch-American physicist and physical chemist Peter Joseph William Debye was born. Debye’s investigations of dipole moments, X rays, and light scattering in gases brought him the 1936 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Most of his work was in chemical-physics with special interest in electrolytes and dipolar momentum analysis. He established a theory of specific heat with some improvements on that proposed by Einstein.[5] “If a problem is clearly stated,…
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George David Birkhoff and the Ergodic Theorem

George David Birkhoff and the Ergodic Theorem

On March 21, 1884, American mathematician George David Birkhoff was born. Birkhoff is best known for what is now called the ergodic theorem. Birkhoff was one of the most important leaders in American mathematics in his generation, and during his time he was considered by many to be the preeminent American mathematician. “The transcendent importance of love and good-will in all human relationships is shown by their mighty beneficent effect upon the…
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Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

Frederick William Twort and the Bacteriophages

On March 20, 1955, English bacteriologist Frederick William Twort passed away. Twort was the original discoverer in 1915 of bacteriophages, i.e. viruses that infect bacteria. He researched into Johne’s disease, a chronic intestinal infection of cattle, and also discovered that vitamin K is needed by growing leprosy bacteria. Early Years Frederick William Twort was born in Camberley, Surrey, the eldest of the eleven children of Dr. William Henry Twort. He initially only received a limited…
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Vilhelm Bjerknes – A Pioneer of Modern Weatherforecast

Vilhelm Bjerknes – A Pioneer of Modern Weatherforecast

On March 14, 1862, Norwegian physicist and meteorologist Vilhelm Bjerknes was born, Bjerknes is best known for being one of the founders of the modern science of weather forecasting with his 1921 published work “On the Dynamics of the Circular Vortex with Applications to the Atmosphere and to Atmospheric Vortex and Wave Motion“. Youth and Education Vilhelm Frimann Koren Bjerknes was born in Kristiania (later renamed Oslo), Norway, and enjoyed an early exposure…
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August Leopold Crelle and his Journal

August Leopold Crelle and his Journal

On March 11, 1780, German mathematician and civil engineer August Leopold Crelle was born. Crelle is best known for being the founder of Journal für die reine und angewandte Mathematik (also known as Crelle’s Journal). He also worked on the construction and planning of roads and the first railway in Germany, which was completed in 1838. “The real purpose of mathematics is to be the means to illuminate reason and to exercise spiritual…
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Marcello Malpighi – The Father of Microscopical Anatomy

Marcello Malpighi – The Father of Microscopical Anatomy

On March 10, 1628, Italian biologist and physician Marcello Malpighi was born. Malpighi is referred to as the “Father of microscopical anatomy, histology, physiology and embryology“. In developing experimental methods to study living things, Malpighi founded the science of microscopic anatomy. After Malpighi‘s researches, microscopic anatomy became a prerequisite for advances in the fields of physiology, embryology, and practical medicine. Youth and Education Marcello Malpighi was born at Crevalcore near Bologna, Italy,…
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