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.…
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. When Melanie Klein was about 16 years old, she decided to study psychiatric…
Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

Ales Hrdlicka and the Origin of the Americans

On March 29, 1869, Czech anthropologist Ales Hrdlicka was born. Hrdlicka is known for his studies of Neanderthal man and his theory of the migration of American Indians from Asia. He was the one of the first scientists to argue the Americans originated in Asia and came across the Bering Strait, and participated in numerous archeological expeditions which contributed a great amount of information and physical evidence. Aleš Hrdlička was…
Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

Sir Joseph William Bazalgette and the Great Stink of 1858

On March 28, 1819, British civil engineer Joseph William Bazalgette was born. As chief engineer of London‘s Metropolitan Board of Works Bazalgette‘s major achievement was the creation in response to the Great Stink of 1858 of a sewer network for central London which was instrumental in relieving the city from cholera epidemics, while beginning the cleansing of the River Thames. Joseph William Bazalgette was mainly educated at home and was employed to…
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. Karl Pearson was born as second child into a family from Yorkshire Quakers in Islington, London, UK, to William…
Richard Dawkins and the Selfish Gene

Richard Dawkins and the Selfish Gene

On March 26, 1941, English ethologist, evolutionary biologist and author Richard Dawkins was born. Dawkins first came to prominence with his 1976 book The Selfish Gene, which popularised the gene-centred view of evolution and introduced the term meme. With his book The Extended Phenotype (1982), he introduced into evolutionary biology the influential concept that the phenotypic effects of a gene are not necessarily limited to an organism’s body, but can stretch…
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. Borlaug was born in Cresco, Iowa, USA, the eldest…
Peter Debye – Physical Chemist

Peter Debye – Physical Chemist

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. Peter Debye attended the…
Hermann Staudinger and the Macromolecules

Hermann Staudinger and the Macromolecules

On March 23, 1881, German organic chemist Hermann Staudinger was born. Staudinger demonstrated the existence of macromolecules, which he characterized as polymers. For this work he received the 1953 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He is also known for his discovery of ketenes and of the Staudinger reaction. Hermann Staudinger was born in Worms, Germany, the son of neo-Kantian philosopher Franz Staudinger. Staudinger studied at the Gymnasium in Worms. Then, after…
Nathan S. Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

Nathan S. Kline – A Pioneer of Psychopharmacological Drugs

On March 22, 1916, American psychologist Nathan Schellenberg Kline was born. Kline is best known for his work with psychopharmacologic drugs. He pioneered in the biochemical treatment of mentally ill patients by introducing the use of such drugs as the antidepressants lithium and iproniazid and the tranquilizer resperin. Nathan Schellenberg Kline attended the New York University School of Medicine. He founded a research unit at Rockland State Hospital New York, which later became the Rockland…
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