Monthly Archives: August 2017

Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

Christiaan Eijkman and the Cause of Beriberi

On August 11, 1858, Dutch physiologist Christiaan Eijkman was born. Eijkman‘s demonstrated that beriberi is caused by poor diet led to the discovery of antineuritic vitamins (thiamine). Together with Sir Frederick Hopkins, he received the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Christiaan Eijkman was born at Nijkerk, Netherlands as the seventh child of Christiaan Eijkman, the headmaster of a local school, and Johanna Alida Pool. In 1859, the Eijkman family…
Abu Ma’shar – the Greatest Astronomer of Baghdad

Abu Ma’shar – the Greatest Astronomer of Baghdad

On August 10, 787, Persian astrologer Abu Ma’shar, Latinized as Albumasar, was probably born. Abu Maʿshar thought to be the greatest astrologer of the Abbasid court in Baghdad. While he was not a major innovator, his practical manuals for training astrologers profoundly influenced Muslim intellectual history and, through translations, that of western Europe and Byzantium. He is known primarily for his theory that the world, created when the seven planets were in conjunction…
Thomas Telford – the Colossus of Roads

Thomas Telford – the Colossus of Roads

On August 9, 1757, Scottish civil engineer, architect and stonemason Thomas Telford was born. After establishing himself as an engineer of road and canal projects in Shropshire, he designed numerous infrastructure projects in his native Scotland, as well as harbors and tunnels. Such was his reputation as a prolific designer of highways and related bridges, he was dubbed The Colossus of Roads (a pun on the Colossus of Rhodes), and,…
William Bateson and the Study of Heredity

William Bateson and the Study of Heredity

On August 8 1861, English biologist William Bateson was born. Bateson was the first person to use the term genetics to describe the study of heredity, and the chief populariser of the ideas of Gregor Mendel following their rediscovery in 1900 by Hugo de Vries and Carl Correns. William Bateson graduated from St John’s College in Cambridge in natural sciences. He traveled to the United States in order to study embryology…
Emil Nolde – the First Expressionist

Emil Nolde – the First Expressionist

On August 7, 1867, German-Danish painter and printmaker Emil Nolde was born. Nolde was one of the first Expressionists, a member of Die Brücke, and was one of the first oil painting and watercolor painters of the early 20th century to explore color. He is known for his brushwork and expressive choice of colors. “Pictures are spiritual beings. The soul of the painter lives within them.” Emil Nolde, ‘Years of…
Nicolas Malebranche’s Dualism of Religion and Science

Nicolas Malebranche’s Dualism of Religion and Science

On August 6, 1638, French priest and rationalist philosopher Nicolas Malebranche was born. Malebranche sought to synthesize the thought of St. Augustine and Descartes, in order to demonstrate the active role of God in every aspect of the world. Malebranche is best known for his doctrines of Vision in God, Occasionalism and Ontologism. Nicolas Malebranche joined the Collège de la Marche at the age of 16 to study philosophy and later studied…
Ewald Hering’s Oponent Colour-Vision Theory

Ewald Hering’s Oponent Colour-Vision Theory

On August 5, 1834, German physiologist Ewald Hering was born. Hering is best known for his research into color vision, binocular perception and eye movements. Hering challenged the color-vision theory of Hermann von Helmholtz. Visual sensations, according to Hering‘s view, were due to three color receptors responding in an “opponent” fashion in color-pairs (white/black, yellow/blue, and red/green) to take account of the after-images of colors. Ewald Hering was born in…
Richard Leach Maddox revolutionized Photography

Richard Leach Maddox revolutionized Photography

On August 4, 1816, English photographer and physician Richard Leach Maddox was born. Maddox is best known for his invention lightweight gelatin negative plates for photography in 1871, which enabled photographers to use commercial dry plates off the shelf instead of having to prepare their own emulsions in a mobile darkroom. Also, for the first time, cameras could be made small enough to be hand-held. Richard Lech Maddox first became…
Neal Elgar Miller and Biofeedback

Neal Elgar Miller and Biofeedback

On August 3, 1909, American experimental psychologist and neuroscientist Neal Elgar Miller was born. Miller is best known for being the first to identify and promote biofeedback. He demonstrated experimentally that individuals may learn to control their heart rate and digestion in the same sense that walking is a learned activity. Neal E. Miller was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and grew up in the Pacific Northwest, where his father, Irving…
Marianne Weber and the Status of Women

Marianne Weber and the Status of Women

On August 2, 1870, Marianne Weber, sociologist, women’s rights activist and wife of sociologist Max Weber was born. Weber is known for her book “Wife and Mother in the Development of Law”, where she compiled the legal, economic, and social status of women from antiquity until her present time. Marianne Weber was born as Marianne Schnitger in 1870. Her mother was Anna Wever, the daughter of a businessman named Karl Weber.…
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