Yearly Archives: 2021

Pjotr Kropotkin and the Theory of Mutual Aid

Pjotr Kropotkin and the Theory of Mutual Aid

On December 21, 1842 (or December 8, according to the Gregorian Calendar), Russian geographer, economist, activist, philologist, zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, writer and prominent anarchist Prince Pyotr Alexeyevich Kropotkin was born. Besides being a political person, his main scientific contribution is the publication of his theory of mutual aid, voluntary reciprocal exchange of resources and services for mutual benefit as a counter model to the historic concept of an autonomous individual, the…
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Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Not at all Children’s- and Household Tales

Grimm’s Fairy Tales – Not at all Children’s- and Household Tales

On December 20, 1812, the brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm publish the first Edition of “Kinder- und Hausmärchen” (Children’s and House’s Tales), today better known as Grimm’s Fairy Tales. Besides their political engagement in the uprise of the Göttingen Seven [2] and their work on the definitive German dictionary, it’s the fairy tales what they are known for today. “Mirror, mirror, here I stand. Who is the fairest in the land?” – Gebrüder…
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Anne Anastasi and Psychological Testing of the Individual

Anne Anastasi and Psychological Testing of the Individual

On December 19, 1908, American psychologist Anne Anastasi was born. She is best known for her pioneering development of psychometrics. Her seminal work, Psychological Testing, remains a classic text in which she drew attention to the individual being tested and therefore to the responsibilities of the testers. She called for them to go beyond test scores, to search the assessed individuals’ history to help them to better understand their own results and…
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Christopher Polhem anticipating the Industrial Revolution

Christopher Polhem anticipating the Industrial Revolution

On December 18, 1661, Swedish scientist, inventor, and industrialist Christopher Polhem was born. He made significant contributions to the economic and industrial development of Sweden, particularly mining. He notable introduced a division of labour among manufacturing tasks, centuries before the production line methods pioneered by Henry Ford. Christopher Polhem – Early Years Christopher Polhem was the son of Christina Eriksdotter Schening from Vadstena, Sweden, and Wulf Christopher Polhammar, a German merchant who immigrated…
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Lord Kelvin and the Analysis of Thermodynamics

Lord Kelvin and the Analysis of Thermodynamics

On December 17, 1907, Irish physicist William Thomson, 1st Baron Kelvin of Largs, passed away. Thomson did important work in the mathematical analysis of electricity and formulation of the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Absolute temperatures are stated in units of kelvin in his honour. He was ennobled in 1892 in recognition of his achievements in thermodynamics. Go, wondrous creature! mount where Science guides; Go measure earth, weigh air, and state…
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Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep? – Philip K. Dick

On December 16, 1928, American novelist Philip K. Dick was born. He explored sociological, political and metaphysical themes in novels dominated by monopolistic corporations, authoritarian governments, and altered states. Blade Runner, Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report, Paycheck…does that ring a bell? Although maybe you don’t know Philip K. Dick, for sure you have seen one of the movies based on his short stories or novels. Philip K. Dick has influenced our…
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Niels Finsen – From Sun-Worship to Phototherapy

Niels Finsen – From Sun-Worship to Phototherapy

On December 15, 1860, Faroese-Danish physician and Nobel Laureate of Icelandic descent Niels Ryberg Finsen was born. Finsen is best known for his theory of phototherapy, in which certain wavelengths of light can have beneficial medical effects. Up to now, we have only mentioned Iceland in this blog when we reported on Nordic expeditions or Eskimology [1,2]. But, Iceland also has a famous Nobel Laureate in medical science, who will be subject…
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The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility

On December 14, 1958, an 18-man traversing party of the 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition reached the Southern Pole of Inaccessibility. The 3rd Soviet Antarctic Expedition for International Geophysical Year research work was led by Yevgeny Tolstikov. The Southern Pole of Inaccessibility The southern pole of inaccessibility is the point on the Antarctic continent most distant from the Southern Ocean. For the pole, a variety of coordinate locations have been given since some…
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Sir William Hamilton and the Volcanoes

Sir William Hamilton and the Volcanoes

On December 13, 1730, Scottish diplomat, antiquarian, archaeologist and vulcanologist Sir William Hamilton was born. Hamilton served as British Ambassador to the Kingdom of Naples from 1764 to 1800, where he studied the volcanoes Vesuvius and also Etna on Sicily. William Hamilton – Early Years Hamilton was born in either London or at Park Place, Berkshire, the fourth son of Lord Archibald Hamilton, governor of Jamaica, and Lady Jane Hamilton. His mother…
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She’s just sunstruck – Maria Telkes and the Power of the Sun

She’s just sunstruck – Maria Telkes and the Power of the Sun

On December 12, 1900, Hungarian–American scientist and inventor Mária Telkes was born. She is best known for her work in solar energy technology. Mária Telkes – Early Years Mária Telkes was born in Budapest, Hungary, to Aladar and Maria Laban de Telkes. She attended elementary and high school in Budapest. Then, studied at the University of Budapest, graduating with a B.A. in physical chemistry in 1920 and a PhD in 1924. Shortly after, she…
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