SciHi Blog

Johann Lavater – Physiognomic Fragments for the Promotion of Human Knowledge and Human Love

Johann Lavater – Physiognomic Fragments for the Promotion of Human Knowledge and Human Love

On November 15, 1741, Swiss poet, writer, philosopher, physiognomist and theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater was born. He was a main representative of physiognomics in the time of Enlightenment. “Who in the same given time can produce more than others has vigor; who can produce more and better, has talents; who can produce what none else can, has genius.” – Johann Lavater, Aphorisms on Man (1788) Johann Kaspar Lavater – Family Background and Education…
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Plastic Fantastic – Leo Baekeland and the Beginning of the Plastic Age

Plastic Fantastic – Leo Baekeland and the Beginning of the Plastic Age

On November 14, 1863, Belgian-born American chemist Leo Henricus Arthur Baekeland was born. His invention of Bakelite, an inexpensive, nonflammable, versatile, and popular plastic, marked the beginning of the modern plastics industry. Back in the eighties and nineties, the phrase plastic-fantastic was coined to describe a cheap item that more than often broke when you started using it because the early day plastic was so brittle. However, bakelite was different… The Velox Photography Paper The…
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Dorothea Erxleben – Germany’s First Female Medical Doctor

Dorothea Erxleben – Germany’s First Female Medical Doctor

On November 13, 1715, Dorothea Christiane Erxleben, first female medical doctor in Germany was born. It was very hard for her to overcome the prejudices of the University professors and to finish her studies with a proper examination. What is even worse is that it should take until 1901 that the second woman in Germany was able to make her exams as a doctor. Dorothea Leporin – Youth and Education Dorothea Leporin was born as…
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Sir James Young Simpson and the Use of Chloroform

Sir James Young Simpson and the Use of Chloroform

On November 12, 1847, Scottish obstetrician and important figure in the history of medicine Sir James Young Simpson published his self trial experiments with the new anesthetic chloroform. “All pain is per se and especially in excess, destructive and ultimately fatal in its nature and effects.” – James Young Simpson James Young Simpson – Early Years Simpson was born in Bathgate near Edinburg, West Lothian, Scotland, as the seventh son and eighth child of an impecunious baker. Simpson attended the University of Edinburgh…
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Louis Antoine de Bougainville and his Voyage Around the World

Louis Antoine de Bougainville and his Voyage Around the World

Probably on November 11, 1729, French admiral and explorer Louis Antoine de Bougainville was born. A contemporary of James Cook,[5] he gained fame for his expeditions, the first recorded settlement on the Falkland Islands and his voyages into the Pacific Ocean. The largest of the Solomon Islands is named after him, as is the colorful tropical climbing plant bougainvillaea. Louis Antoine de Bougainville – Early Years Louis Antoine de Bougainville was born in Paris on Rue Barre-du-Bec. His parents were…
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Robert Morison and the Systematic Classification of Plants

Robert Morison and the Systematic Classification of Plants

On November 10, 1683, Scottish botanist and taxonomist Robert Morison passed away. A forerunner of naturalist John Ray, he elucidated and developed the first systematic classification of plants. Robert Morison Background Born in 1620 in Aberdeen, Scotland, as son of John Morison and his wife Anna Gray, Robert Morison was an outstanding scholar who gained his Master of Arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Aberdeen at the age of eighteen. He devoted himself at first to mathematics, and studied…
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Florence Sabin – Preparing the Ground for Women in Medical Science

Florence Sabin – Preparing the Ground for Women in Medical Science

On November 9, 1871, American medical scientist Florence Rena Sabin was born. She was a pioneer for women in science. She was the first woman to hold a full professorship at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, the first woman elected to the National Academy of Sciences, and the first woman to head a department at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research. Florence Sabin Background Florence Rena Sabin was born in Central City, Colorado, to her…
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Felix Hausdorff and the Basic Principles of Set Theory

Felix Hausdorff and the Basic Principles of Set Theory

On November 8, 1868, German mathematician Felix Hausdorff was born. He is considered a co-founder of general topology and made significant contributions to general and descriptive set theory, measure theory, functional analysis and algebra. In addition to his profession, he also worked as a philosophical writer and literary figure under the pseudonym Paul Mongré. Felix Hausdorff – Early Years Felix Hausdorff was born in Breslau, Kingdom of Prussion, today Wroclaw in Poland. Hausdorff’s…
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Albert Camus – the James Dean of Philosophy

Albert Camus – the James Dean of Philosophy

On November 7, 1913, French Nobel Prize winning author, journalist, and philosopher Albert Camus was born. His views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism in opposition to Nietzsche‘s nihilism [7] and Sartre‘s existentialism.[6] Albert Camus – Early Years In was somehow a miracle that Albert Camus became one of the finest writers of the 20th century and a Nobel laureate. Albert Camus was born in extreme poverty in a remote corner…
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Adolphe Sax and the Invention of the Saxophone

Adolphe Sax and the Invention of the Saxophone

On November 6, 1814, Belgian musical instrument designer and musician Antoine-Joseph “Adolphe” Sax was born. Besides playing flute and clarinet, he is well known for having invented the saxophone.Sax became something of a footnote in history after his creation was almost forgotten after his death, until it was revived by jazz musicians who barely remembered his name.[2] Back in the time when I was a student, I remember one fellow student who ‘polluted’ the air of the…
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