SciHi Blog

Erich Fromm and the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory

Erich Fromm and the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory

On March 23, 1900, German-American psychologist Erich Seligmann Fromm was born. He was associated with what became known as the Frankfurt School of critical theory. Fromm’s writings were notable as much for their social and political commentary as for their philosophical and psychological underpinnings. Although influenced by Sigmund Freud’s theories [4,5,6], Fromm diverged in thinking that beyond the unconscious alone, conditions of the society and economy affect human behavior. “The application of…
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Ulugh Beg – the Mongolian Astronomer Prince

Ulugh Beg – the Mongolian Astronomer Prince

On March 22, 1394, Mongolian astronomer, mathematician and sultan Mīrzā Muhammad Tāraghay bin Shāhrukh, better known as Ulugh Beg was (probably) born. Although the only important Mongol scientist, he was the greatest astronomer of his time. Pursuing this interest he built an observatory at Samarkand. In his observations he discovered a number of errors in the computations of the 2nd-century Alexandrian astronomer Ptolemy, whose figures were still being used. “Religions scatter like…
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Joseph Fourier and the Greenhouse Effect

Joseph Fourier and the Greenhouse Effect

On March 21, 1768, French mathematician and physicist Jean Baptiste Joseph du Fourier was born. He is probably best known for his work in thermodynamics, where he introduced the concept of the Fourier Analysis, named in honor after him. There, he claimed that every mathematical function of a variable can be expanded to a sum of sines of multiples of that variable. What people most likely don’t know is that Fourier also was the…
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B.F. Skinner and his Idea of Radical Behaviorism

B.F. Skinner and his Idea of Radical Behaviorism

On March 20, 1904, American psychologist, behaviorist, author, inventor, and social philosopher Burrhus Frederic (B. F.) Skinner was born. His pioneering work in experimental psychology promoted behaviorism, shaping behavior through positive and negative reinforcement and demonstrated operant conditioning. The “Skinner box” he used in experiments from 1930 remains famous. “The real question is not whether machines think but whether men do. The mystery which surrounds a thinking machine already surrounds a thinking man.”…
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The Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge

On March 19, 1932, the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened, which connects the Sydney central business district and the North Shore. It is the sixth longest spanning-arch bridge in the world, and it is the tallest steel arch bridge, measuring 134 m from top to water level. “To get on in Australia, you must make two observations. Say, “You have the most beautiful bridge in the world” and “They tell me you trounced…
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The Life and Work of Philippe de La Hire

The Life and Work of Philippe de La Hire

On March 18, 1640, French mathematician, astronomer, architect, and key figure in the Académie royale des sciences Philippe de La Hire was born. Educated as an Artist Philippe de La Hire was educated as an artist and became skilled in drawing and painting early. It is believed that de La Hire received no formal education in an official school even though his father was probably teaching him at home. At the age of…
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Vanguard 1 – the first Solar Powered Satellite

Vanguard 1 – the first Solar Powered Satellite

On March 17, 1958, Vanguard 1, the fourth artificial Earth orbital satellite was launched, which was the first solar-powered satellite. Although communication with it was lost in 1964, it remains the oldest manmade satellite still in orbit. It was designed to test the launch capabilities of a three-stage launch vehicle as a part of Project Vanguard, and the effects of the environment on a satellite and its systems in Earth orbit. It…
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Frederick Reines’ Chase for the Ghost Particle

Frederick Reines’ Chase for the Ghost Particle

On March 16, 1918, American physicist and Nobel Laureate Frederick Reines was born. He is best known for his co-detection of the neutrino with Clyde Cowan in the neutrino experiment. The neutrino is a subatomic particle, a tiny lepton with little or no mass and a neutral charge which had been postulated by Wolfgang Pauli in the early 1930s but had previously remained undiscovered. Reines shared the Nobel Prize with physicist Martin…
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John Snow – Tracing the Source of the London Cholera Outbreak

John Snow – Tracing the Source of the London Cholera Outbreak

On March 15, 1813, English physician and a leader in the adoption of anaesthesia and medical hygiene John Snow was born. He is considered one of the fathers of modern epidemiology, in part because of his work in tracing the source of a cholera outbreak in Soho, London, in 1854. Growing Up in a Poor Neighborhood John Snow was born on 15 March 1813 in York, England, the first of nine children born to William…
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Paul Ehrlich’s Research on Chemotherapy and the Magic Bullet

Paul Ehrlich’s Research on Chemotherapy and the Magic Bullet

On March 14, 1854, German Jewish physician Paul Ehrlich was born. Ehrlich made significant contributions in the fields of hematology, immunology, and chemotherapy. He invented the precursor technique to Gram staining bacteria. The methods he developed for staining tissue made it possible to distinguish between different type of blood cells, which led to the capability to diagnose numerous blood diseases. “In order to pursue chemotherapy successfully we must look for substances which…
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