SciHi Blog

The Influential Timelines of Joseph Priestley

The Influential Timelines of Joseph Priestley

On March 13, 1733 (March 24 according to the new Gregorian calendar), English theologian, Dissenting clergyman, natural philosopher and chemist Joseph Priestley was born. He is usually credited with the discovery of oxygen, having isolated it in its gaseous state, although Carl Wilhelm Scheele [3] and Antoine Lavoisier [4] also have a claim to the discovery. A scholar and teacher throughout his life, Priestley also made significant contributions to pedagogy, including the publication of…
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Vladimir Vernadsky and the Biosphere

Vladimir Vernadsky and the Biosphere

On March 12 (February 28 according to the old calendar), 1863, Ukrainian and Soviet mineralogist and geochemist Vladimir Ivanovich Vernadsky was born. He is considered one of the founders of geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and of radiogeology. He is most noted for his 1926 book “The Biosphere” in which he popularized the hypothesis that life is the geological force that shapes the Earth. “An organism is involved with the environment to which it is…
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Michael Polanyi’s Criticism on Positivism

Michael Polanyi’s Criticism on Positivism

On March 11, 1891, Hungarian-British polymath Michael Polanyi was born. Polanyi made important theoretical contributions to physical chemistry, economics, and philosophy. He argued that positivism supplies a false account of knowing, which if taken seriously undermines humanity’s highest achievements. “When order is achieved among human beings by allowing them to interact with each other on their own initiative — subject only to the laws which uniformly apply to all of them —…
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Friedrich Schlegel – Towards a unifying Presentation of Philosophy, Prose, Poetry, Genius and Criticism

Friedrich Schlegel – Towards a unifying Presentation of Philosophy, Prose, Poetry, Genius and Criticism

On March 10, 1772, German poet, literary critic, philosopher, philologist and indologist Friedrich Schlegel was born. A zealous promoter of the Romantic movement, together with his older brother, August Wilhelm Schlegel, he was one of the main figures of the Jena romantics. Schlegel was a pioneer in Indo-European studies, comparative linguistics, and morphological typology. “It is equally deadly to the mind to have a system and not to have one. So it…
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Pedro Álvares Cabral and the Discovery of Brazil

Pedro Álvares Cabral and the Discovery of Brazil

On March 9, 1500, Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral set sail with a fleet of 13 ships to establish a trade route to India. But, due to a storm his ships got lost and he should become one of the first Europeans to reach the coast of Brazil. Pedro Álvares Cabral Background While details of Cabral’s early life are unclear, it is known that he came from a minor noble family and received…
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Hachiko – the Most Famous Dog of Japan

Hachiko – the Most Famous Dog of Japan

On March 8, 1935, Hachiko, a famous Japanese Akita dog passed away, remembered for his remarkable loyalty to his owner, even many years after his owner’s death. Background In 1924, Hidesaburo Ueno, a professor in the agriculture department at the University of Tokyo, took in Hachiko, a golden brown Akita, as a pet. During his owner’s life, Hachiko greeted him at the end of each day at the nearby Shibuya Station. The…
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Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

Nicéphore Niépce and the World’s First Photograph

On March 7, 1765, French inventor Nicéphore Niépce was born, who is best known as one of the inventors of photography and a pioneer in the field. He developed heliography, a technique used to produce the world‘s first known photograph in 1825. Early Life Niépce was born in Chalon-sur-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, where his father Claude Niépce was a wealthy lawyer and the king’s counsellor, which caused the family to flee the French Revolution.…
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The Misfortune of Virtue – Marquis de Sade and his Writings

The Misfortune of Virtue – Marquis de Sade and his Writings

On March 6, 1801, French novelist Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, better known as the Marquis de Sade, was arrested for being the author of the anonymously published book ‘Justine or the Misfortune of Virtue‘ by order of Napoleon Bonaparte. “…there is a sum of evil equal to the sum of good, the continuing equilibrium of the world requires that there be as many good people as wicked people…” – Marquis de…
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Antonio Allegri da Correggio – Master Painter of the Italian High Renaissance

Antonio Allegri da Correggio – Master Painter of the Italian High Renaissance

On March 5, 1534, Antonio Allegri da Correggio, painter of the Italian High Renaissance, passed away. A master of chiaroscuro, he was responsible for some of the most vigorous and sensuous works of the 16th century. In his use of dynamic composition, illusionistic perspective and dramatic foreshortening, Correggio prefigured the Baroque art of the 17th century and the Rococo art of the 18th century. Correggio’s Early Years The birthplace of Correggio, after…
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George Gamow and his fundamental Views on the Foundations of Science

George Gamow and his fundamental Views on the Foundations of Science

On March 4, 1904, theoretical physicist and cosmologist George Gamow was born. He was an early advocate and developer of George Lemaître’s Big Bang theory. Besides his contributions to physics, in his middle and late career, Gamow focused more on teaching, and became well known as an author of popular books on science, which are still in print more than 50 years after their publication. “There was a young fellow from Trinity,…
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