Denmark

Carsten Niebuhr and the Decipherment of Cuneiform

Carsten Niebuhr and the Decipherment of Cuneiform

On March 17, 1733, German mathematician, cartographer, and explorer in the service of Denmark, Carsten Niebuhr was born. He is best known for his role in the decipherment of ancient cuneiform inscriptions, which up to Niebuhr‘s publications was considered to be merely decorations and embellishment. Nobody really expected that Carsten Niebuhr would travel to the Red Sea, to Yemen and Persepolis, making the findings of his life in later years. He grew…
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Hans Christian Ørsted connecting Electricity and Magnetism

Hans Christian Ørsted connecting Electricity and Magnetism

On March 9, 1851, Danish physicist Hans Christian Ørsted passed away. Hans Christian Ørsted discovered that electric currents create magnetic fields, which was the first connection found between electricity and magnetism. He is still known today for Oersted‘s Law and the oersted (Oe), the cgs unit of magnetic H-field strength, is named after him. Hans Christian Ørsted was born in Rudkøbing, Denmark, the elder son of an apothecary, Søren Christian Ørsted, and…
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Niels Jerne and the Immune System

Niels Jerne and the Immune System

On December 23, 1911, Danish immunologist Niels Kaj Jerne was born. Jerne shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1984 with Georges J. F. Köhler and César Milstein “for theories concerning the specificity in development and control of the immune system and the discovery of the principle for production of monoclonal antibodies“. An immune system of enormous complexity is present in all vertebrate animals. When we place a population of…
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August Krogh and the Capillaries

August Krogh and the Capillaries

On November 15, 1874, Danish zoophysiologist August Krogh was born. Krogh contributed a number of fundamental discoveries within several fields of physiology, and is famous for developing the Krogh Principle, which states that “for such a large number of problems there will be some animal of choice, or a few such animals, on which it can be most conveniently studied.” In 1920 August Krogh was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for…
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Hermann Conring and the Science of German Legal History

Hermann Conring and the Science of German Legal History

On November 9, 1606, German intellectual Hermann Conring was born. Conring made significant contributions to the study of medicine, politics and law. He made significant studies on blood circulation, and later in his career addressed himself to politics. Conring was polyhistor and Reichspublizist, as well as medical doctor and personal physician of Queen Christina of Sweden, Danish State Councillor and director of the Bremen-verdische Archive in Stade. He is regarded as the founder…
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Eugen Warming and Ecology

Eugen Warming and Ecology

On November 3, 1841, Danish botanist Eugen Warming was born. Warming ia considered a main founding figure of the scientific discipline of ecology. He wrote the first textbook on plant ecology in 1895, taught the first university course in ecology and gave the concept its meaning and content. Eugen Warming attended the University of Copenhagen. However, he left the university in order to work with the Danish palaeontologist Peter Wilhelm Lund, who worked…
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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 Struggle 1902-14’…
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John Dreyer and the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters

John Dreyer and the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters

On February 13, 1852, Danish-Irish astronomer John Louis Emil Dreyer was born. Dreyer’s major contribution was the monumental New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters of Stars (based on William Herschels Catalogue of Nebulae), the catalogue numbers of which are still in use today. John Louis Emil Dreyer was the son of Lieutenant General John Christopher Dreyer, back then the Danish Minister for War and the Navy. From early age, Dreyer became enthusiastic…
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Thomas Bartholin and the Lymphatic System

Thomas Bartholin and the Lymphatic System

On December 4, 1680, Danish physician, mathematician, and theologian Thomas Bartholin passed away. Bartholin was first to describe fully the entire human lymphatic system (1652), an early defender of Harvey’s discovery of the circulation of blood, and he is known for his advancements of the theory of refrigeration anesthesia, being the first to describe it scientifically. Already in the 5th century BC, Hippocrates was one of the first persons to mention the lymphatic…
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Ejnar Hertzsprung and the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

Ejnar Hertzsprung and the Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram

On October 8, 1873, Danish chemist and astronomer Ejnar Hertzsprung was born. Together with Henry Norris Russell, Hertzsprung developed the Hertzsprung–Russell diagram, a scatter graph of stars showing the relationship between the stars‘ absolute magnitudes or luminosities versus their spectral classifications or effective temperatures, which has become fundamental to the study of stellar evolution. Ejnar Hertzsprung was probably not formally educated, but studied in technological colleges in Denmark and became a chemical engineer.…
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