Denmark

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…
John Louis Emil Dreyer and the New General Catalogue of Nebulae and Clusters

John Louis Emil 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…
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…
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…
Niels Ryberg Finsen and the Phototherapy

Niels Ryberg Finsen and the 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…
Hans Christian Gram and the Gram Stain

Hans Christian Gram and the Gram Stain

On September 13, 1853, Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram was born. Gram is best known for his development of the Gram stain, which differentiates bacteria by the chemical and physical properties of their cell walls by detecting peptidoglycan, which is present in a thick layer in gram-positive bacteria. Education Hans Christian Gram was the son of Frederik Terkel Julius Gram, a professor of jurisprudence, and Louise Christiane Roulund. In 1871, Gram studied botany at the…
Knud Rasmussen – the Father of Eskimonology

Knud Rasmussen – the Father of Eskimonology

On June 7, 1879, Danish polar explorer and anthropologist Knud Johan Victor Rasmussen was born. He has been called the “father of Eskimology” and was the first European to cross the Northwest Passage via dog sled. He remains well known in Greenland, Denmark and among Canadian Inuit. Rasmussen was born in Ilulissat, Greenland, as one of three children of a Danish missionary, the vicar Christian Rasmussen, who had been in Greenland…
Nicolas Steno and the Principles of Modern Geology

Nicolas Steno and the Principles of Modern Geology

In January, 1638, Danish Catholic bishop and scientist Nicolas Steno was born. He was both a pioneer in both anatomy and geology, and seriously questioned accepted knowledge of the natural world. Importantly he questioned explanations for tear production, the idea that fossils grew in the ground and explanations of rock formation. By some he is considered the founder of modern stratigraphy and modern geology. Nicolas Steno was born as Niels Stensen,…
Johan Christian Fabricius and his Classification System for Insects

Johan Christian Fabricius and his Classification System for Insects

On January 7, 1745, Danish zoologist Johan Christian Fabricius was born. He was a student of Carl Linnaeus, and is considered one of the most important entomologists of the 18th century, having named nearly 10,000 species of animal, and established the basis for modern insect classification. Johan Christian Fabricius was born in Tønder in the Duchy of Schleswig, where his father was a doctor. Already while still a child, Johann…
Agner Erlang and the Mathematics of Telecommunication Traffic

Agner Erlang and the Mathematics of Telecommunication Traffic

On January 1, 1878, Danish mathematician, statistician and engineer Agner Krarup Erlang was born, who invented the fields of traffic engineering and queueing theory. He developed mathematical theories applying the theory of probability, while working for the Copenhagen Telephone Company. He provided significant insights for planning the operation of automatic telephone exchanges that proved so useful that his formulas were used by telephone companies in other countries. Erlang was born…
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