Switzerland

Hermann ‘Klecks’ Rorschach and his Eponymous Test

Hermann ‘Klecks’ Rorschach and his Eponymous Test

On November 8, 1884, Swiss psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Hermann Rorschach was born. He is best known for developing a projective test known as the Rorschach inkblot test. This test was reportedly designed to reflect unconscious parts of the personality that “project” onto the stimuli. Hermann Rorschach – Early Years Born in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1884, Hermann Rorschach grew up in Schaffhausen, where he attended the Schaffhausen Cantonal School. Initially, he wanted to become an artist. Eventually, however,…
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Christian Friedrich Schönbein and the Ozone

Christian Friedrich Schönbein and the Ozone

On October 18, 1799, German-Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein was born. Schönbein is best known for inventing the fuel cell (1838) and his discoveries of guncotton (nitrocellulose) and ozone. Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Early Years Christian Friedrich Schönbein came from a pietistic family, his father was a dyer, postman and bookkeeper. In 1812, after completing elementary school, he was apprenticed at a pharmaceutical factory in Böblingen and was adviced to begin studying at the…
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Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Ozone and Explosives

Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Ozone and Explosives

On August 29, 1868, German-Swiss chemist Christian Friedrich Schönbein passed away. Schönbein is best known for inventing the fuel cell (1838) at the same time as William Robert Grove and his discoveries of guncotton and ozone, of which he also coined its name. Christian Friedrich Schönbein – Early Years Christian Friedrich Schönbein came from a Pietist family, his father was a dyer, postman and accountant. He was apprenticed to a chemical and pharmaceutical…
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The Medical Breakthroughs of Ernst Ferdinand Sauerbruch

The Medical Breakthroughs of Ernst Ferdinand Sauerbruch

On July 3, 1875, German surgeon Ernst Ferdinand Sauerbruch was born. He is considered as one of the most important and influential surgeons of the 20th century. He developed the Sauerbruch chamber, a pressure chamber for operating on the open thorax. Ferdinand Sauerbruch – Early Years Since his father, technical director of a cloth weaving mill, died early, Sauerbruch grew up with his grandfather, master shoemaker Friedrich Hammerschmidt. 1895 he passed the…
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Jean Senebier and the Discovery of Photosynthesis

Jean Senebier and the Discovery of Photosynthesis

On May 6, 1742, Swiss pastor and naturalist Jean Senebier was born. Senebier wrote extensively on plant physiology and was one of the major early pioneers of photosynthesis research. He was the first who demonstrated that green plants consume carbon dioxide and release oxygen under the influence of light. How do the Plants gain their Mass? Before Jean Senebier researched in the field of photosynthesis, other scientists had engaged in the field including Flemish chemist, physiologist,…
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Walter Hess and his Mapping of the Brain

Walter Hess and his Mapping of the Brain

On March 17, 1881, Swiss physiologist Walter Rudolf Hess was born. Hess shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1949 with Antonio Egas Moniz for his discovery of the functional organization of the interbrain as a coordinator of the activities of the internal organs. “A recognized fact which goes back to the earliest times is that every living organism is not the sum of a multitude of unitary processes, but is, by…
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Robert Maillart and Structural Reinforced Concrete

Robert Maillart and Structural Reinforced Concrete

On February 6, 1872, Swiss civil engineer Robert Maillart was born. Maillart revolutionized the use of structural reinforced concrete with such designs as the three-hinged arch and the deck-stiffened arch for bridges, and the beamless floor slab and mushroom ceiling for industrial buildings. Early Years Robert Maillart went to grammar school in Bern, Switzerland, where he was born, until 1889. He attended the Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. He was not known…
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Marie-Louise von Franz and the Psychology of Fairy Tales

Marie-Louise von Franz and the Psychology of Fairy Tales

On January 4, 1915, Swiss Jungian psychologist and scholar Marie-Louise von Franz was born. Von Franz is renowned for her psychological interpretations of fairy tales and of alchemical manuscripts. Her research showed common themes in tales from many cultures, which she linked with experiences in daily life. “The ego must be able to listen attentively and to give itself, without any further design or purpose, to that inner urge toward growth. “ —…
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Felix Bloch and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Method

Felix Bloch and the Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Method

On October 23, 1905, Swiss-born American physicist Felix Bloch was born. He is best known for his investigations into nuclear induction and nuclear magnetic resonance, which are the underlying principles of MRI. He was awarded the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics for developing the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) method of measuring the magnetic field of atomic nuclei. “While I am certainly not asking you to close your eyes to the experiences of earlier generations,…
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Arnold Böcklin – Swiss Symbolism and Décadence

Arnold Böcklin – Swiss Symbolism and Décadence

On October 16, 1827, Swiss symbolist painter Arnold Böcklin was born. He is considered one of the most important visual artists of the 19th century in Europe. Böcklin was one of the main representatives of German Symbolism, which broke with the dominant academic painting and the prevailing naturalism of the second half of the 19th century. “Portraiture is the most miserable genre of painting, because in it the artist is most bound.” –…
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