Switzerland

Johann Lavater – Physiognomic Fragments for the Promotion of Human Knowledge and Human Love

Johann Lavater – Physiognomic Fragments for the Promotion of Human Knowledge and Human Love

On November 15, 1741, Swiss poet, writer, philosopher, physiognomist and theologian Johann Kaspar Lavater was born. He was a main representative of physiognomics in the time of Enlightenment. “Who in the same given time can produce more than others has vigor; who can produce more and better, has talents; who can produce what none else can, has genius.” – Johann Lavater, Aphorisms on Man (1788) Johann Kaspar Lavater – Family Background and Education…
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Albrecht von Haller – Father of Modern Physiology

Albrecht von Haller – Father of Modern Physiology

On October 16, 1708, Swiss anatomist, physiologist, naturalist and poet Albrecht von Haller was born. He made prolific contributions to physiology, anatomy, botany, embryology, poetry, and scientific bibliography. Moreover, he is often referred to as the “Father of modern Physiology”. Albrecht von Haller Background It is said that Albrecht von Haller learned Greek and Hebrew at the age of 10 and authored translations from Ovid, Horace and Virgil before turning 15. However,…
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What is a Mathematical Function – according to Johann Bernoulli

What is a Mathematical Function – according to Johann Bernoulli

On August 6, 1667, Swiss mathematician Johann Bernoulli was born. He was one of the many prominent mathematicians in the Bernoulli family. He is known for his contributions to infinitesimal calculus and educating Leonhard Euler in the pupil’s youth.[1] “I recognize the lion by his claw.” – Johann Bernoulli, after reading an anonymous solution to a problem that he realized was Newton’s solution.[10] Johann Bernoulli and the Early Days of Calculus Johann I…
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Rudolf Albert von Kölliker and the Origins of Embriology

Rudolf Albert von Kölliker and the Origins of Embriology

On July 6, 1817, Swiss anatomist and physiologist Rudolf Albert von Kölliker was born. He was one of the founders of embryology. His thorough microscopic work on tissues enabled him to be among the first to identify their structure. He showed that they were made up of cells, that did not freely come into being, but must develop from existing cells. Background Rudolph Albert Kölliker Rudolph Albert Kölliker was born in Zurich, Switzerland. His early…
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The Ingenious Watches of Abraham-Louis Bréguet

The Ingenious Watches of Abraham-Louis Bréguet

On January 10, 1747, Swiss horologist Abraham-Louis Breguet was born. In his lifetime he was considered the leading watchmaker of his day because of his artistic as well as technical skill. His innovations included a self-winding or “perpétuelle” watch (1780), the gong spring which decreased the size of repeater watches, and the first anti-shock device or “pare-chute“, which improved the reliability of his watches while making them less fragile. Of course Swiss watches…
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Ferdinand de Saussure and the Study of Language

Ferdinand de Saussure and the Study of Language

On November 26, 1857, Swiss linguist and semiotician Ferdinand de Saussure was born. His ideas laid the foundation for many significant developments both in linguistics and semiotics in the 20th century. Moreover, de Saussure is widely considered one of the fathers of 20th-century linguistics and together with Charles Sanders Peirceone of two major fathers of semiotics.[4] “Il est souvent plus aisé de découvrir une vérité que de lui assigner la place qui lui…
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Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt and the discovery of Petra

On August 22, 1812, Swiss traveler and orientalist Johann Ludwig Burckhardt, in the disguise of an arab traveler discovered the ruins of the ancient city of Petra, one of the most compelling archaeological sites in existence, in today’s Jordan. Petra – Location and Meaning Petra is located east of the Arabah, half way between the Gulf of Aqaba and the Dead Sea at an altitude between 800 and 1350 m in a wide…
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Jean Piaget and Genetic Epistemology

Jean Piaget and Genetic Epistemology

On August 9, 1896, Swiss developmental psychologist and philosopher Jean Piaget was born. He is best known for his epistemological studies with children. In 1934, he declared that “…only education is capable of saving our societies from possible collapse, whether violent, or gradual.” Piaget created the International Center for Genetic Epistemology in Geneva in 1955 and directed it until his death in 1980. The number of collaborations that its founding made possible, and…
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Hermann Hesse and his Quest for Self-Knowledge

Hermann Hesse and his Quest for Self-Knowledge

On July 2, 1877, German poet, novelist, painter, and Nobel Laureate Hermann Hesse was born. He is best known for his novels ‘Steppenwolf‘, ‘Siddhartha‘, or ‘The Glass Bead Game‘, in which he explores the individual’s search for authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality. “In the beginning was the myth. God, in his search for self-expression, invested the souls of Hindus, Greeks, and Germans with poetic shapes and continues to invest each child’s soul with poetry…
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Henry Dunant and the Red Cross Project

Henry Dunant and the Red Cross Project

On May 8, 1828, Swiss businessman and social activist Henry Dunant was born. He is best known for the creation of the International Committee of the Red Cross in 1863. Also the 1864 Geneva Convention was based on Dunant‘s ideas. In 1901 he received the first Nobel Peace Prize together with Frédéric Passy. “In one of the Cremona hospitals, an Italian doctor had said: “We keep the good things for our friends…
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