Albert Einstein

Senior Scientist
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Albert Einstein (pron.: /ˈælbərt ˈnstn/German: [ˈalbɐt ˈaɪnʃtaɪn] ( listen); 14 March 1879 – 18 April 1955) was a German-born theoretical physicist who developed the general theory of relativity, one of the two pillars ofmodern physics (alongside quantum mechanics).[2][3] While best known for his mass–energy equivalenceformula E = mc2 (which has been dubbed “the world’s most famous equation”),[4] he received the 1921 Nobel Prize in Physics “for his services to theoretical physics, and especially for his discovery of the law of thephotoelectric effect“.[5] The latter was pivotal in establishing quantum theory.

Near the beginning of his career, Einstein thought that Newtonian mechanics was no longer enough to reconcile the laws of classical mechanics with the laws of the electromagnetic field. This led to the development of hisspecial theory of relativity. He realized, however, that the principle of relativity could also be extended togravitational fields, and with his subsequent theory of gravitation in 1916, he published a paper on the general theory of relativity. He continued to deal with problems of statistical mechanics and quantum theory, which led to his explanations of particle theory and the motion of molecules. He also investigated the thermal properties of light which laid the foundation of the photon theory of light. In 1917, Einstein applied the general theory of relativity to model the structure of the universe as a whole.[6]

Senior Scientist
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Sir Francis Bacon

Senior Researcher
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Francis Bacon, 1st Viscount St. Alban,[1][a] Kt.KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, jurist, and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. Although his political career ended in disgrace, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific method during thescientific revolution.

Bacon has been called the creator of empiricism.[2] His works established and popularised inductivemethodologies for scientific inquiry, often called the Baconian method, or simply the scientific method. His demand for a planned procedure of investigating all things natural marked a new turn in the rhetorical and theoretical framework for science, much of which still surrounds conceptions of proper methodology today.

Bacon was knighted in 1603, and created both the Baron Verulam in 1618 and the Viscount St. Alban in 1621;[b] as he died without heirs, both peerages became extinct upon his death. He famously died by contracting pneumonia while studying the effects of freezing on the preservation of meat, bringing him into a rare historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments.

Senior Researcher
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Pythagoras of Samos

Senior Mathematician
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Pythagoras of Samos (Ancient Greek: Πυθαγόρας ὁ Σάμιος [Πυθαγόρης in Ionian Greek] Pythagóras ho Sámios “Pythagoras the Samian“, or simply Πυθαγόρας; b. about 570 – d. about 495 BC)[1][2] was anIonian Greek philosophermathematician, and founder of the religious movement called Pythagoreanism. Most of the information about Pythagoras was written down centuries after he lived, so very little reliable information is known about him. He was born on the island of Samos, and might have travelled widely in his youth, visiting Egypt and other places seeking knowledge. Around 530 BC, he moved to Croton, a Greek colony in southern Italy, and there set up a religious sect. His followers pursued the religious rites and practices developed by Pythagoras, and studied his philosophical theories. The society took an active role in the politics of Croton, but this eventually led to their downfall. The Pythagorean meeting-places were burned, and Pythagoras was forced to flee the city. He is said to have ended his days in Metapontum.

Pythagoras made influential contributions to philosophy and religious teaching in the late 6th century BC. He is often revered as a great mathematicianmystic and scientist, but he is best known for thePythagorean theorem which bears his name. However, because legend and obfuscation cloud his work even more than that of the other pre-Socratic philosophers, one can give only a tentative account of his teachings, and some have questioned whether he contributed much to mathematics and natural philosophy. Many of the accomplishments credited to Pythagoras may actually have been accomplishments of his colleagues and successors. Whether or not his disciples believed that everything was related to mathematics and that numbers were the ultimate reality is unknown. It was said that he was the first man to call himself a philosopher, or lover of wisdom,[3] and Pythagorean ideas exercised a marked influence onPlato, and through him, all of Western philosophy.

Senior Mathematician
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Stephen Hawking

Senior Scientist
Dated

Stephen William HawkingCHCBEFRSFRSA (born 8 January 1942) is a British theoretical physicistcosmologist, and author. Among his significant scientific works have been a collaboration with Roger Penrose on gravitational singularities theorems in the framework ofgeneral relativity, and the theoretical prediction that black holes emit radiation, often calledHawking radiation. Hawking was the first to set forth a cosmology explained by a union of thegeneral theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. He is a vocal supporter of the many-worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a lifetime member of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, and a recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian award in the United States. Hawking was the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at the University of Cambridge between 1979 and 2009.

Hawking has achieved success with works of popular science in which he discusses his own theories and cosmology in general; his A Brief History of Time stayed on the British Sunday Times best-sellers list for a record-breaking 237 weeks. Hawking has a motor neurone disease related to amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a condition that has progressed over the years. He is almost entirely paralysed and communicates through a speech generating device. He married twice and has three children.

Senior Scientist
Dated

 

Ray Kurzweil

Senior Researcher
Futurist Enterprises

Raymond “Ray” Kurzweil (/ˈkɜrzwl/ kurz-wyl; born February 12, 1948) is an American author, inventor,futurist, and director of engineering at Google. Aside from futurology, he is involved in fields such as optical character recognition (OCR), text-to-speech synthesisspeech recognition technology, and electronic keyboard instruments. He is the author of several books on health, artificial intelligence (AI),transhumanism, the technological singularity, and futurism. Kurzweil is generally recognized as a public advocate for the futurist and transhumanist movements, due to his stances on life extension technologies, his efforts to forecast future advances in technology, and his interest in the concept of the technological singularity. At the same time, he has attracted significant criticism from scientists and thinkers.

Kurzweil has been described as a “restless genius”[2] by The Wall Street Journal and “the ultimate thinking machine”[3] by Forbes. PBS included Kurzweil as one of 16 “revolutionaries who made America”[4] along with other inventors of the past two centuries. Inc. magazine ranked him #8 among the “most fascinating” entrepreneurs in the United States and called him “Edison’s rightful heir”.[5]

Kurzweil was the principal inventor of the first CCD flatbed scanner,[6] the first omni-font optical character recognition,[6] the first print-to-speech reading machine for the blind,[7] the first commercial text-to-speech synthesizer,[8] the first music synthesizer capable of recreating the grand piano and other orchestral instruments,[citation needed] and the first commercially marketed large-vocabulary speech recognition.[citation needed]

Kurzweil received the 1999 National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the nation’s highest honor in technology, from President Clinton in a White House ceremony. He was the recipient of the $500,000Lemelson-MIT Prize for 2001,[9] the world’s largest for innovation. And in 2002 he was inducted into theNational Inventors Hall of Fame, established by the U.S. Patent Office. He has received nineteen honorary doctorates, and honors from three U.S. presidents.

 

Marie Curie

Senior Polymath
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Marie Skłodowska-Curie, often referred to as Marie Curie, (7 November 1867 – 4 July 1934) was a Polishphysicist and chemist, working mainly in France, who is famous for her pioneering research on radioactivity. She was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, the only woman to win in two fields, and the only person to win in multiple sciences. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris (La Sorbonne), and in 1995 became the first woman to be entombed on her own merits in Paris’ Panthéon.

She was born Maria Salomea Skłodowska (pronounced [ˈmarja salɔˈmɛa skwɔˈdɔfska]) in Warsaw, in what was then the Kingdom of Poland. She studied at Warsaw’s clandestine Floating University and began her practical scientific training in Warsaw. In 1891, aged 24, she followed her older sister Bronisława to study in Paris, where she earned her higher degrees and conducted her subsequent scientific work. She shared her 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics with her husband Pierre Curie and with physicist Henri Becquerel. She was the sole winner of the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

Her achievements included a theory of radioactivity (a term that she coined), techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes, and the discovery of two elements, polonium and radium. Under her direction, the world’s first studies were conducted into the treatment of neoplasms, using radioactive isotopes. She founded the Curie Institutes in Paris and in Warsaw, which remain major centres of medical research today. During World War I, she established the first military field radiological centres.

While a French citizen, Marie Skłodowska-Curie (she used both surnames) never lost her sense of Polish identity. She taught her daughters the Polish language and took them on visits to Poland. She named the first chemical element that she discovered – polonium, which she first isolated in 1898 – after her native country.[a]

Senior Polymath
Union of Posthumously Productive Scientists

Dame Jane Morris Goodall

Senior Researcher
Dated

Dame Jane Morris GoodallDBE (born Valerie Jane Morris-Goodall on 3 April 1934)[1] is a Britishprimatologistethologistanthropologist, and UN Messenger of Peace.[2] Considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, Goodall is best known for her 45-year study of social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees in Gombe Stream National ParkTanzania.[3] She is the founder of theJane Goodall Institute and has worked extensively on conservation and animal welfare issues.