Scientist of the Day

Winnie-the -Pooh

January 18, 2019

We have frequently featured, as Scientists of the Day, those intrepid British explorers who, throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, attempted to traverse the Northwest Passage or reach the North Pole.  Two examples are William Edward Parry and Sir...

Leonhart Fuchs

January 17, 2019

Leonhart Fuchs, a German botanist, was born Jan. 17, 1501.  Fuchs taught in Tübingen, and in 1542 he published a botanical work that would transform botany, medicine, and natural history in general.  Fuch’s De historia stirpiium (On a history of plants), a large...

Percy Pilcher

January 16, 2019

Percy Pilcher, a British inventor and aviator, was born Jan. 16, 1866. Pilcher built and flew his first glider, the Bat, in 1895. The Bat was a hang-glider, like the craft that were being flown in Germany by Otto Lilienthal. Pilcher built and flew three more gliders,...

William Prout

January 15, 2019

William Prout, an English physician and chemist, was born Jan. 15, 1785. Prout is best remembered for proposing in 1815-16 that the atoms of all the heavier elements are simply aggregations of hydrogen atoms, so that a carbon atom, for example, is just 12 hydrogen...

Odorico da Pordenone

January 14, 2019

Odorico da Pordenone, a medieval friar and traveler, died Jan. 14, 1331; his date of birth is unknown. Nearly everyone has heard of Marco Polo, and many know of the spurious John Mandeville, but Odorico, one of the greatest travelers of them all, is not exactly...

Laurens Hammond

January 11, 2019

Laurens Hammond, an American engineer and inventor, was born Jan. 11, 1895. In the 1920s, Hammond founded a company that marketed a variety of electric clocks, made possible by his invention of a small synchronous motor.  When his company was struggling during the...