Scientist of the Day

Mary Anning

May 21, 2020

Mary Anning, an English curio shop owner and fossil finder extraordinaire, was born May 21, 1799. Mary grew up on the Dorset coast of southern England, and as a child she would help her father and mother (Richard and Molly) find beach-side collectibles to sell in...

Thomas Sprat

May 20, 2020

Thomas Sprat, an English cleric and writer, died May 20, 1713, at about age 78; his date of birth is unknown.  Sprat was a fellow at Wadham College, Oxford, when the Royal Society of London was founded in 1660 and received its Royal Charter in 1662. Although we now...

Félix de Azara

May 18, 2020

Félix de Azara, a Spanish military officer and naturalist, was born May 18, 1742. Azara was trained as a military engineer in Barcelona, and in 1781, he received a mysterious assignment to report to Lisbon and to board a ship for destination unknown; the destination...

Williamina Fleming

May 15, 2020

Williamina Fleming, born on May 15, 1857 in Dundee, Scotland, features in an oft-told but apocryphal tale about the introduction of women into the Harvard College Observatory. As that story goes, director Edward Charles Pickering grew disgusted with the sloppy work of...

Ronald Ross

May 13, 2020

Ronald Ross, an English physician, was born May 13, 1857.  In 1881, Ross joined the British Medical Services and was sent to India, where he began a slow search for the cause of malaria, which was the number one killer disease in India. In 1880, a French physician in...

Ottmar Mergenthaler

May 11, 2020

Ottmar Mergenthaler, a German/American inventor, was born May 11, 1854. Mergenthaler invented one of the least heralded but most vital components of the modern information age: the Linotype machine. Around 1880, the composing room was the principal bottleneck in the...