Scientist of the Day

Konstantin Tsiolkovskii

September 17, 2019

Konstantin Tsiolkovskii, a Russian rocket pioneer, was born Sep. 17, 1857. Tsiolkovskii (formerly transliterated Tsiolkovsky) spent much of his life as a schoolteacher in the provincial city of Kaluga, about 90 miles from Moscow, but he read physics and mathematics...

Nicolas Desmarest

September 16, 2019

Nicolas Desmarest, a French geologist and cartographer, was born Sep. 16, 1725. When Desmarest began his career, it was thought that basalt formations, such as the Giant’s Causeway in Ireland, were sedimentary deposits. In 1763, Desmarest began mapping the Auvergne...

Caspar Wistar

September 13, 2019

Caspar Wistar, an American physician and anatomist, was born Sep. 13, 1761. He received his medical degree at Edinburgh in 1786, and then returned to his homeland to become one of many scientific luminaries who thrived in the intellectually vibrant milieu of...

Richard March Hoe

September 12, 2019

Richard March Hoe, an American inventor and manufacturer, was born Sep. 12, 1812.  His father had established a printing press factory in New York City, which in the 1830s started producing steam-powered presses.  Richard joined the firm just about the time his father...

James Hopwood Jeans

September 11, 2019

James Hopwood Jeans, a British mathematician, physicist and astronomer, was born Sep. 11, 1877.   In the 1910s and 1920s, Jeans played a major role in applying quantum theory to astrophysics and developing sophisticated mathematical models of the behavior of gases in...

Richard Spruce

September 10, 2019

Richard Spruce, an English botanist and explorer, was born Sep 10, 1817. From an early age in Yorkshire, Spruce taught himself botany, acquiring a particular fascination for mosses and liverworts – studying what a modern botanist would call bryophytes.  He impressed...