• Question: who is your favourite scientist?

    Asked by moi to Pete, Natalie, Keith, Abbey, Aaron on 8 Nov 2015. This question was also asked by Willybob12.
    • Photo: Keith Franklin

      Keith Franklin answered on 8 Nov 2015:

      Isaac Newton – he made his discoveries very young, and then went on to many different things.

    • Photo: Peter Burgess

      Peter Burgess answered on 8 Nov 2015:

      When I was at university, Richard Fenyman was a bit of a hero. Bongo playing, safe cracking, Nobel prize winning physicist and superstar Explainer of Things.

      James Hansen from NASA is an inspiration for his integrity and bravery in speaking out about climate change.

      There are so many scientists that are doing or have done amazing things. Jocelyn Bell Burnell discovered Pulsars, Michael Faraday was probably the last great self-taught scientist, people like Charles Darwin, Dimitri Mendeleev and Carl Linnaeus gave us the frameworks of evolution by natural selection and the periodic table by which we make sense of our world and we owe them a huge debt for that.

    • Photo: Aaron Boardley

      Aaron Boardley answered on 9 Nov 2015:

      That’s a tough one. I’m always fascinated when I learn more about scientists themselves – rather than just the work they did – but there’s no many scientists I don’t know much about!

      Plus, so many things in science are collaborative efforts. For every headline scientist in the textbooks there are hundreds of women and men doing brilliant work that makes it into our homes and hospitals, and we’ll probably never learn their name. It’s hard to single out an individual with this in mind.

      So who do I like? Ada Lovelace? Rosalind Frankin? Richard Feynman?…

      If I had to pick one, I think I’d have to answer Nikola Tesla. He was an amazing innovator and came up with the alternating current system of electricity that we still use today – there’s a great summary of why I think he’s cool, in cartoon form, at http://theoatmeal.com/comics/tesla

      Also, in the film ‘The Prestige’, he’s played by David Bowie…and that gives him a million bonus points in my eyes.

    • Photo: Natalie Garrett

      Natalie Garrett answered on 12 Nov 2015:

      I think my favourite scientist is also Isaac Newton. He not only gave us much greater understanding of the world around us, through mathematics and physics, but he was a completely bizarre character too. For instance, to find out how our eyes work, he decided to poke a needle inside his eye socket and waggled it around to see what would happen! Don’t try this at home, folks…