A scientist, meteorologist, mathematician, and biologist, Gregor Mendel is considered the founder of the modern science of genetics. He conducted a series of experiments on pea plants between 1856 and 1863, establishing many rules of heredity. Besides his work on pea plants, he also described novel plant species and conducted experiments with hawkweed and honeybees.
In the early 1900s, meteorologist Alfred Wegener did not find too many takers for his theory that all the continents of the world had initially been a single mass named Pangaea and that continental drift had caused them to split apart. Wegener died on his fourth expedition in Greenland.
Renowned meteorologist and aeronaut James Glaisher was a pioneer of balloon flights and had penned the iconic book Travels in the Air. He had also contributed to the formation of the Meteorological Society and the Aeronautical Society of Britain. The 2019 movie The Aeronauts depicts his exploits as a balloonist.
Scottish physicist, meteorologist and Nobel Laureate Charles Thomson Rees Wilson is noted for inventing the cloud chamber particle detector, also referred to as Wilson cloud chamber, used for visualizing the passage of ionizing radiation. It played a significant role in the area of experimental particle physics between the 1920s and 1950s.
British physicist, meteorologist, mathematician, psychologist and pacifist Lewis Fry Richardson was the first to apply modern mathematical techniques of weather forecasting to predict weather accurately. He also pioneered the use of similar methods in studying reasons of wars and the way to stop them. He proposed the iterative method called modified Richardson iteration for solving a system of linear equations.
Vilhelm Bjerknes was a Norwegian meteorologist and physicist who is counted among the pioneers of the present-day practice of weather forecasting. The primitive equations, which are used today in numerical climate modeling and weather prediction, were formulated by him. Vilhelm Bjerknes also developed the Bergen School of Meteorology, which played a major role in advancing meteorology in the early-20th century.
A pioneer in astronomical spectroscopy, Italian Jesuit priest and astronomer Angelo Secchi was among the first scientists who authoritatively stated that the Sun is a star. Notable contributions of Secchi, who served as director of the observatory at the Roman College for nearly three decades, includes discovering three comets and solar spicules; and inventing Secchi disk, heliospectrograph and telespectroscope.
Though mostly self-taught, William Ferrel grew up to be a school teacher and later joined the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. He was later part of the U.S. Army’s Signal Service and is best remembered for his meteorological research and his explanation of the deflection of air currents on Earth.
Jacob Bjerknes was a Norwegian American meteorologist known for his works on the dynamics of the polar front and the mechanism for north-south heat transport. He was the son of meteorologist Vilhelm Bjerknes. Jacob Bjerknes began his career working under his father and later pursued an academic career. He was a recipient of the Royal Meteorological Society’s Symons Gold Medal.
Carl-Gustaf Rossby was a Swedish-born American meteorologist. He played an important role during the Second World War, organizing the training of military meteorologists. Over the course of his career, Carl-Gustaf Rossby was honored with many prestigious awards such as the Applied Meteorology Award from the American Meteorological Society in 1959.
Copley Medal-winning geologist and meteorologist Jean-André Deluc had initially studied math and natural sciences, before embarking on business tours across Europe. In course of time, he gathered a huge collection of fossils and minerals. His research areas included the mercury barometer. He was later named a fellow of the Royal Society.
Scottish meteorologist and geophysicist Balfour Stewart is best remembered for his research on radiant energy and terrestrial magnetism. Initially a trader, he later joined the Kew Observatory as an assistant and eventually became its director. The Unseen Universe remains one of his best-known written works.
British meteorologist and physicist John Aitken is best remembered for his research on the microscopic particles now known as the Aitken nuclei and their role in the condensation of water vapor. However, health issues kept him confined to his home laboratory and prevented him from taking up significant positions.
Thomas Stewart Traill had donned many hats. Initially a practicing physician, he was also interested in zoology and helped John James Audubon publish The Birds of America. He was also a chemist and a meteorologist and spent his life teaching at the University of Edinburgh. He also edited Encyclopædia Britannica’s 8th edition.
Sverre Petterssen was a Norwegian meteorologist. He was well known for his work in the field of weather analysis and forecasting. He was a member of the Bergen School of Meteorology and worked as a weather officer in the Norwegian Air Force for many years. He served as a weather forecaster for bombing raids during World War II.