Capricorn Scientists

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking
75
Famous As: Theoretical Physicist - First to Set Out a Theory of Cosmology
Birthdate: January 8, 1942
Birthplace: Oxford, England
Died: March 14, 2018

Stephen Hawking was an English theoretical physicist and cosmologist, who despite being afflicted motor neurone disease that severely limited his physical abilities, was able to build a phenomenally successful career. He was the first to set out a theory of cosmology explained by a union of the general theory of relativity and quantum mechanics. Hawking was ranked 25 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons, in 2002.

 2 Srinivasa Ramanujan

Srinivasa Ramanujan
63
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 22, 1887
Birthplace: Erode
Died: April 26, 1920

A self-taught genius Indian mathematician, Srinivasa Ramanujan is known for his contributions to mathematical analysis, number theory and continued fractions. Born into a humble family, the celebrated mathematician struggled with poverty but still managed to publish first of his papers in the Journal of the Indian Mathematical Society. Later, his collaboration with English mathematician G. H. Hardy proved very productive.

 3 George Washington Carver

George Washington Carver
32
Famous As: Agricultural scientist
Birthdate: December 31, 1864
Birthplace: Diamond, Missouri, United States
Died: January 5, 1943
Agricultural scientist George Washington Carver is best remembered for promoting crops that were alternative to cotton, such as peanuts and sweet potatoes. He invented ways to prevent soil depletion and developed scores of products made from peanuts, including paints and cosmetics. He won numerous honors, such as the Spingarn Medal.
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 4 Louis Pasteur

Louis Pasteur
16
Famous As: Chemist and Microbiologist
Birthdate: December 27, 1822
Birthplace: Dole, France
Died: September 28, 1895
Considered one of the founders of bacteriology, Louis Pasteur created vaccines for anthrax and rabies, and invented the process of heating food and wine to kill microbes that cause contamination, which was named pasteurization after him. Known as the “father of microbiology,” he also founded the Pasteur Institute in Paris.  

 5 Charles Babbage

Charles Babbage
18
Famous As: Father of the computer
Birthdate: December 26, 1791
Birthplace: London, England
Died: October 18, 1871
Charles Babbage, or the “father of the computer,” invented the prototype of the world’s first mechanical calculator, the Difference Engine. With the help of mathematician Ada Lovelace, he also created the Analytical Engine, the first general-purpose computer and a precursor of the modern computer, with its looping and sequential mechanism.

 6 John von Neumann

John von Neumann
11
Famous As: Mathematician, Computer Scientist, Physicist
Birthdate: December 28, 1903
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: February 8, 1957
Hungarian-American scientist John von Neumann contributed to the development of game theory and the concept of self-replication. His work covered vast areas including math, economics, physics, and computer science. His research on nuclear physics led him to be part of the advisory committee of the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

 7 Johannes Kepler

Johannes Kepler
15
Famous As: Astronomer Best Known for his Laws of Plantery Motion
Birthdate: December 27, 1571
Birthplace: Weil der Stadt, Germany
Died: November 15, 1630

This 17th-century German mathematician, astronomer, and astrologer is remembered for his pathbreaking work on optics. He invented a developed version of the refracting telescope. He also laid down Kepler's laws of planetary motion and wrote Astronomia Nova, Harmonices Mundi, and Epitome Astronomiae Copernicanae.

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 8 Satyendra Nath Bose

Satyendra Nath Bose
10
Birthdate: January 1, 1894
Birthplace: Kolkata, India
Died: February 4, 1974

Best known for working with Albert Einstein to form Bose–Einstein statistics, Indian scientist Satyendra Nath Bose was a master of quantum mechanics. He played the esraj, loved poetry, and had mastered quite a few languages. The Padma Vibhushan winner was also made a Fellow of The Royal Society.

 9 Alfred Russel Wallace

Alfred Russel Wallace
5
Famous As: Naturalist, Explorer, Geographer, Anthropologist and Biologist
Birthdate: January 8, 1823
Birthplace: Llanbadoc
Died: November 7, 1913

British naturalist Alfred Russel Wallace is largely remembered for his theory of evolution through natural selection, which inspired Charles Darwin’s studies. He began his career as a surveyor’s apprentice and later introduced concepts such as reinforcement in animals, also known as the Wallace effect. He was awarded the Order of Merit.

 10 John Horton Conway

John Horton Conway
12
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 26, 1937
Birthplace: Liverpool, England
Died: April 11, 2020

Remembered as versatile mathematician, game wizard and polymath, John Horton Conway had limitless curiosity, which matched with his scientific originality. Although he is best known for devising the cellular automation called Game of Life, he made significant contributions to group theory, number theory, algebra, geometric topology, theoretical physics, combinatorial game theory and geometry. Conway published many outstanding papers in these fields.

 11 James Prescott Joule

James Prescott Joule
5
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: December 24, 1818
Birthplace: Salford, Lancashire, England, UK
Died: October 11, 1889

English physicist, and mathematician, James Prescott Joule primarily worked on the nature of heat, in course of which he established that all forms of energy are fundamentally same and therefore inter-convertible. His findings resulted in the development of the first law of thermodynamics and negation of calorie theory. The SI derived unit of energy, the joule, is named after him.

 12 Arthur Eddington

Arthur Eddington
124
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: December 28, 1882
Birthplace: Kendal
Died: November 22, 1944

Arthur Eddington was an English physicist, astronomer, and mathematician. He wrote numerous articles that explained Albert Einstein's theory of general relativity to the English-speaking world. He began his career in academics and eventually shifted to astronomy, becoming the chief assistant to the Astronomer Royal at the Royal Greenwich Observatory. He was a recipient of the Henry Draper Medal. 

 13 Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton
57
Famous As: Formulated the Laws of Motion & Universal Gravitation
Birthdate: January 4, 1643
Birthplace: Lincolnshire, England
Died: March 31, 1727

One of the most influential and popular scientists of all time, Sir Isaac Newton played a prominent role in our understanding of natural phenomena. He formulated the law of universal gravitation and laws of motion. He also developed the Newtonian telescope among other devices. Apart from science, Newton was also intrigued by religion, occult, and alchemy.

 14 Dian Fossey

Dian Fossey
6
Famous As: Zoologist, Conservationist
Birthdate: January 16, 1932
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States
Died: December 26, 1985
Zoologist, primatologist, and conservationist Dian Fossey conducted research on mountain gorillas in Rwanda from 1966 until she was murdered in 1985. She was part of the Trimates assigned to study apes by paleoanthropologist Louis Leakey. She wrote Gorillas in the Mist, which was later turned into a film.

 15 Jacob Bernoulli

Jacob Bernoulli
4
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 27, 1654
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: August 16, 1705

Born into a family of drug merchants, Jacob Bernoulli was forced to study theology by his father but later deviated to math. He taught math and laid down the Bernoulli’s equation and calculus of variations. Apart from him and his brother, Johann Bernoulli, his family later produced more great mathematicians.

 16 Gerald Durrell

Gerald Durrell
4
Famous As: Naturalist, Conservationist
Birthdate: January 7, 1925
Birthplace: Jamshedpur, India
Died: January 30, 1995
Naturalist, author, TV presenter, and zookeeper Gerald Durrell, the youngest brother of author Lawrence Durrell, was the founder of the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and the Jersey Zoo. His memoirs were made into the series My Family and Other Animals and The Durrells. He was also a skilled Illustrator.

 17 Har Gobind Khorana

Har Gobind Khorana
5
Birthdate: January 9, 1922
Birthplace: Punjab, India
Died: November 9, 2011

Born into a poor family in British India, Har Gobind Khorana studied on scholarships and later bagged a seat at the University of Liverpool and thus moved to England. The renowned biochemist ended up winning the Nobel Prize for his research on how nucleotides in nucleic acids control protein synthesis.

 18 Tony Hoare

Tony Hoare
6
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: January 11, 1934
Birthplace: Colombo, Sri Lanka

Tony Hoare is a British computer scientist who is credited with developing the sorting algorithm quicksort. He is also credited with developing Hoare logic, a formal system for verifying program correctness. Over the years, Tony Hoare has received several prestigious awards for his contribution to computer science.

 19 James Watt

James Watt
7
Famous As: Inventor of Steam Engine
Birthdate: January 19, 1736
Birthplace: Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Died: August 25, 1819
Eighteenth-century Scottish inventor James Watt developed the Newcomen steam engine, by inventing the Watt steam engine, which brough about the Industrial Revolution in Britain and the world. He also co-owned the firm Boulton and Watt and laid down concepts such as horsepower and the watt, the SI unit of power.

 20 Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann
4
Famous As: The First Person to Synthesize LSD
Birthdate: January 11, 1906
Birthplace: Baden
Died: April 29, 2008

Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann was the first known person to synthesize the psychedelic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Interested in science from a young age, he studied chemistry at the University of Zürich. As a chemist, he conducted several significant studies and authored more than 100 scientific articles and books. He was a recipient of the prestigious Scheele Award.

 21 Klaus Fuchs

Klaus Fuchs
6
Famous As: Theoretical Physicist and Atomic Spy
Birthdate: December 29, 1911
Birthplace: Rüsselsheim, German Empire
Died: January 28, 1988

German theoretical physicist Klaus Fuchs worked on many significant theoretical calculations relating to the first nuclear weapons. He was also an atomic spy who provided information about nuclear weapons production to the Soviet Union during World War II. He was convicted and jailed for nine years, following which he resumed his career as a physicist.

 22 Alicia Nash

Alicia Nash
6
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: January 1, 1933
Birthplace: San Salvador, El Salvador
Died: May 23, 2015

Born in El Salvador, Alicia Nash later moved to the U.S., where she became one of the first women to join MIT as a student. The physicist met her husband, renowned mathematician John Nash at MIT. Both Alicia and John were killed in car crash while returning home from Norway.

 23 Bjarne Stroustrup

Bjarne Stroustrup
10
Famous As: Computer scientist, Engineer, Scientist, Programmer, Writer, University teacher
Birthdate: December 30, 1950
Birthplace: Aarhus

Bjarne Stroustrup is a Danish computer scientist best known for his invention and development of the popular C++ general-purpose programming language. He is currently working as a managing director at Morgan Stanley in New York, apart from serving as a visiting professor at the prestigious Columbia University. 

 24 Tu Youyou

Tu Youyou
5
Famous As: chemist, pharmacologist, inventor, university teacher
Birthdate: December 30, 1930
Birthplace: Ningbo

Chinese phytochemist and malariologist Tu Youyou is best remembered for her Nobel Prize-winning discovery of the anti-malarial drug qinghaosu, or artemisinin. She is the first Chinese female Nobel laureate. A tuberculosis infection in her younger days had inspired her to step into medicine. She later studied traditional Chinese medicine, too.

 25 Sergei Korolev

Sergei Korolev
6
Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: January 1, 1907
Birthplace: Zhytomyr, Ukraine
Died: January 14, 1966

Sergei Korolev was a Soviet spacecraft designer and rocket engineer who played an important role during the Space Race between the Soviet Union and the United States of America in the 1950s and 1960s. He was largely responsible for developing the R-7 Rocket and launching Yuri Gagarin into space. Sergei Korolev also launched Belka, Strelka, and Laika into space.

 26 Kary B. Mullis

Kary B. Mullis
7
Famous As: Biochemist
Birthdate: December 28, 1944
Birthplace: Lenoir, North Carolina, United States
Died: August 7, 2019
Biochemist Kary Mullis won the 1993 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for inventing the polymerase chain reaction. He was also known for practicing clandestine chemistry and researching on hallucinogenic drugs such as LSD. He also wrote several books, including an autobiography named Dancing Naked in the Mind Field.

 27 Donald Knuth

Donald Knuth
16
Famous As: Computer Scientist
Birthdate: January 10, 1938
Birthplace: Milwaukee, Wisconsin, United States

Mathematician and computer scientist Donald Ervin Knuth is best known for his contribution to the development of the rigorous analysis of the computational complexity of algorithms. Also the creator of the TeX computer typesetting system as well as the WEB and CWEB computer programming systems, he has published twenty books, most significant among them being The Art of Computer Programming.

 28 Charles Macintosh

Charles Macintosh
4
Famous As: Chemist, Inventor
Birthdate: December 29, 1766
Birthplace: Glasgow
Died: July 25, 1843

 29 Mason Gamble

Mason Gamble
6
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: January 16, 1986
Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States

 30 Aldo Leopold

Aldo Leopold
4
Birthdate: January 11, 1887
Birthplace: Burlington
Died: April 21, 1948

 31 Charles Goodyear

Charles Goodyear
4
Famous As: Inventor of Vulcanized Rubber
Birthdate: December 29, 1800
Birthplace: New Haven, Connecticut, United States
Died: July 1, 1860

Charles Goodyear was an American manufacturing engineer and self-taught chemist who developed vulcanized rubber. He invented the chemical process to manufacture pliable, moldable, and waterproof rubber which revolutionized the automobile industry. In 1976, Charles Goodyear was inducted posthumously into the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

 32 Mary Somerville

Mary Somerville
6
Famous As: Mathematician, Linguist, Translator, Astronomer, Scientist
Birthdate: December 26, 1780
Birthplace: Jedburgh
Died: November 28, 1872

One of the two pioneering female honorary members of the Royal Astronomical Society, Mary Somerville was a 19th-century polymath and science writer. Though she specialized in math and astronomy, she was also well-versed in botany and geology. The Connection of the Physical Sciences remains her most notable work.

 33 John Lilly

John Lilly
7
Famous As: Neuroscientist
Birthdate: January 6, 1915
Birthplace: Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States
Died: September 30, 2001

Born to rich Catholic parents, John Lilly spent his childhood treating science as a hobby. While studying medicine, he performed gruelling medical experiments on himself. He later invented isolating floatation tanks, studied bottlenose dolphins, and researched on psychedelic drug-induced near-death experiences. He also explored yoga and human consciousness.

 34 Leonard Adleman

Leonard Adleman
3
Famous As: Computer Scientist
Birthdate: December 31, 1945
Birthplace: San Francisco, California, United States

Leonard Adleman is a computer scientist best known as a co-creator of the RSA encryption algorithm. He was honored with the 2002 Turing Award, often called the Nobel prize of Computer science, for this work. He is also a pioneer in the field of DNA computing and one of the original discoverers of the Adleman–Pomerance–Rumely primality test. 

 35 David Bellamy

David Bellamy
10
Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: January 18, 1933
Birthplace: London, England, UK

Once regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on botany and the environment, David Bellamy was also a successful TV presenter and was a regular on BBC programs. However, he later claimed that he was shunned by the TV fraternity for his denial of the importance of climate change.

 36 Susan Powter

Susan Powter
4
Famous As: Motivational Speaker, Nutritionist & Author
Birthdate: December 22, 1957
Birthplace: Sydney, Australia

Susan Powter moved from Australia to the U.S. with her parents at 10. While coping with her first divorce, she had gained weight, which eventually motivated her to become a fitness enthusiast. Now a prominent nutritionist, fitness blogger, and talk-show host, she is known for her catchphrase "Stop the Insanity!"

 37 Katalin Karikó

Katalin Karikó
0
Famous As: mRNA technology in immunology and therapies
Birthdate: January 17, 1955
Birthplace: Szolnok, Hungary

Hungarian biochemist Katalin Karikó is best known for her research on mRNA, which led scientists to develop the first mRNA-based vaccine in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. After working at the Biological Research Centre in Szeged, she moved to the US due to lack of funding.

 38 Brian Kernighan

Brian Kernighan
4
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: January 1, 1942
Birthplace: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Princeton alumnus Brian Kernighan had a 30-year stint at the Bell Laboratories before returning to his alma mater as a professor. The Canadian computer scientist has played a major role in the development of Unix and has also co-authored the first book on the C programming language.

 39 Michael P. Anderson

Michael P. Anderson
5
Famous As: Officer, Astronaut, Physicist
Birthdate: December 25, 1959
Birthplace: Plattsburgh (city), New York
Died: February 1, 2003

Michael Phillip Anderson began his career with the United States Air Force, logging more than 3,000 hours of flight time before joining NASA. Selected as a mission specialist first on STS-89 Endeavour and then on STS-107 Columbia, he was killed along with the rest of the crew when the later disintegrated during its re-entry into the Earth's atmosphere.

 40 Emanuel Lasker

Emanuel Lasker
9
Famous As: Chess player
Birthdate: December 24, 1868
Birthplace: Barlinek, Poland
Died: January 11, 1941

 41 Edward Teller

Edward Teller
4
Famous As: physicist
Birthdate: January 15, 1908
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: September 9, 2003

Edward Teller was one of the famous "Martians,” or eminent Hungarian scientists who had migrated to the U.S. A prominent chemical engineer and nuclear physicist, he was part of the team that created the world’s first atomic bomb and also designed the first hydrogen bomb, or thermonuclear bomb.

 42 Matt Mullenweg

Matt Mullenweg
3
Famous As: Entrepreneur, Programmer, Computer scientist, Musician, Blogger
Birthdate: January 11, 1984
Birthplace: Houston

 43 Charles Hermite

Charles Hermite
3
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 24, 1822
Birthplace: Dieuze
Died: January 14, 1901

Charles Hermite was a French mathematician best remembered for his research on number theory, invariant theory, algebra, elliptic functions, orthogonal polynomials, and quadratic forms. Also an inspiring and influential teacher, Hermite taught Jules Henri Poincaré, who went on to become fa amous mathematician in his own right.

 44 Owsley Stanley

Owsley Stanley
12
Famous As: key figure in the San Francisco Bay Area hippie movement during the 1960s
Birthdate: January 19, 1935
Birthplace: Kentucky, United States
Died: March 12, 2011

Owsley Stanley was an American clandestine chemist and audio engineer. During the 1960s Stanley played an important role in the Bay Area hippie movement and the counterculture of the decade. As the sound engineer of the Grateful Dead, Stanley developed the band's famous Wall of Sound, one of the largest transportable public address systems ever built.

 45 Robert Woodrow Wilson

Robert Woodrow Wilson
3
Famous As: Physicist, Astronomer
Birthdate: January 10, 1936
Birthplace: Houston, Texas, United States

 46 Matthew Fontaine Maury

Matthew Fontaine Maury
5
Famous As: Astronomer
Birthdate: January 14, 1806
Birthplace: Spotsylvania County, Virginia, United States
Died: February 1, 1873

American astronomer, naval officer, oceanographer and author Matthew Fontaine Maury, who first served the United States Navy and then the Confederacy States Navy, made significant contributions in oceanography. His book Physical Geography of the Sea is counted among the first comprehensive books on oceanography. Navies and merchant marines across the world adopted his uniform system of recording oceanographic data.

 47 Emilio Palma

Emilio Palma
3
Famous As: Systems analyst, Computer scientist
Birthdate: January 7, 1978
Birthplace: Esperanza Base

 48 Wilhelm Wien

Wilhelm Wien
3
Famous As: Nobel Laureate in Physics
Birthdate: January 13, 1864
Birthplace: Gaffken near Fischhausen, Province of Prussia
Died: August 30, 1928

Wilhelm Wien was a German physicist famous for deducing what became known as Wien's displacement law. He is also credited with formulating an expression for the black-body radiation He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1911 for his work on heat radiation.

 49 Alexey Stakhanov

Alexey Stakhanov
5
Famous As: Miner
Birthdate: January 3, 1906
Birthplace: Oryol
Died: November 5, 1977

 50 Sydney Brenner

Sydney Brenner
5
Famous As: Biologist
Birthdate: January 13, 1927
Birthplace: Germiston, Transvaal, Union of South Africa
Died: April 5, 2019

Sydney Brenner was a South African biologist who made important contributions to various areas of molecular biology, including the genetic code. Brenner shared the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Sir John E. Sulston and H. Robert Horvitz. Sydney Brenner is credited with founding the Molecular Sciences Institute, which is situated in the United States of America.