Libra Scientists

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

Vote for Your Favourite Libra Scientists
 1 
Neil deGrasse Tyson
(American Astrophysicist, Planetary Scientist and Science Communicator)
Neil deGrasse Tyson
52
Birthdate: October 5, 1958
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States

Public Welfare Medal-winning astrophysicist and academic Neil deGrasse Tyson hosted shows such as NOVA ScienceNow, Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey, and Star Talk. He is the director of Hayden Planetarium and contributed to the dismissal of Pluto’s status as the ninth planet. He has also written a monthly column as "Merlin.”

 2 
Niels Bohr
(Physicist)
Niels Bohr
12
Birthdate: October 7, 1885
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 18, 1962
Nobel Prize-winning Danish physicist Niels Bohr is remembered for his work on the atomic structure and quantum theory. He laid down the Bohr model of the atom and established the Niels Bohr Institute. The element Bohrium has been named after him. He was also part of the British nuclear project.
 3 
Alfred Nobel
(Chemist)
Alfred Nobel
6
Birthdate: October 21, 1833
Birthplace: Stockholm, Sweden
Died: December 10, 1896

Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist, engineer, and inventor. A prolific inventor, he held 355 different patents. Most popular as the inventor of dynamite, he was concerned with how he would be remembered after his death and bequeathed his fortune to the Nobel Prize institution. A wide traveler, he was proficient in several languages.

Recommended Lists:
 4 
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
(Astrophysicist Known for his 'Theoritical Studies of the Physical processes of importance to the Structure and Evolution of the Stars')
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
14
Birthdate: October 19, 1910
Birthplace: Lahore, Pakistan
Died: August 21, 1995

Remembered for his varied contribution to astrophysics, Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar is perhaps best known for his work on the evolution of massive stars. Today known as Chandrasekhar limit, it contributed to final understanding of supernovas, neutron stars, and black holes. A prolific writer, he also did significant work on energy transfer by radiation in stellar atmospheres and convection on solar surface.

Recommended Lists:
 5 
Enrico Fermi
(Italian Physicist, Nobel Laureate and Creator of the World's First Nuclear Reactor)
Enrico Fermi
5
Birthdate: September 29, 1901
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: November 28, 1954
Italian physicist Enrico Fermi created the Chicago Pile-1, the world's first nuclear reactor. Known widely as the "architect of the atomic bomb," he was equally proficient in theoretical and experimental physics, and won the 1938 Nobel Prize in Physics for his work on radioactivity and for discovering transuranium elements.
 6 
James Chadwick
(Discoverer of Neutron)
James Chadwick
5
Birthdate: October 20, 1891
Birthplace: Bollington
Died: July 24, 1974

Best remembered as a Nobel laureate who discovered neutron, Sir James Chadwick began his career at Cavendish Laboratory, Cambridge, where he worked with Ernest Rutherford to investigate the nature of atomic nucleus, a work that led to the epoch-making discovery. Credited with writing the final draft of the MAUD Report, he also headed the British team at the Manhattan Project

 7 
Henry Cavendish
(English Scientist Who Discovered Hydrogen)
Henry Cavendish
4
Birthdate: October 10, 1731
Birthplace: Nice, France
Died: February 24, 1810

English natural philosopher, scientist, and a prominent experimental and theoretical physicist and chemist Henry Cavendish is best-remembered for his discovery of hydrogen and his Cavendish experiment. He first recognized that hydrogen, which he termed inflammable air, is a discrete substance which produces water on combustion. He conducted the Cavendish experiment to measure and produce a value for Earth’s density.

 8 
Meghnad Saha
(Astrophysicist)
Meghnad Saha
5
Birthdate: October 6, 1893
Birthplace: Kaliakair Upazila, Bangladesh
Died: February 16, 1956

Indian astrophysicist Meghnad Saha is best remembered for developing the thermal ionization equation. A grocer’s son, he relied on merit alone to excel in academics and eventually became a professor at the universities of Allahabad and Calcutta. He was also a Lok Sabha MP and a Fellow of the Royal Society.

 9 
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
(Aerospace Scientist & 11th President of India)
A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
10
Birthdate: October 15, 1931
Birthplace: Rameswaram, Tamil Nadu, India
Died: July 27, 2015
A. P. J. Abdul Kalam, India’s 11th president, had earlier been an aerospace scientist at DRDO and ISRO. Known as the “People’s President” and the “Missile Man of India,” he was instrumental in India's Pokhran-II nuclear tests. He died of a cardiac arrest while delivering a lecture at IIM Shillong.
 10 
Thomas Hunt Morgan
(Geneticist)
Thomas Hunt Morgan
4
Birthdate: September 25, 1866
Birthplace: Lexington
Died: December 4, 1945

Thomas Hunt Morgan was an evolutionary biologist, geneticist, and embryologist. He won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1933. He worked extensively on the role that the chromosome plays in heredity and demonstrated that genes are carried on chromosomes. In his later career, he established the division of biology at the California Institute of Technology. 

 11 
Evangelista Torricelli
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1608
Birthplace: Faenza
Died: October 25, 1647

Evangelista Torricelli, a student of Galileo, later made a name for himself as a physicist and a mathematician with his invention of the barometer. He also laid down the Torricelli’s theorem and discovered the Torricellian vacuum. The torr, a unit of pressure, bears his name.

 12 
Bennet Omalu
(Forensic Pathologist Known for His Research in ‘Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy’ in American Football Players)
Bennet Omalu
5
Birthdate: September 30, 1968
Birthplace: Idemili South, Nigeria

Nigerian-American physician, forensic-pathologist and neuropathologist Bennet Omalu is most-noted for discovering chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) in American football players. He was serving at Allegheny County coroner's office in Pittsburgh at that time. He presently serves as President and Medical Director of Bennet Omalu Pathology, chief medical examiner for San Joaquin County, and as professor at the University of California, Davis.

 13 
Juliane Koepcke
(Lone Survivor of 1971 LANSA Plane Crash)
Juliane Koepcke
5
Birthdate: October 10, 1954
Birthplace: Lima, Peru
Juliane Koepcke is a German Peruvian mammalogist. She is well-known for being the only survivor of the Líneas Aéreas Nacionales S.A. Flight 508 plane crash; she survived ten days in the Amazon rainforest after surviving a fall of 9843 feet while strapped to her airplane seat. Her story inspired films like Miracles Still Happen (1974) and Wings of Hope (1998).
 14 
Gerolamo Cardano
(South African Politician and Zulu Tribal Leader Who Was Home Minister of South Africa from 1994 to 2004)
Gerolamo Cardano
5
Birthdate: September 24, 1501
Birthplace: Pavia, Italy
Died: September 21, 1576

Italian polymath Gerolamo Cardano is best known for his iconic work Ars magna, or The Great Art, which contributed immensely to the field of algebra. Throughout his illustrious life, he had been a physician, a math lecturer, and an astrologer. He was also the first to describe typhus fever clinically.

 15 
William Ramsay
4
Birthdate: October 2, 1852
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Died: July 23, 1916

The son of a civil engineer, Nobel Prize-winning Scottish chemist William Ramsay revolutionized science with his pathbreaking discovery of the noble gases, thus forming an entirely new segment of the periodic table. He is also remembered for his long association with UCL. He was knighted for his achievements.

 16 
Ronald McNair
(Physicist, Astronaut)
Ronald McNair
9
Birthdate: October 21, 1950
Birthplace: Lake City
Died: January 28, 1986

A doctorate in physics from MIT Cambridge, Ronald McNair worked on chemical lasers before joining NASA and in 1984 flew as a mission specialist on STS-41-B aboard Challenger, becoming the second African-American to do so. In January 1986, he was selected to fly on STS-51-L, but was killed along with rest of the crews when Challenger disintegrated soon after liftoff.

 17 
Andre Geim
(Dutch-British Physicist Known for His Discovery of 'Graphene')
Andre Geim
4
Birthdate: October 21, 1958
Birthplace: Sochi, Russia

Andre Geim is a Russian-born Dutch-British physicist. He has been associated with the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Manchester for several years. In 2010, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics jointly with Konstantin Novoselov in recognition of his work on graphene. He is also a recipient of the 2000 Ig Nobel Prize in Physics. 

 18 
Fridtjof Nansen
(Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and the First High Commissioner for Refugees Appointed by the League of Nations)
Fridtjof Nansen
6
Birthdate: October 10, 1861
Birthplace: Oslo, Norway
Died: May 13, 1930

Fridtjof Nansen was a Norwegian polymath who won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize in 1922 for his post-war efforts after the First World War. A well-known explorer, humanitarian, and diplomat, Nansen achieved international fame for his attempt to reach the geographical North Pole during his Fram expedition. His techniques and innovations influenced a generation of succeeding Antarctic and Arctic expeditions.

Recommended Lists:
 19 
Craig Venter
(Biotechnologist known for leading the first draft sequence of the human genomeand assembled the first team to transfect a cell with a synthetic chromosome)
Craig Venter
6
Birthdate: October 14, 1946
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

Craig Venter biotechnologist and businessman best known for leading the first draft sequence of the human genome. He is the founder of Celera Genomics and the Institute for Genomic Research (TIGR) and the co-founder of Human Longevity Inc.  He received the Dan David Prize for his contribution to genome research and is a member of the American Philosophical Society. 

 20 
Julie Payette
(Governor General of Canada)
Julie Payette
12
Birthdate: October 20, 1963
Birthplace: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Canadian engineer and astronaut Julie Payette has been the Governor General of Canada from 2017 to 2021. She was initially a research scientist and then joined the Canadian Space Agency, eventually completing two spaceflights. Payette resigned as governor general after a workplace review accused her of workplace harassment.
Recommended Lists:
 21 
Rudolf Virchow
(The Father of Modern Pathology' & the Founder of 'Social Medicine')
Rudolf Virchow
4
Birthdate: October 13, 1821
Birthplace: Swidwin, Poland
Died: September 5, 1902

Rudolf Virchow was a German physician, pathologist, anthropologist, biologist, prehistorian, editor, writer, and politician. Nicknamed the Pope of medicine by his colleagues, Virchow is credited with founding the field of social medicine. He is also widely regarded as the father of modern pathology.  Rudolf Virchow was the first person to name diseases, such as thrombosis, leukemia, ochronosis, embolism, and chordoma.

 22 
Sir Christopher Wren
4
Birthdate: October 20, 1632
Birthplace: East Knoyle
Died: February 25, 1723

Architect Sir Christopher Wren had built over 50 churches in London, the most popular of them being the St. Paul’s Cathedral. He was a major force behind the formation of the Royal Society and was also knighted for his achievements. He was also a member of the English Parliament.

Recommended Lists:
 23 
Oswald Avery
(Biologist, Physician, Geneticist)
Oswald Avery
4
Birthdate: October 21, 1877
Birthplace: Halifax
Died: February 20, 1955

A pioneer of molecular biology, Oswald Avery revolutionized science with his research on the chemical processes involved in immunology. The Canadian-American bacteriologist initially aspired to be a musician. He later proved that DNA was the basis of heredity. Though nominated for the Nobel Prize multiple times, he never won it.

 24 
Robert H. Goddard
4
Birthdate: October 5, 1882
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts, United States
Died: August 10, 1945

The son of a machine shop owner, Robert H. Goddard grew up to become a pioneer of rocketry. Interested in physics and mechanics since childhood, he dreamed of space flight. He developed the world’s first rocket that ran on liquid fuel. NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is named after him.

Recommended Lists:
 25 
Joseph Plateau
(Belgian Physicist & Mathematician - One of the First People to Demonstrate the Illusion of a Moving Image)
Joseph Plateau
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1801
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: September 15, 1883

Belgian physicist and mathematician Joseph Plateau was a pioneer of the modern animation and movie industry, as he invented the phenakistiscope, the world’s first device to create an illusion of motion through images. He also laid down the structure of soap films through Plateau's laws.

 26 
Sal Khan
(Teacher)
Sal Khan
14
Birthdate: October 11, 1976
Birthplace: Metairie, Louisiana, U.S.

What began as amateur math tutorials for his cousin later became Sal Khan’s dream project, the online education platform Khan Academy, which now has over 42 million users worldwide. Named to Time 100 in 2012, the American-born Bengali former hedge fund analyst is an MIT and Harvard alumnus.

 27 
Cédric Villani
(Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher)
Cédric Villani
5
Birthdate: October 5, 1973
Birthplace: Brive-la-Gaillarde

Fields Medal-winning French politician and mathematician Cédric Villani works mainly on mathematical physics, partial differential equations and Riemannian geometry. He serves as Member of the National Assembly for Essonne's 5th constituency, after being elected during the 2017 legislative election. He was a member of La République En Marche! but defected later to form the political party Ecology, Democracy, Solidarity.  

 28 
Barry Marshall
(Australian physician)
Barry Marshall
9
Birthdate: September 30, 1951
Birthplace: Kalgoorlie, Western Australia

Nobel Prize-winning Australian physician Barry Marshall, along with his colleague Robin Warren, proved that gastric ulcers were caused by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori and not by spicy food and other causes as previously believed. Their research made it possible to cure such ulcers by treating the bacteria with antibiotics.

 29 
Pavel Durov
(French entrepreneur who is best known for being the founder of the social networking site VK and later of Telegram Messenger)
Pavel Durov
4
Birthdate: October 10, 1984
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia
 30 
Johan de Witt
(Mathematician, Politician)
Johan de Witt
10
Birthdate: September 24, 1625
Birthplace: Dordrecht
Died: August 20, 1672
Ashton Carter
7
Birthdate: September 24, 1954
Birthplace: Philadelphia

Yale and Oxford alumnus Ashton Carter had interestingly bagged his first job at a car wash at 11. He grew up to teach at Harvard and Stanford and also served as the U.S. Secretary of Defense under Barack Obama. The physicist now heads the Belfer Center for Science at Harvard.

 32 
Otto Heinrich Warburg
(Physiologist)
Otto Heinrich Warburg
5
Birthdate: October 8, 1883
Birthplace: Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany
Died: August 1, 1970

Otto Heinrich Warburg was a German medical doctor and physiologist. In 1931, his discovery of the nature of the respiratory enzyme earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. He also played an important role during World War I where he served as an officer in the cavalry regiment; he was honored with the Iron Cross for bravery.

 33 
Marie Stopes
(Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists)
Marie Stopes
4
Birthdate: October 15, 1880
Birthplace: Edinburgh
Died: October 2, 1958

Apart from being a successful botanist, Marie Stopes was also a popular activist, known for her contribution to the feminist cause. A leading supporter of birth control, she established the UK’s first clinic for family planning. She was also known for her books Married Love and Wise Parenthood.

 34 
Trofim Lysenko
(Experimenter)
Trofim Lysenko
4
Birthdate: September 29, 1898
Birthplace: Karlivka
Died: November 20, 1976

Trofim Lysenko was a Soviet biologist and agronomist. Lysenko was one of the most influential supporters of Lamarckism. He also condemned Mendelian genetics and supported Lysenkoism, a political campaign that rejected natural selection. Lysenko used his political power to imprison his critics. Several Soviet scientists, including Nikolai Vavilov, who failed to renounce genetics were either imprisoned or killed.

 35 
Kathleen Rubins
(Astronaut, Biologist)
Kathleen Rubins
4
Birthdate: October 14, 1978
Birthplace: Farmington

Kathleen Rubins is a microbiologist and NASA astronaut. In 2016, she became the 60th woman to fly in space when she launched on a Russian Soyuz spacecraft. She traveled to the International Space Station and returned to Earth after a few months. She has spent a total of 300 days, 1 hour, and 31 minutes in space. 

 36 
Sean M. Carroll
(American Physicist Known for His Contributions to the Studies of Quantum Mechanics, Gravity and Cosmology)
Sean M. Carroll
6
Birthdate: October 5, 1966
Birthplace: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Theoretical physicist Sean M. Carroll is a renowned Caltech professor who considers himself an old-school theorist and often maps his research using pencil and paper. Interested in field theory, gravitation, and cosmology, he blogs often, had written popular books, and has also appeared on shows such as The Universe.

 37 
Barnes Wallis
(Scientist)
Barnes Wallis
4
Birthdate: September 26, 1887
Birthplace: Ripley, Derbyshire, England
Died: October 30, 1979

Barnes Wallis was an English engineer, inventor, and scientist. He played an important role during the Second World War by inventing the bouncing bomb which was used in Operation Chastise by the Royal Air Force to attack the dams of the Ruhr Valley. Barnes Wallis is also credited with inventing the earthquake bomb and his version of the geodetic airframe.

 38 
Michael Stonebraker
(Computer scientist)
Michael Stonebraker
3
Birthdate: October 11, 1943
Birthplace: Milton
 39 
Martin Hellman
(Cryptographer, Mathematician, Scientist, Computer scientist)
Martin Hellman
3
Birthdate: October 2, 1945
Birthplace: New York City
 40 
Howard Florey
(Pathologist and Pharmacologist)
Howard Florey
6
Birthdate: September 24, 1898
Birthplace: Adelaide, Australia
Died: February 21, 1968

Howard Florey was an Australian pathologist and pharmacologist. He is best remembered for his role in the formation of penicillin, for which he shared the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Alexander Fleming and Ernst Chain in the year 1945. Florey is credited with carrying out the first clinical trial of penicillin at the Radcliffe Infirmary in 1941.

 41 
Carlo Urbani
(Epidemiologist)
Carlo Urbani
6
Birthdate: October 19, 1956
Birthplace: Castelplanio
Died: March 29, 2003
Microbiologist Carlo Urbani, a parasitic infections expert, was working at the WHO Hanoi office when the deadly and contagious disease SARS had started to spread across the world in 2003. He alerted the WHO headquarters in Geneva about the disease, thus saving many lives, though he eventually succumbed to it.
 42 
Theodore Hall
(American Physicist and Atomic Spy )
Theodore Hall
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1925
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: November 1, 1999
 43 
Karl Schwarzschild
(Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, University teacher, Mathematician)
Karl Schwarzschild
3
Birthdate: October 9, 1873
Birthplace: Frankfurt
Died: May 11, 1916

Karl Schwarzschild was a German astronomer and physicist. He is remembered for his contributions to the general theory of relativity; Schwarzschild came up with the first exact solution to the Albert Einstein field equations. He also contributed immensely to the theory of black holes.

 44 
Chen Ning Yang
(Physicist)
Chen Ning Yang
3
Birthdate: October 1, 1922
Birthplace: Hefei, Anhui Province, China

Chen Ning Yang is a Chinese theoretical physicist known for his significant contributions to statistical mechanics, gauge theory, integrable systems, and both particle physics and condensed matter physics. He and Tsung-Dao Lee were awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Physics for their work on parity nonconservation of weak interaction. The men also elucidated the Lee-Yang circle theorem. 

 45 
David Heinemeier Hansson
3
Birthdate: October 15, 1979
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark

David Heinemeier Hansson is a Danish programmer best known as the creator of the popular Ruby on Rails web development framework. Along with Dave Thomas, he co-wrote Agile Web Development with Rails. He is a partner at the web-based software development firm Basecamp. Also a car racing enthusiast, he took part in the 2012 24 Hours of Le Mans. 

 46 
Werner Vogels
(Computer scientist, Chief technology officer, Vice president)
Werner Vogels
4
Birthdate: October 3, 1958
Birthplace: Ermelo
 47 
William J. Perry
(Mathematician)
William J. Perry
5
Birthdate: October 11, 1927
Birthplace: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, United States U.S.
 48 
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
(German Developmental Biologist and Winner of 1995 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
4
Birthdate: October 20, 1942
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard is a German developmental biologist. She studied at the University of Tübingen where she earned a Ph.D. for her research on protein–DNA interactions. Together with biologist Eric Wieschaus and geneticist Edward B. Lewis, she received the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1995. She is also a recipient of the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize. 

 49 
Martin Gardner
(Mathematician, Writer, Journalist, Literary critic, Science fiction writer, Stage magician)
Martin Gardner
8
Birthdate: October 21, 1914
Birthplace: Tulsa
Died: May 22, 2010
 50 
George Hotz
(Blogger, Programmer, Computer scientist)
George Hotz
9
Birthdate: October 2, 1989
Birthplace: Glen Rock, New Jersey

Known online as Geohot, George Francis Hotz is an American security hacker and software engineer, who at the age of seventeen became the first person to hack Apple’s iPhone. Later, he developed iOS jailbreaks and became the first person to crack a defense system in Sony PlayStation 3. Currently, he is working at comma.ai, a startup he founded in 2015.