Libra Scientists

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 1 Neil deGrasse Tyson

Neil deGrasse Tyson
42
Famous As: Astrophysicist
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

Niels Bohr
10
Famous As: Physicist
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

Alfred Nobel
6
Famous As: Chemist
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.

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 4 Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar

Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar
14
Famous As: Mathematician, Astrophysicist
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.

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 5 Enrico Fermi

Enrico Fermi
4
Famous As: Physicist
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

James Chadwick
5
Famous As: Discoverer of Neutron
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

Henry Cavendish
4
Famous As: Natural philosopher
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.

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 8 Meghnad Saha

Meghnad Saha
5
Famous As: Astrophysicist
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

A.P.J. Abdul Kalam
8
Famous As: President of India (2002-07), Aerospace scientist
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

Thomas Hunt Morgan
4
Famous As: Geneticist
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

Evangelista Torricelli
3
Famous As: Physicist
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

Bennet Omalu
4
Famous As: Pathologist, Neuropathologist
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 Gerolamo Cardano

Gerolamo Cardano
5
Famous As: Polymath
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.

 14 Juliane Koepcke

Juliane Koepcke
5
Famous As: Lone Survivor of 1971 LANSA Plane Crash
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).

 15 William Ramsay

William Ramsay
4
Famous As: Chemist
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 Andre Geim

Andre Geim
4
Famous As: Physicist
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. 

 17 Ronald McNair

Ronald McNair
9
Famous As: Physicist, Astronaut
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.

 18 Craig Venter

Craig Venter
6
Famous As: Biotechnologist known for leading the first draft sequence of the human genomeand assembled the first team to transfect a cell with a synthetic chromosome
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. 

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 19 Fridtjof Nansen

Fridtjof Nansen
6
Famous As: Explorer, Polymath
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.

 20 Rudolf Virchow

Rudolf Virchow
4
Famous As: Anthropologist, Pathologist
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.

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 21 Sir Christopher Wren

Sir Christopher Wren
4
Famous As: Architect
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.

 22 Julie Payette

Julie Payette
10
Famous As: Governor General of Canada
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.
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 23 Robert H. Goddard

Robert H. Goddard
4
Famous As: Physicist
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.

 24 Joseph Plateau

Joseph Plateau
4
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, Scientist
Birthdate: October 14, 1801
Birthplace: Brussels
Died: September 15, 1883
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 25 Sal Khan

Sal Khan
14
Famous As: Teacher
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.

 26 Cédric Villani

Cédric Villani
4
Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher
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.  

 27 Pavel Durov

Pavel Durov
4
Famous As: French entrepreneur who is best known for being the founder of the social networking site VK and later of Telegram Messenger
Birthdate: October 10, 1984
Birthplace: Saint Petersburg, Russia

 28 Barry Marshall

Barry Marshall
8
Famous As: Australian physician
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 Ashton Carter

Ashton Carter
6
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.

 30 Oswald Avery

Oswald Avery
4
Famous As: Biologist, Physician, Geneticist
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.

 31 Johan de Witt

Johan de Witt
10
Famous As: Mathematician, Politician
Birthdate: September 24, 1625
Birthplace: Dordrecht
Died: August 20, 1672

 32 Otto Heinrich Warburg

Otto Heinrich Warburg
5
Famous As: Physiologist
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 Trofim Lysenko

Trofim Lysenko
4
Famous As: Experimenter
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.

 34 Marie Stopes

Marie Stopes
4
Famous As: Paleobotanist & Women’s Rights Activists
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.

 35 Kathleen Rubins

Kathleen Rubins
4
Famous As: Astronaut, Biologist
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 Barnes Wallis

Barnes Wallis
4
Famous As: Scientist
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.

 37 Michael Stonebraker

Michael Stonebraker
3
Famous As: Computer scientist
Birthdate: October 11, 1943
Birthplace: Milton

 38 Boris Nemtsov

Boris Nemtsov
9
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 9, 1959
Birthplace: Sochi, Russia
Died: February 27, 2015

Boris Nemtsov was a Russian liberal politician and physicist. He served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Russia in 1998. A fierce critic of Vladimir Putin, Nemtsov claimed that Putin's government was becoming increasingly authoritarian. Nemtsov was murdered in 2015 in Moscow. Interestingly, Boris Nemtsov expressed fear that Vladimir Putin would hire men to kill him weeks before his assassination.

 39 Howard Florey

Howard Florey
6
Famous As: Pathologist and Pharmacologist
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.

 40 Sean M. Carroll

Sean M. Carroll
6
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 5, 1966
Birthplace: Philadelphia Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.

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.

 41 Carlo Urbani

Carlo Urbani
6
Famous As: Epidemiologist
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

Theodore Hall
3
Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 20, 1925
Birthplace: New York City, United States
Died: November 1, 1999

 43 Martin Hellman

Martin Hellman
3
Famous As: Cryptographer, Mathematician, Scientist, Computer scientist
Birthdate: October 2, 1945
Birthplace: New York City

 44 Bram Cohen

Bram Cohen
3
Famous As: Computer scientist, Programmer, Blogger
Birthdate: October 12, 1975
Birthplace: New York City

 45 David Heinemeier Hansson

David Heinemeier Hansson
3
Famous As: Programmer
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 Karl Schwarzschild

Karl Schwarzschild
3
Famous As: Physicist, Astronomer, Astrophysicist, University teacher, Mathematician
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.

 47 Chen Ning Yang

Chen Ning Yang
3
Famous As: Physicist
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. 

 48 Werner Vogels

Werner Vogels
4
Famous As: Computer scientist, Chief technology officer, Vice president
Birthdate: October 3, 1958
Birthplace: Ermelo

 49 William J. Perry

William J. Perry
5
Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: October 11, 1927
Birthplace: Vandergrift, Pennsylvania, United States U.S.

 50 Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard

Christiane Nüsslein-Volhard
4
Famous As: Biologist, Researcher
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.