Carl Menger made significant contributions to the marginal utility theory and the subjective theory of value. Born to a lawyer father, he too studied law and also worked as a journalist for a while. He later taught at the University of Vienna and also established the Austrian School of economics.
Edward Sapir was an anthropologist-linguist. He played a pivotal role in the development of the discipline of linguistics in USA. He studied Germanic linguistics at Columbia and later researched Native American languages. He was an expert in the study of Athabascan languages and Chinookan languages. He also worked with Yiddish, Hebrew, and Chinese languages.
Polish-American medical researcher Albert Bruce Sabin is best-remembered for developing oral polio vaccine which is easier to give and more effective than earlier polio vaccine. His vaccine has remained instrumental in the ongoing effort of eradicating polio. Other vaccines developed by Sabin include the ones for encephalitis and dengue. He served as President of Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel.
German Jewish philosopher Ernst Cassirer was a major figure of the Weimar intellectual circle. While he initially followed in the path of his mentor Hermann Cohen, he later developed and promoted philosophical idealism and also penned books such as Philosophy of Symbolic Forms. His The Myth of the State dealt with Nazi Germany.
L. L. Zamenhof was an ophthalmologist best remembered for creating the most widely spoken international auxiliary language, Esperanto. He came up with the constructed language after being consumed by the idea of a warless world. L. L. Zamenhof received several honors for creating Esperanto, including the Légion d'honneur. He also received 12 nominations for the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize.
Born into a family of rabbis in Warsaw, Abraham Joshua Heschel managed to move to London before Germany’s invasion of Poland but lost his mother and sisters to the Holocaust. The theologian eventually set base in New York, where he continued his work on Jewish philosophy and American civil rights.
Polish mathematician Alfred Tarski initially taught at Warsaw and later moved to the US, where he joined the University of California, Berkeley. Known for his research on topics such as algebra, logic, and set theory, he has also been the doctoral supervisor of mathematicians such as Julia Robinson and Bjarni Jónsson.
Polish sociologist Zygmunt Bauman moved to Israel after being stripped of his Polish citizenship during the 1968 Polish political crisis. His best-known works include Modernity and the Holocaust and Liquid Modernity. He had taught at Tel Aviv and Haifa, before working for almost 2 decades at the University of Leeds.
Mateusz Morawiecki is a Polish historian, economist, and politician. The current Prime Minister of Poland, Morawiecki has also held other important positions; between 2015 and 2018, he served as the Minister of Development as well as the Minister of Finance. Mateusz Morawiecki also served as the Deputy Prime Minister of Poland from 2015 to 2017.
Janusz Korwin-Mikke is a Polish politician, author, and paleolibertarian. He is credited with founding the Eurosceptic and right-wing libertarian political party Wolność. Counted among the most controversial politicians of his time, Korwin-Mikke is known for his absurd remarks and allegations. Janusz Korwin-Mikke became a member of the Sejm in 2019.
Polish-American scholar Alfred Korzybski had initially been sent to the U.S. by the Russian intelligence services. After the fall of the tsarist rule, he stayed back in the U.S. The pioneer of general semantics, he believed human knowledge is shaped by one’s linguistic reach and the nervous system.
Leszek Kołakowski was a Polish philosopher. He is remembered for his critical analyses of Marxist thought, which he published in his three-volume history, Main Currents of Marxism. He was exiled from Poland in 1968 due to his criticism of Marxism. Despite this, he was a major inspiration for the Solidarity movement in Poland in the 1980s.
Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka was a Polish American phenomenologist and philosopher. She is credited with founding the World Phenomenology Institute (WPI) where she remained as the president until her death in 2014. Anna-Teresa Tymieniecka also contributed immensely to the popular book series Analecta Husserliana, serving as its editor since its inception in 1968.
Enamoured by the ideas of French and German philosophers, Ferdinand Lassalle initially aspired to be a lecturer. He later joined the socialist cause and spearheaded Germany’s social democratic movement. He also introduced terms such as the iron law of wages and concepts such as Lassallism, or achieving socialist ideals through the state.
Polish mathematician and statistician Jerzy Neyman is remembered for pioneering theoretical statistics and also taught at prestigious institutes such as UCB and UCL. The National Medal of Science winner established the theories of estimation and hypotheses testing, which have been widely used in areas such as medicine and genetics.
Polish-American Gestalt psychologist Solomon Asch, a pioneer in social psychology, is known for his seminal work in social psychology, including social influence, impression formation, conformity and prestige suggestion. He is noted for the Asch conformity experiments or the Asch paradigm, a series of studies in which he demonstrated the influence of group pressure on opinions.
Polish-born American historian Richard Pipes is best known for his extensive research on Soviet history. His books depict the violence and terror of Russian politics and express his contempt toward communism and Lenin. He was also part of an American team to investigate Soviet weapon expansion plans.
Polish author, painter, and dramatist Stanisław Ignacy Witkiewicz of the Awangarda Krakowska movement was part of the Australian expedition of anthropologist Bronisław Malinowski, as an artist. He had also worked in the Russian Army. He committed suicide at the onset of World War II, though many believe he had faked his own death.
Born in Moscow, Polish economist Leonid Hurwicz initially studied law but fled to the US during World War II. He was later associated with the MIT, among other prestigious institutes, and won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences for his pioneering contribution to the mechanism design theory.
Polish sociologist and philosopher Florian Znaniecki is remembered for developing sociology into a separate academic discipline. Thrown out of the University of Warsaw, for his political activities, he studied in France and Switzerland. He co-authored The Polish Peasant in Europe and America and taught in both Poland and the US.
Reinhard Selten was a German economist known for his work in bounded rationality. Regarded as one of the founding fathers of experimental economics, he was the founder of the BonnEconLab, a laboratory for experimental economic research. Along with John Harsanyi and John Nash, he was jointly awarded the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.
Born to a philosophy professor, Peter Geach followed in his father’s footsteps to master the subject and teach at various universities, such as the University of Birmingham. Best known for his work on the theory of identity, he married renowned philosopher Elizabeth Anscombe and also collaborated with her.
Renowned Polish historian and the editor-in-chief of the Polish newspaper Gazeta Wyborcza, Adam Michnik was also a prominent Solidarity leader. His anti-communist activities got him arrested after the 1968 March Events. He was later a major figure in the round-table talks that put an end to communist rule in Poland.
Chaïm Perelman was a Polish-born philosopher of law who spent most of his life in Brussels, Belgium. He is counted amongst the most important argumentation theorists of the 20th century. He studied at the Université Libre de Bruxelles and was appointed a lecturer in the Faculty of Philosophy and Letters of the same institute. He was married to Fela Perelman.
Paweł Kuczyński is a Polish-born political art satirist and philosopher. He is known for his anti-war stance. He graduated from the Fine Arts Academy in Poznan. He gained popularity with his thought-provoking artworks that comment on social, political, and economic issues through satire. He is the recipient of numerous rewards, including a silver plate at the Salon of Antiwar Cartoons.
Polish chronicler, soldier, and priest Jan Długosz is remembered for writing the first-known comprehensive history of Poland. His 12-volume Annals or Chronicles of the Famous Kingdom of Poland, a patriotic documentation of Poland’s history, written in Latin, earned him the tag of Poland’s first historian.
Apart from being a Catholic priest, Michał Heller is also a mathematical cosmologist and a professor. The Templeton Prize-winner was born in Poland, but he later fled with his family to the USSR, to escape the Nazis, and lived in Siberian labor camps. His current research deals with general relativity.
After losing his father at Auschwitz, Polish Jewish historian and politician Bronisław Geremek fled the Nazi terror, with his mother, and grew up according to Catholic traditions, with his adoptive father. He chaired the Freedom Union and served as the Polish foreign affairs minister, overseeing Poland’s entry into the NATO.
Hugo Kołłątaj was a Polish educationalist and constitutional reformer who played a major role during the Polish Enlightenment. An influential social and political activist, Kołłątaj was one of the authors of the Constitution of 3 May 1791, which aimed at implementing a constitutional monarchy. Hugo Kołłątaj's work also influenced many subsequent reformers.
Stanisław Staszic was a Polish philosopher who played a leading role in the Polish Enlightenment. He was also a Catholic priest, geologist, writer, and translator. He supported many reforms in Poland and was the co-founder of the Warsaw Society of Friends of Learning. He later served as the minister of trade and industry in Congress Poland.
Polish linguist Jan Niecisław Baudouin de Courtenay is best remembered for laying down the theory of the phoneme. His Essay on a Theory of Phonetic Alternation has contributed immensely to modern linguistic science. He spent his entire life teaching at reputed universities, such as St. Petersburg and Warsaw.