Famous Swiss Scientists

Imagine life without Swiss inventions – no Velcro, no white chocolate, no muesli, no computer mouse, no cellophane, no nucleic acid, no diclofenac and no Swiss army knife! Switzerland may be world famous for its heavenly locations and unspoiled pristine beauty, but it has more to offer to the world than just scenic beauty and picturesque landscapes. The land of milk and honey has been the address of some of the most renowned scientists, who have given the world important inventions. So, it wouldn’t be entirely wrong to phrase Switzerland as the land of beauty and brains as well! Physics, medicine, chemistry, biology, economics, mathematics - Swiss scientists have made their worth count in all fields. Who can forget Daniel Bernoulli’s contribution to mathematics, or Heinrich Rohrer’s work as physicist or Walter Rudolf Hess’s role in medicine, or even Richard R. Ernst’s involvement and input in Chemistry? But the list does not end here. There have been legendary Swiss scientists whose work has laid the foundation for development in respective fields. And for this, most of them have been felicitated with Nobel Prize as well. Check this section and discover some unknown facts about the life and works of Swiss 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 Bernhard Caesar Einstein

Bernhard Caesar Einstein
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Famous As: Physicist, Engineer
Birthdate: July 10, 1930
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Dortmund
Died: September 30, 2008

Swiss-American physicist and engineer Bernhard Caesar Einstein was better known as the only grandchild of Albert Einstein to have survived beyond childhood. While two of his biological brothers died in infancy, his parents adopted a girl child, too. He grew up to work on night vision and laser technology.

 2 Daniel Bernoulli

Daniel Bernoulli
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 8, 1700
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Groningen
Died: March 17, 1782

Daniel Bernoulli was a Swiss physicist and mathematician. Born into the popular Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Daniel Bernoulli is renowned for his applications of mathematical equations to mechanics. He is also remembered for his pioneering work in statistics and probability. In 2002, he was inducted into the International Air & Space Hall of Fame.

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 3 Fritz Zwicky

Fritz Zwicky
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Famous As: Astronomer, Physicist, University teacher
Birthdate: February 14, 1898
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Varna
Died: February 8, 1974

Born to a businessman and diplomat father in Bulgaria, Fritz Zwicky was initially sent to Switzerland to study commerce but ended up deviating to math and physics. He then moved to the U.S. to work with Caltech and gained fame for his research on what he called the supernova.

 4 Alfred Werner

Alfred Werner
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: December 12, 1866
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Mulhouse, Haut-Rhin, Alsace, France
Died: November 15, 1919

Alfred Werner was a Swiss chemist who is credited with developing the fundamental for modern coordination chemistry. In 1913, he became the first inorganic chemist to receive the prestigious Nobel Prize in Chemistry, which he won for proposing the correct configuration of transition metal complexes.

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 5 Auguste Forel

Auguste Forel
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Famous As: Psychiatrist
Birthdate: September 1, 1848
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Morges, Switzerland
Died: July 27, 1931

 6 Albert Hofmann

Albert Hofmann
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Famous As: The First Person to Synthesize LSD
Birthdate: January 11, 1906
Sun Sign: Capricorn
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.

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 7 Auguste Piccard

Auguste Piccard
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: January 28, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: January 28, 1963
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 8 Jacob Bernoulli

Jacob Bernoulli
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: December 27, 1654
Sun Sign: Capricorn
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.

 9 Johann Bernoulli

Johann Bernoulli
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: August 6, 1667
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Basel
Died: January 1, 1748

Brother and colleague of Swiss mathematician Jacob Bernoulli and part of the famous Bernoulli family of mathematicians, Johann Bernoulli was initially pushed to join his family business of drug and spices. He later took up medicine, eventually deviating to math and contributing to infinitesimal calculus, along with Jacob.

 10 Niklaus Wirth

Niklaus Wirth
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Famous As: Computer Scientist
Birthdate: February 15, 1934
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Winterthur, Switzerland

 11 Daniel Vasella

Daniel Vasella
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Famous As: Swiss medical doctor
Birthdate: August 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Fribourg, Switzerland

 12 Friedrich Miescher

Friedrich Miescher
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Famous As: Biologist, Biochemist, University teacher
Birthdate: August 13, 1844
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Basel
Died: August 26, 1895

 13 Felix Bloch

Felix Bloch
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: October 23, 1905
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Zürich
Died: September 10, 1983

Felix Bloch was a Swiss-American physicist who served as the first Director-General of the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) from 1954 to 1955. Before joining CERN, Bloch worked on the Manhattan Project during the Second World War after which he started focusing on investigations into nuclear magnetic induction, for which he received the 1952 Nobel Prize in Physics.

 14 Jacques Dubochet

Jacques Dubochet
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Famous As: Biophysicist
Birthdate: June 8, 1942
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Aigle, Switzerland

 15 Alfred Kleiner

Alfred Kleiner
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: April 24, 1849
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Maschwanden
Died: July 3, 1916

 16 Conrad Gessner

Conrad Gessner
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Famous As: Physician
Birthdate: March 26, 1516
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: December 13, 1565

 17 Johann Ludwig Burckhardt

Johann Ludwig Burckhardt
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Famous As: Explorer, Writer, Art historian, Archaeologist
Birthdate: November 24, 1784
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lausanne
Died: October 15, 1817

 18 Nicolas Fatio de Duillier

Nicolas Fatio de Duillier
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Famous As: astronomer, mathematician
Birthdate: February 16, 1664
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Basel
Died: May 12, 1753

 19 Marie-Louise von Franz

Marie-Louise von Franz
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Famous As: Psychologist, Scientist, Writer
Birthdate: January 4, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Munich
Died: February 17, 1998

 20 Marcel Grossmann

Marcel Grossmann
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: April 9, 1878
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest
Died: September 7, 1936

 21 Erich Gamma

Erich Gamma
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Famous As: Computer scientist, Engineer
Birthdate: March 13, 1961
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Zürich

 22 Vladimir Prelog

Vladimir Prelog
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: July 23, 1906
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Sarajevo
Died: January 7, 1998

Vladimir Prelog was a Croatian-Swiss organic chemist known for his research into the stereochemistry of organic molecules and reactions. He received his Sc.D under the guidance of prominent chemist and composer Emil Votoček. He had a successful academic career and received the 1975 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. He was also a member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts.  

 23 Jean Piccard

Jean Piccard
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: January 28, 1884
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: January 28, 1963

 24 Paul Hermann Müller

Paul Hermann Müller
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: January 12, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Olten, Solothurn, Switzerland
Died: October 12, 1965

Paul Hermann Müller was a Swiss chemist known for his discovery of insecticidal qualities and the use of DDT in the control of vector diseases. He received the 1948 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for this work. He began his career as a research chemist and later became the Deputy Director of Scientific Research on Substances for Plant Protection. 

 25 Gabriel Cramer

Gabriel Cramer
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Famous As: Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher
Birthdate: July 31, 1704
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Geneva
Died: January 4, 1752

 26 Alexander Agassiz

Alexander Agassiz
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: December 17, 1835
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: March 22, 1910

 27 Augustin Pyrame de Candolle

Augustin Pyrame de Candolle
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Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: February 4, 1778
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: September 9, 1841

 28 Richard R. Ernst

Richard R. Ernst
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: August 14, 1933
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Winterthur

Richard R. Ernst is a Swiss physical chemist whose work on Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy earned him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1991. Over the course of his career, Ernst has been honored with other awards, including the John Gamble Kirkwood Medal. In 2009, he became the subject of a documentary film titled Science Plus Dharma Equals Social Responsibility.

 29 Heinrich Rohrer

Heinrich Rohrer
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: June 6, 1933
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Buchs
Died: May 16, 2013

 30 Werner Arber

Werner Arber
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Famous As: Microbiologist & Geneticist
Birthdate: June 3, 1929
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Gränichen, Aarau, Aargau, Switzerland

Werner Arber is a Swiss geneticist and microbiologist whose discovery of restriction endonucleases earned him the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1978; he shared the award with Daniel Nathans and Hamilton Smith. Arber's work alongside Nathans and Smith led to the progression of recombinant DNA technology. Werner Arber is also credited with co-founding the World Cultural Council.

 31 Kurt Wüthrich

Kurt Wüthrich
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Famous As: chemist
Birthdate: October 4, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Aarberg

 32 Albert von Kölliker

Albert von Kölliker
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Famous As: Anatomist
Birthdate: July 6, 1817
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Zürich, Switzerland
Died: November 2, 1905

 33 Claude Nicollier

Claude Nicollier
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Famous As: Astronaut
Birthdate: September 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vevey

 34 Jakob Steiner

Jakob Steiner
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: March 18, 1796
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Utzenstorf, Switzerland
Died: April 1, 1863

 35 Gaspard Bauhin

Gaspard Bauhin
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Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: January 17, 1560
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: December 5, 1624

 36 Paul Scherrer

Paul Scherrer
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: February 3, 1890
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Sankt Gallen, Switzerland
Died: September 25, 1969

 37 Rolf M. Zinkernagel

Rolf M. Zinkernagel
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Famous As: Immunologist
Birthdate: January 6, 1944
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Riehen, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland

Rolf M. Zinkernagel is a Swiss professor who teaches Experimental Immunology. In 1996, he was honored with the prestigious Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his work pertaining to the immune system. In 1999, his scientific work also earned him Australia's highest civilian honor, the Companion of the Order of Australia.  

 38 Albrecht von Haller

Albrecht von Haller
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Famous As: Anatomist
Birthdate: October 16, 1708
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bern
Died: December 12, 1777

 39 Charles Édouard Guillaume

Charles Édouard Guillaume
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Famous As: Discoverer of Invar and Elinvar
Birthdate: February 15, 1861
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fleurier
Died: May 13, 1938

 40 K. Alex Müller

K. Alex Müller
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Famous As: Physicist
Birthdate: April 20, 1927
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Basel

 41 Joost Bürgi

Joost Bürgi
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: February 28, 1552
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lichtensteig, Switzerland
Died: January 31, 1632

 42 Paul Bernays

Paul Bernays
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Famous As: Mathematician
Birthdate: October 17, 1888
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London
Died: September 18, 1977

Paul Bernays was a Swiss mathematician best remembered for his association with the German mathematician David Hilbert. Bernays is also remembered for making significant contributions to the philosophy of mathematics, axiomatic set theory, and mathematical logic. Paul Bernays is credited with publishing a two-volume work titled Grundlagen der Mathematik, which houses the famous Hilbert–Bernays paradox.

 43 Willy Burgdorfer

Willy Burgdorfer
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: June 27, 1925
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Basel, Switzerland
Died: November 17, 2014

 44 Johann Balmer

Johann Balmer
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Birthdate: May 1, 1825
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lausen, Switzerland
Died: March 12, 1898

 45 Johann Jakob Balmer

Johann Jakob Balmer
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Famous As: Swiss mathematician
Birthdate: May 1, 1825
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Lausen
Died: March 12, 1898

 46 Armand Borel

Armand Borel
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Famous As: Swiss mathematician
Birthdate: May 21, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: La Chaux-de-Fonds
Died: August 11, 2003

 47 Carl Nägeli

Carl Nägeli
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Famous As: Botanist
Birthdate: March 27, 1817
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kilchberg, Switzerland
Died: May 10, 1891

 48 Paul Karrer

Paul Karrer
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Famous As: Chemist
Birthdate: April 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Moscow
Died: June 18, 1971

 49 Jean Senebier

Jean Senebier
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Famous As: Pastor
Birthdate: May 6, 1742
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Geneva, Switzerland
Died: July 22, 1809

 50 Ferdinand Berthoud

Ferdinand Berthoud
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Famous As: Scientist
Birthdate: March 18, 1727
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Neuchâtel, Switzerland
Died: June 20, 1807