Scientists From Massachusetts

Massachusetts has produced a number of Scientists who have made it big. These include Temple Grandin, James Harris Simons, Lewis Howard Latimer, Daniel Dennett, Jared Diamond and others.

This 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 Scientists

 1 
John McCarthy
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Engineer, University teacher)

John McCarthy
7
Birthdate: September 4, 1927
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: October 24, 2011

 2 
Alan Kay
(Computer Scientist)

Alan Kay
8
Birthdate: May 17, 1940
Sun Sign: Taurus

 3 
Temple Grandin
(Scientist)

Temple Grandin
4
Birthdate: August 29, 1947
Sun Sign: Virgo

Temple Grandin is an American activist and scientist. An outspoken proponent of the neurodiversity and autism rights movements, Grandin is one of the first individuals to document the insights gained from her own experience of autism. She has also authored over 60 scientific papers on animal behavior. Her life and work inspired the 2010 biographical drama film Temple Grandin.

 4 

Lewis Howard Latimer
4
Birthdate: September 4, 1848
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: December 11, 1928
Lewis Howard Latimer was born to former slaves and went on to become a skilled patent draftsman. He had worked with Alexander Graham Bell on the patent of his telephone, and with the Edison Electric Light Company. He had also invented a modification of the process of making carbon filaments. 

 5 
Jared Diamond
(Scientist & Author)

Jared Diamond
7
Birthdate: September 10, 1937
Sun Sign: Virgo

 6 
James Harris Simons
(Mathematicians & Hedge Fund Manager)

James Harris Simons
10
Birthdate: 1938 AD

The son of a shoe factory owner, mathematician-turned-hedge-fund-manager James Harris Simons studied math at MIT and helped the U.S. break codes during the Vietnam War. He later founded his own hedge fund firm, Renaissance Technologies. He supports autism research and funds Math for America. In 2021, he was America’s 23rd-richest person.

 7 

Robert H. Goddard
4
Birthdate: October 5, 1882
Sun Sign: Libra
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.

You May Like

 8 
Robert Burns Woodward
(Organic Chemist)

Robert Burns Woodward
3
Birthdate: April 10, 1917
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: July 8, 1979

 9 
Elias James Corey
(Organic Chemist)

Elias James Corey
3
Birthdate: July 12, 1928
Sun Sign: Cancer

 10 
Charles Sanders Peirce
(Scientist, Philosopher)

Charles Sanders Peirce
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1839
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: April 19, 1914

 11 
Vannevar Bush
(Engineer)

Vannevar Bush
4
Birthdate: March 11, 1890
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: June 28, 1974

Apart from teaching and working as an electrical engineer, Vannevar Bush had also been the dean of the MIT School of Engineering. Working with the government, he initiated military funding of research projects, later known as the military-industrial complex. He also penned books such as Modern Arms and Free Men.

 12 

Henrietta Swan Leavitt
4
Birthdate: July 4, 1868
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: December 12, 1921

Born to a church minister, Henrietta Swan Leavitt grew up to work as a “human computer” at the Harvard Observatory. The American astronomer gained fame for discovering the period-luminosity relation of Cepheid variables. However, her brilliant scientific career was halted by her death due to stomach cancer at 53.

 13 
Eric S. Raymond
(Software developer, Engineer, Programmer, Writer, Lawyer, Computer scientist, Journalist)

Eric S. Raymond
5
Birthdate: December 4, 1957
Sun Sign: Sagittarius

 14 
Robert Tappan Morris
(Computer scientist, Scientist, Professor)

Robert Tappan Morris
5
Birthdate: November 8, 1965
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 15 
Percival Lowell
(Astronomer, Mathematician)

Percival Lowell
5
Birthdate: March 13, 1855
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: November 12, 1916

Born into the famous Brahmin Lowell family of Massachusetts, Percival Lowell studied at Harvard, where he excelled in math. He managed a cotton mill and also spent time in Asia as a diplomat. He is best remembered for initiating the discovery of Pluto and for studying the canals on Mars.

 16 
Daniel Dennett
(Philosopher)

Daniel Dennett
4
Birthdate: March 28, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries

 17 
Story Musgrave
(Astronaut, Statistician, Aviator, Officer)

Story Musgrave
5
Birthdate: August 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Leo

 18 
Richard M. Karp
(Computer Scientist)

Richard M. Karp
2
Birthdate: January 3, 1935
Sun Sign: Capricorn

 19 
Gilbert N. Lewis
(Physical chemist)

Gilbert N. Lewis
3
Birthdate: October 23, 1875
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: March 23, 1946

 20 
John Wilder Tukey
(Mathematician)

John Wilder Tukey
8
Birthdate: June 16, 1915
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: July 26, 2000

 21 
Alan Sokal
(Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher)

Alan Sokal
4
Birthdate: January 24, 1955
Sun Sign: Aquarius

New York University physics professor Alan Sokal made headlines for creating what is now known as the Sokal Hoax. He wrote gibberish using flowery jargon and submitted it to the journal Social Text, which published it as postmodernist criticism, thus proving the lack of credibility of such journals.

 22 
Luther Burbank
(Horticulturist, Geneticist, Botanist, Gardener, Academic, Non-fiction writer)

Luther Burbank
6
Birthdate: March 7, 1849
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: April 11, 1926

Luther Burbank was an American horticulturist and botanist. A pioneer in agricultural science, Luther Burbank developed over 800 varieties of plants and strains in an illustrious career that spanned 55 years. He is also credited with developing a spineless cactus that served as cattle feed. In 1986, Luther Burbank was made an inductee of the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

 23 
Maria Mitchell
(Astronomer)

Maria Mitchell
3
Birthdate: August 1, 1818
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: June 28, 1889
Maria Mitchell was motivated by her amateur astronomer father to venture into astronomy, and he taught her to operate several astronomical instruments. She later grew up to be America’s first professional female astronomer and is best remembered for discovering the comet 1847 VI, also known as Miss Mitchell's Comet.

 24 
Jeff Corwin
(biologist, television presenter, actor)

Jeff Corwin
4
Birthdate: July 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Cancer

Jeff Corwin is a biologist and wildlife conservationist. He is most popular for hosting TV shows on nature, such as Disney Channel's Going Wild With Jeff Corwin and The Jeff Corwin Experience on Animal Planet. He studied at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has been involved in conservation since his student days and lectures on wildlife, ecology, and conservation. 

Recommended Lists:

 25 
Robert Lanza
(Medical Doctor)

Robert Lanza
5
Birthdate: February 11, 1956
Sun Sign: Aquarius

 26 
Haskell Curry
(Mathematician)

Haskell Curry
3
Birthdate: September 12, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: September 1, 1982

 27 
Benjamin Thompson
(Physicist and Inventor)

Benjamin Thompson
3
Birthdate: March 26, 1753
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: August 21, 1814

 28 
John Resig
(Programmer, Engineer, Computer scientist)

John Resig
3
Birthdate: May 8, 1984
Sun Sign: Taurus

 29 

Kenneth G. Wilson
3
Birthdate: June 8, 1936
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: June 15, 2013

 30 
Nathaniel Bowditch
(Mathematician, Astronomer, Actuary, Physicist, Sailor)

Nathaniel Bowditch
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1773
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: March 16, 1838

At 10, Nathaniel Bowditch was forced to quit studies due to poverty and started working, first at his father’s shop and then as a clerk in other shops. During his voyages in merchant ships, he discovered his love for math. He later redefined maritime navigation with his mathematical research.

 31 
Sewall Wright
(Geneticist)

Sewall Wright
3
Birthdate: December 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: March 3, 1988

 32 
Karl Deisseroth
(Professor of Bioengineering and of Psychiatry)

Karl Deisseroth
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio

 33 

Richard Evans Schultes
3
Birthdate: January 12, 1915
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: April 10, 2001

Richard Evans Schultes was a biologist con whoducted numerous studies on the uses of plants by indigenous peoples and is considered the father of modern ethnobotany. In collaboration with chemists, he worked on entheogenic or hallucinogenic plants found in the Amazon jungle. He was one of the first Westerners to alert the world about the destruction of the Amazon rainforest. 

 34 
Brooks Adams
(Geopolitician, Historian, Author, University teacher, Writer)

Brooks Adams
3
Birthdate: June 24, 1848
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: February 13, 1927

 35 
Walter Gilbert
(Biochemist, Physicist, Molecular Biologist)

Walter Gilbert
5
Birthdate: March 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Aries

American molecular biologist and Nobel laureate Walter Gilbert pioneered research on the sequence of nucleotide links in DNA and RNA molecules. The Harvard and Cambridge alumnus later taught at Harvard. He also co-established firms dealing with genetic engineering and pharmaceutical research and was part of the Human Genome Project.

 36 

Percy Williams Bridgman
2
Birthdate: April 21, 1882
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: August 20, 1961

 37 
Robert T. Paine
(Ecologist)

Robert T. Paine
3
Birthdate: April 13, 1933
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: June 13, 2016

 38 

Richard F. Heck
3
Birthdate: August 15, 1931
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: October 10, 2015

 39 
Whitney Smith
(Vexillologist)

Whitney Smith
2
Birthdate: February 26, 1940
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: November 17, 2016

 40 

Richard C. Tolman
2
Birthdate: March 4, 1881
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: September 5, 1948

 41 
Roderick MacKinnon
(Professor, Chemist)

Roderick MacKinnon
5
Birthdate: February 19, 1956
Sun Sign: Pisces

 42 
Jacob Perkins
(Inventor)

Jacob Perkins
2
Birthdate: July 9, 1766
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: July 30, 1849

Known as the father of the refrigerator, American inventor, mechanical engineer and physicist Jacob Perkins made several useful mechanical inventions. He created improved nail machines and some of the best steel plates for engraving, invented a bathometer, became the first person in Britain to use a uniflow steam engine, and most notably built the world’s first working vapor-compression refrigeration system.

 43 
James Rothman
(Biochemist)

James Rothman
2
Birthdate: November 3, 1950
Sun Sign: Scorpio

American cell biologist and biochemist James Rothman is best known for his ground-breaking research on cellular vesicles and membrane fusion, which laid the path for further research on immunological and neurological ailments. The Nobel laureate is a Yale and Harvard alumnus and has also taught at many prestigious universities.

 44 
Robert S. Mulliken
(Chemist, Physicist)

Robert S. Mulliken
2
Birthdate: June 7, 1896
Sun Sign: Gemini
Died: October 31, 1986

 45 

James B. Conant
2
Birthdate: March 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: February 11, 1978

 46 

Samuel Pierpont Langley
2
Birthdate: August 22, 1834
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: February 27, 1906

Astrophysicist Samuel Pierpont Langley had worked as an engineer before he taught physics and astronomy at the Western University of Pennsylvania. He later took over as the director of the Allegheny Observatory. He is best remembered for his research on solar radiation and for inventing the bolometer.

 47 
Robert W. Wood
(Physicist)

Robert W. Wood
2
Birthdate: May 2, 1868
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: August 11, 1955

Edwin H. Hall
2
Birthdate: November 7, 1855
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: November 20, 1938

 49 
Florence Bascom
(Geologist)

Florence Bascom
2
Birthdate: July 14, 1862
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: June 18, 1945

 50 

Henry Way Kendall
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1926
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: February 15, 1999