Scientists From Pennsylvania

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Pennsylvania has produced a number of Scientists who have made it big. These include David Bohm, Stephanie Kwolek, William Daniel Phillips, William Morris Davis, Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr. and others.
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 1 
Vera Rubin
(American Astronomer Known for Her Pioneering Work on Galaxy Rotation Rates)
Vera Rubin
6
Birthdate: July 23, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: December 25, 2016

American astronomer Vera Rubin is best known for her pioneering discoveries on galaxy rotation rates, her groundbreaking work confirming the existence of dark matter and for her life-long advocacy for women in science. She studied the galactic rotation curves and provided strong evidence of the existence of dark matter. The Vera C. Rubin Observatory in Chile is named after her.

 2 
Stephanie Kwolek
5
Birthdate: July 31, 1923
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: June 18, 2014

Stephanie Kwolek was an American chemist remembered for her invention of Kevlar. She worked at the DuPont Company for over four decades and was awarded the company's Lavoisier Medal for her discovery. In 1995, she was inducted into the National Inventors Hall of Fame, becoming the fourth woman to be inducted. She also won other awards including the Perkin Medal.

 3 
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
(Mechanical and chemical engineer)
Thomas Midgley, Jr.
4
Birthdate: May 19, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: November 2, 1944

Thomas Midgley Jr. was an American chemical and mechanical engineer. Midgley played a key role in the development of leaded gasoline and chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), which were later banned due to their negative impact on the environment and human health. Thomas Midgley Jr. was granted over 100 patents during his lifetime.

 4 
David Bohm
(One of the Most Significant Theoretical Physicists of the 20th Century)
David Bohm
4
Birthdate: December 20, 1917
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: October 27, 1992
Born to Jewish immigrants, David Bohm went against his father’s wish of joining his family’s furniture business and ventured into science instead. He later grew up to be an influential physicist and is now revered for his contribution to quantum mechanics and for introducing concepts such as Bohm’s diffusion.
Ashton Carter
7
Birthdate: September 24, 1954
Sun Sign: Libra

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.

 6 
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
Sun Sign: Libra

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.

 7 
Andy Hertzfeld
(Computer scientist, Engineer, Programmer)
Andy Hertzfeld
8
Birthdate: April 6, 1953
Sun Sign: Aries

Andy Hertzfeld is an innovator and software engineer. During the 1980s, Hertzfeld was one of the members of the Apple Macintosh development team. He is also credited with co-founding companies like Radius, General Magic, and Eazel. From 2005 to 2013, he contributed to the development of Google+. Elden Henson and Michael Stuhlbarg portrayed him in Jobs and Steve Jobs respectively.

 8 
Deborah Birx
(Physician)
Deborah Birx
6
Birthdate: April 4, 1956
Sun Sign: Aries

Doctor and diplomat Deborah Birx was the Trump administration’s coronavirus response co-ordinator. The renowned HIV/AIDS researcher, however, quit the virus team after reports suggested she had attended a Thanksgiving family gathering, breaching COVID-19 protocol. She later joined the air-cleaning company ActivePure, amid reports of it using banned technology.

 9 
David Rittenhouse
(American Astronomer, Inventor, Clockmaker and Mathematician)
David Rittenhouse
5
Birthdate: April 8, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: June 26, 1796

American astronomer, inventor, mathematician, clockmaker and surveyor David Rittenhouse, who served as first director of the United States Mint and remained a  member of the American Philosophical Society, made several significant breakthroughs for the US. His achievements include discovering the atmosphere of Venus and observing its transit, becoming the first American to sight Uranus, and completing an advanced orrery.

 10 
Randall Munroe
(Programmer, Comics artist, Writer, Computer scientist, Physicist)
Randall Munroe
4
Birthdate: October 17, 1984
Sun Sign: Libra

Randall Munroe quit his career as a NASA roboticist to re-live his childhood obsession with comics by creating the award-winning webcomic xkcd. He also writes a science blog and has penned New York Times bestsellers such as What If? and Thing Explainer. His other interests include kite photography.

 11 
James Bond
(US Ornithologist and an Expert on Birds of the Caribbean)
James Bond
14
Birthdate: January 4, 1900
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: February 14, 1989

US ornithologist James Bond is remembered as the author of Birds of the West Indies. British author Ian Fleming, himself a bird enthusiast, borrowed his name to create James Bond, the iconic fictional spy. He was mostly associated with the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia’s Drexel University.

 12 
John Backus
(Computer scientist)
John Backus
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1924
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: March 17, 2007
 13 
Paul R. Ehrlich
(Entomologist, Zoologist, University teacher)
Paul R. Ehrlich
5
Birthdate: May 29, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini

Paul R. Ehrlich is a biologist best known for the 1968 book The Population Bomb, which he co-authored with his wife, Anne. He kindled controversy for his views on the consequences of population growth in a world with limited resources. He has been called an "irrepressible doomster” by his critics, while his supporters credit him for spreading concern about overpopulation. 

 14 
Albert C. Barnes
3
Birthdate: January 2, 1872
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: July 24, 1951
 15 
Jamie Zawinski
(Engineer, Programmer, Nightclub owner, Computer scientist)
Jamie Zawinski
3
Birthdate: November 3, 1968
Sun Sign: Scorpio
 16 
Andrew Baldwin
(Reality star, naval officer and athlete most famous as the star of the reality show "The Bachelor: Officer and a Gentleman.")
Andrew Baldwin
5
Birthdate: February 5, 1977
Sun Sign: Aquarius

Although best known for his appearances on the ABC reality dating show The Bachelor, Andrew James Baldwin is much more than just a television personality. A Medical Officer with US Navy, he is known for his humanitarian works and enthusiasm for triathlon, being named to the All-Navy triathlon team five times, besides competing internationally in numerous Half-Ironman and Ironman events.

 17 
Karl Barry Sharpless
(Chemist, University teacher)
Karl Barry Sharpless
4
Birthdate: April 28, 1941
Sun Sign: Taurus
 18 
J. Presper Eckert
(Electrical engineer)
J. Presper Eckert
3
Birthdate: April 9, 1919
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: June 3, 1995
 19 
Ignatius L. Donnelly
2
Birthdate: November 3, 1831
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Died: January 1, 1901
 20 
Betty Holberton
(Computer scientist, Programmer)
Betty Holberton
2
Birthdate: March 7, 1917
Sun Sign: Pisces
Died: December 8, 2001
 21 
Joseph Banks Rhine
(American Botanist Who Founded Parapsychology as a Branch of Psychology)
Joseph Banks Rhine
4
Birthdate: September 29, 1895
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: February 20, 1980

Joseph Banks Rhine was an American botanist best remembered for his research and study of parapsychology. He is credited with founding Duke University's parapsychology lab, the Parapsychological Association (PA), the Rhine Research Center, and the Journal of Parapsychology.

 22 
Howard Martin Temin
(American Geneticist, Virologist and Winner of the 1975 Nobel Prize in Medicine)
Howard Martin Temin
2
Birthdate: December 10, 1934
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: February 9, 1994

Virologist Howard Martin Temin won his Nobel Prize for co-discovering the enzyme reverse transcriptase. His initial research was in the area of animal cancers, as he was also a PhD in animal virology from Caltech. He spent almost his entire academic career teaching at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

 23 
Charles David Keeling
2
Birthdate: April 20, 1928
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: June 20, 2005
 24 
Dan Bricklin
(Computer scientist, Entrepreneur, Engineer, Programmer)
Dan Bricklin
3
Birthdate: July 16, 1951
Sun Sign: Cancer
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 25 
William Bartram
(The First Naturalist Who Penetrated the Dense Tropical Forests of Florida)
William Bartram
2
Birthdate: April 20, 1739
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: July 22, 1823

William Bartram was an American ornithologist, botanist, explorer, and natural historian. He is best remembered for authoring an acclaimed book, which is now known as Bartram's Travels. The book chronicles Bartram's explorations of the British colonies in North America. William Bartram was also one of America's first ornithologists.

 26 
William Morris Davis
(American Geographer, Geologist. Meteorologist, and Geomorphologist)
William Morris Davis
2
Birthdate: February 12, 1850
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: February 5, 1934

William Morris Davis was an American geologist, geographer, meteorologist, and geomorphologist. Often referred to as the father of American geography, Davis is credited with founding the Association of American Geographers. He is also remembered for his association with the Geological Society of America, where he served as the president. In 1919, he was awarded the Royal Geographical Society's Gold Medal.

 27 
Alan Perlis
(Computer scientist)
Alan Perlis
3
Birthdate: April 1, 1922
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: February 7, 1990
 28 
Christian Anfinsen
(Biochemist)
Christian Anfinsen
2
Birthdate: March 26, 1916
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: May 14, 1995

Born to Norwegian immigrants in the U.S., Christian Anfinsen initially excelled in both chemistry and football. His research on the structure of complex proteins and their biological functions earned him a Nobel Prize. He was also associated with the NIH and taught at Johns Hopkins University.

 29 
William Daniel Phillips
2
Birthdate: November 5, 1948
Sun Sign: Scorpio
 30 
Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr.
(Astrophysicist)
Joseph Hooton Taylor Jr.
2
Birthdate: March 29, 1941
Sun Sign: Aries
 31 
John Bartram
(One of the World's Greatest Natural Botanists)
John Bartram
2
Birthdate: March 23, 1699
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: September 22, 1777

John Bartram was an Anglo-American colonial botanist, explorer, and horticulturist. Regarded by some as one of the world's greatest natural botanists, Bartram is credited with starting one of America's first botanic gardens in 1728. The botanic garden, which is now referred to as Bartram's Garden, is a National Historic Landmark. 

 32 
J. Michael Bishop
(American Microbiologist and Immunologist Who the Nobel Prize for His Work on Retroviral Oncogenes)
J. Michael Bishop
2
Birthdate: February 22, 1936
Sun Sign: Pisces

J. Michael Bishop is an American microbiologist and immunologist. He is best known for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1989 along with Harold E. Varmus. They won the award for their work on retroviral oncogenes. J. Michael Bishop has also won several other prestigious awards, such as the National Medal of Science and the Dickson Prize.

 33 
Edward B. Lewis
(Geneticist)
Edward B. Lewis
2
Birthdate: May 20, 1918
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: July 21, 2004

Edward B. Lewis was an American geneticist who helped found evolutionary developmental biology, a field that compares the developmental processes of various organisms. In 1995, he shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with Eric Wieschaus and Christine Nüsslein-Volhard. He also won several other prestigious awards like the National Medal of Science and the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize.

 34 
William Alfred Fowler
(Nuclear Physicist and Astrophysicist)
William Alfred Fowler
3
Birthdate: August 9, 1911
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: March 14, 1995
 35 
Joseph Leidy
(American Paleontologist, Parasitologist and Anatomist)
Joseph Leidy
5
Birthdate: September 9, 1823
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: April 30, 1891

Joseph Leidy was an American parasitologist, paleontologist, and anatomist. He is credited with writing an influential and important book titled Extinct Fauna of Dakota and Nebraska which housed several previously unknown and not described species. He also served as a professor at many educational institutions, including the University of Pennsylvania and Swarthmore College.

 36 
George Robert Stibitz
2
Birthdate: April 30, 1904
Sun Sign: Taurus
Died: January 31, 1995
 37 
Spencer Fullerton Baird
(US Naturalist, Ornithologist, and Zoologist Who Mostly Studied North American Birds and Mammals)
Spencer Fullerton Baird
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1823
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: August 19, 1887

American naturalist, ornithologist, and vertebrate zoologist Spencer Fullerton Baird was an expert on North American birds and mammals. Initially a professor of natural history, he was later associated with the Smithsonian Institution as a curator and assistant secretary. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the US Commission of Fish and Fisheries.

 38 
F. Albert Cotton
2
Birthdate: April 9, 1930
Sun Sign: Aries
Died: February 20, 2007
 39 
Britton Chance
(American Biochemist and Olympic Gold-Winning Sailor)
Britton Chance
1
Birthdate: July 24, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Died: November 16, 2010

American biochemist and biophysicist Britton Chance is remembered for developing techniques such as MRI and optical imaging. He also taught at the University of Pennsylvania and worked with Swedish Nobel laureate Hugo Theorell at the Nobel Institute. He was also an Olympic gold medal-winning sailor.

 40 
Theodore William Richards
(The First American Scientist to Receive the Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Theodore William Richards
1
Birthdate: January 31, 1868
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: April 2, 1928

Theodore William Richards was an American chemist. In 1914, he became the first scientist from the US to be honored with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Also an inventor, Richards is credited with inventing the nephelometer as well as the adiabatic calorimeter. Over the course of his career, Theodore William Richards won several prestigious awards, including the Willard Gibbs Award.

 41 
William Ferrel
(American Meteorologist Who Developed Theories That Explained the 'Mid-Latitude Atmospheric Circulation Cell')
William Ferrel
1
Birthdate: January 29, 1817
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Died: September 18, 1891

Though mostly self-taught, William Ferrel grew up to be a school teacher and later joined the American Ephemeris and Nautical Almanac. He was later part of the U.S. Army’s Signal Service and is best remembered for his meteorological research and his explanation of the deflection of air currents on Earth.

 42 
Thomas Say
(Entomologist)
Thomas Say
1
Birthdate: June 27, 1787
Sun Sign: Cancer
Died: October 10, 1834
 43 
Henry Augustus Rowland
1
Birthdate: November 27, 1848
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Died: April 16, 1901
 44 
Florence B. Seibert
(American Biochemist Known for Isolating a Pure Form of 'Tuberculin')
Florence B. Seibert
1
Birthdate: October 6, 1897
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: August 23, 1991

Florence B. Seibert is remembered for developing the tuberculin test, which became the standard test for detecting TB. Defeating polio at age 3, she went on to win scholarships and made it to Yale. One of the greatest women biochemists of the U.S., she also contributed to intravenous drug therapy.

 45 
Clifford Shull
(Physicist)
Clifford Shull
1
Birthdate: September 23, 1915
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: March 31, 2001
 46 
Haldan Keffer Hartline
(American Physiologist Who Won the Nobel Prize for His Work in Examining the Neurophysiological Mechanisms of Vision)
Haldan Keffer Hartline
1
Birthdate: December 22, 1903
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: March 17, 1983

Haldan Keffer Hartline was an American physiologist best remembered for winning the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1967 for his work in examining the neurophysiological mechanisms of vision. Haldan Keffer Hartline won the award alongside Ragnar Arthur Granit and George Wald.

 47 
Ross Granville Harrison
1
Birthdate: January 13, 1870
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: September 30, 1959
 48 
David S. McKay
(American Astrobiologist Best Known for Claiming to Have Found Evidence of Microscopic Life on a Martian Meteorite)
David S. McKay
2
Birthdate: September 25, 1936
Sun Sign: Libra
Died: February 20, 2013

David S. McKay was an astrobiologist who provided geology training to the first men to walk on the moon during the Apollo program in the 1960s. He worked as chief scientist for astrobiology at the Johnson Space Center. He extensively studied lunar dust and wrote over 200 papers on the topic. The asteroid 6111 Davemckay is named in his honor.  

 49 
Walter Reckless
(Criminologist)
Walter Reckless
1
Birthdate: January 19, 1899
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Died: September 20, 1988
 50 
Seymour S. Kety
(Neuroscientist)
Seymour S. Kety
1
Birthdate: August 25, 1915
Sun Sign: Virgo
Died: May 25, 2000