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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.