Virgo Scientists

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 1 
Michael Faraday
(English Scientist Who Contributed to the Study of Electromagnetism and Electrochemistry)
Michael Faraday
14
Birthdate: September 22, 1791
Birthplace: Newington Butts, London, United Kingdom
Died: August 5, 1867

Michael Faraday was an English scientist known for his contribution to the study of electrochemistry and electromagnetism. Considered one of the most influential scientists ever, Faraday's inventions of electromagnetic rotary devices established the basis for electric motor technology. His research also helped understand the concept of the electromagnetic field. Ernest Rutherford called him one of the greatest scientific discoverers ever.

 2 
Ernest Rutherford
(New Zealand Physicist Who is Known as the Father of Nuclear Physics)
Ernest Rutherford
10
Birthdate: August 30, 1871
Birthplace: Brightwater, New Zealand
Died: October 19, 1937

New Zealand physicist Ernest Rutherford is remembered as the father of nuclear physics. His discovery of radioactive half-life and of radon, and his differentiation of alpha and beta radiation, won him the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1908. Element 104 was named rutherfordium in his honor.

 3 
Antoine Lavoisier
(French Chemist Who Discovered the Role of Oxygen in Combustion)
Antoine Lavoisier
10
Birthdate: August 26, 1743
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: May 8, 1794

Antoine Lavoisier was a French chemist and nobleman. He played a crucial role during the chemical revolution of the 18th-century. Widely regarded as the father of modern chemistry, Lavoisier had a major influence on the history of biology as well as the history of chemistry. He also helped build the metric system. 

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 4 
John Dalton
(Chemist, Physicist and Meteorologist Best Known for Developing the 'Atomic Theory')
John Dalton
12
Birthdate: September 6, 1766
Birthplace: Eaglesfield, Cumberland, England
Died: July 27, 1844

John Dalton was an English chemist, physicist, and meteorologist most famous for introducing the atomic theory into chemistry. He also contributed a lot to the study of color blindness, sometimes referred to as Daltonism in his honor. He was the first scientist to refer to the smallest particle of matter as an “atom.” He was a Quaker and lived modestly. 

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 5 
Bernhard Riemann
(Mathematician)
Bernhard Riemann
6
Birthdate: September 17, 1826
Birthplace: Breselenz
Died: July 20, 1866

Bernhard Riemann was a German mathematician best remembered for his contributions to number theory, analysis, and differential geometry. His paper on the prime-counting function, which was published in 1859, is considered one of the most influential papers in the history of analytic number theory. Riemann is widely regarded as one of the greatest mathematicians ever.

 6 
Dennis Ritchie
(American Computer Scientist Known for Creating the C Programming Language)
Dennis Ritchie
11
Birthdate: September 9, 1941
Birthplace: Bronxville, New York, United States
Died: October 12, 2011

Computer scientist, Dennis MacAlistair Ritchie, worked at Bell Labs Computing Sciences Research Center for most of his career, co-developing the Unix operating system and B programming language with Kenneth Thompson, co-winning the 1983 A.M. Turing Award for it. Earlier, he had also created C programming language and was involved with the development of the Plan 9 and Inferno operating systems.

 7 
Adrien-Marie Legendre
(Mathematician)
Adrien-Marie Legendre
7
Birthdate: September 18, 1752
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 10, 1833

Born into an affluent family, French mathematician Adrien-Marie Legendre probably never had to earn a living till the beginning of the French Revolution. Excelling in math and physics, he later contributed to areas such as elliptic functions, developed the least squares method, and lent his name to Legendre polynomials.

 8 
John McCarthy
(Mathematician, Computer scientist, Engineer, University teacher)
John McCarthy
7
Birthdate: September 4, 1927
Birthplace: Boston
Died: October 24, 2011
 9 
Hermann von Helmholtz
(Physicist and Physician)
Hermann von Helmholtz
4
Birthdate: August 31, 1821
Birthplace: Potsdam
Died: September 8, 1894

A descendant of Pennsylvania founder William Penn through his mother, Hermann von Helmholtz studied medicine, pushed by his father, in spite of being interested in the natural sciences. Best known for his law of conservation of energy, he coalesced the fields of medicine, physiology, math, and physics in his studies.

 10 
Katherine Johnson
(Mathematician and One of the First African-American Women to Work as a NASA Scientist)
Katherine Johnson
37
Birthdate: August 26, 1918
Birthplace: West Virginia, United States
Died: February 24, 2020
Katherine Johnson was a physicist and mathematician, remembered as the first African-American female NASA scientist. Her calculations helped launch the space missions of Alan Shepard and John Glenn. She was crucial to the Apollo program and won a Congressional Gold Medal and a Presidential Medal of Freedom for her achievements.
 11 
Murray Gell-Mann
(Physicist)
Murray Gell-Mann
6
Birthdate: September 15, 1929
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, U.S.
Died: May 24, 2019

Nobel Prize-winning American physicist Murray Gell-Mann is best remembered for his research on elementary particles. The Yale and MIT alumnus later taught at Caltech and is credited with coining the terms "quark" and "strangeness" in quantum physics. A linguistic enthusiast, he also co-established the Evolution of Human Languages program.

 12 
Dorothy Vaughan
(American Mathematician, Human Computer and the First African-American to Receive Promotion as Supervisor in NASA)
Dorothy Vaughan
29
Birthdate: September 20, 1910
Birthplace: Kansas City, Missouri, United States
Died: November 10, 2008

American mathematician Dorothy Vaughan was also known as a "human computer." Initially a math teacher, she became the first African-American supervisor of NACA, later part of NASA, at a time when racial segregation was rampant in the U.S. Her contribution to the early American space programs is invaluable.

 13 
Temple Grandin
(Scientist)
Temple Grandin
5
Birthdate: August 29, 1947
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

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.

 14 
Irène Joliot-Curie
(French Physicist, Politician and Winner of the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry)
Irène Joliot-Curie
11
Birthdate: September 12, 1897
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: March 17, 1956

Marie Curie and Pierre Curie’s daughter, Irène Joliot-Curie, herself a brilliant scientist, won the 1935 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, along with her husband, Joliot-Curie, for discovering artificial radioactivity. She was also one of the first three female French government members. She tragically died of leukemia caused by exposure to radiation.

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 15 
Judea Pearl
(Computer Scientist)
Judea Pearl
4
Birthdate: September 4, 1936
Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel

A.M. Turing Award-winning Israeli-American computer scientist Judea Pearl is known for his work on artificial intelligence and for creating the Bayesian network. He has penned several books on causality, too. He is also known as the father of Daniel Pearl, the journalist who was beheaded by Islamic terrorists in Pakistan.

 16 
Stephen Jay Gould
(Paleontologist and Evolutionary Biologist Known for His 'Theory of Punctuated Equilibrium' & Book ‘The Mismeasure of Man’)
Stephen Jay Gould
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1941
Birthplace: Bayside, New York, United States
Died: May 20, 2002

Stephen Jay Gould was an American evolutionary biologist, paleontologist, and historian of science. One of the most widely read and influential authors of popular science, Gould was named a Living Legend in April 2000 by the US Library of Congress. He is also counted among the most frequently cited scientists, as far as evolutionary theory is concerned.

 17 
Arthur Compton
(Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics)
Arthur Compton
3
Birthdate: September 10, 1892
Birthplace: Wooster, Ohio, USA
Died: March 15, 1962

American physicist Arthur Compton is best-known for introducing Compton wavelength, discovering Compton scattering, first identifying the Compton–Getting effect in the intensity of cosmic rays along with Ivan A. Getting, and for the Compton generator. He received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1927 for discovering Compton effect. He also remained a prominent figure during the Manhattan Project.

 18 
Lewis Howard Latimer
4
Birthdate: September 4, 1848
Birthplace: Chelsea, Massachusetts, United States
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. 
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 19 
Jared Diamond
(American Historian, Geographer, Author, and Ornithologist)
Jared Diamond
8
Birthdate: September 10, 1937
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, United States

Jared Diamond is an American historian, geographer, author, and ornithologist. He is best known for his books, The Third Chimpanzee, Collapse, Upheaval, and The World Until Yesterday. His 1997 book Guns, Germs, and Steel earned him the prestigious Pulitzer Prize. In 1999, he was awarded the National Medal of Science. Jared Diamond is currently working as a professor at UCLA.

 20 
August Kekulé
(German Organic Chemist Known for His Theory of Chemical Structure and the Tetravalence of Carbon)
August Kekulé
4
Birthdate: September 7, 1829
Birthplace: Darmstadt, Germany
Died: July 13, 1896

August Kekulé was a German organic chemist. Regarded as one of the most important chemists in Europe, Kekulé is credited with founding the theory of chemical structure, including the Kekulé structure of benzene. Kekulé is also credited with teaching future Nobel Prize winners, Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff Jr., Hermann Emil Louis Fischer, and Johann Friedrich Wilhelm Adolf von Baeyer.

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 21 
Sylvia Earle
(The First Female Chief Scientist of the ‘U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’)
Sylvia Earle
10
Birthdate: August 30, 1935
Birthplace: Gibbstown, Greenwich Township, New Jersey, United States
Sylvia Earle is known for her research on marine algae and she was the first female chief scientist of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Earle held the world record for the deepest untethered dive and was named by Time Magazine as its first Hero for the Planet, in 1998. She also featured in Netflix Original documentary Seaspiracy.
 22 
Charles Sanders Peirce
(Scientist, Philosopher)
Charles Sanders Peirce
7
Birthdate: September 10, 1839
Birthplace: Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States
Died: April 19, 1914
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 23 
Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff
(Dutch Physical Chemist Known for Work on Rates of Chemical Reaction, Chemical Equilibrium, and Osmotic Pressure)
Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff
3
Birthdate: August 30, 1852
Birthplace: Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died: March 1, 1911

Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff was a Dutch physical chemist best remembered for winning the first Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Van 't Hoff's work helped found the modern theory of chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium, and chemical affinity. A highly popular theoretical chemist, Van 't Hoff is also counted among the founders of physical chemistry.

 24 
Georges Cuvier
(French Naturalist and Zoologist Known for Establishing the Field of 'Comparative Anatomy' and 'Paleontology')
Georges Cuvier
4
Birthdate: August 23, 1769
Birthplace: Doubs, France
Died: May 13, 1832

Georges Cuvier was a French zoologist and naturalist. A major figure in the early 19th century's research of natural sciences, Cuvier played an important role in establishing the fields of comparative paleontology and anatomy by comparing fossils with living animals, for which he is sometimes regarded as the founding father of paleontology.

 25 
Wilhelm Ostwald
4
Birthdate: September 2, 1853
Birthplace: Riga
Died: April 4, 1932

Wilhelm Ostwald was a Baltic German philosopher and chemist who is credited with co-founding the field of physical chemistry. A polymath, Ostwald made significant contributions to philosophy, art, and politics, especially after his retirement from academic life. His contributions to the fields of reaction velocities, chemical equilibria, and catalysis earned him the 1909 Nobel Prize in Chemistry.

 26 
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
(Russian Rocket Scientist Who Pioneered Astronautic Theory)
Konstantin Tsiolkovsky
5
Birthdate: September 17, 1857
Birthplace: Izhevskoe, Russia
Died: September 19, 1935

Konstantin Tsiolkovsky was a Russian rocket scientist. Credited with pioneering astronautic theory, Tsiolkovsky is widely regarded as one of the founding fathers of astronautics and modern rocketry. His works served as an inspiration to several other Soviet rocket engineers like Valentin Glushko and Sergei Korolev. Hence, Konstantin Tsiolkovsky's work played an influential role in the Soviet space program.

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 27 
David Packard
(Entrepreneur, Engineer, Computer scientist)
David Packard
4
Birthdate: September 7, 1912
Birthplace: Pueblo
Died: March 26, 1996
 28 
Luigi Galvani
(Anatomist, Physicist, Physician, University teacher)
Luigi Galvani
4
Birthdate: September 9, 1737
Birthplace: Bologna
Died: December 4, 1798

Luigi Galvani was an Italian physician, biologist, physicist, and philosopher. He is credited with the discovery of animal electricity and is considered a pioneer of bioelectromagnetics. He and his wife made one of the first forays into the study of bioelectricity when they discovered that the muscles of dead frogs' legs twitched when struck by an electrical spark.  

 29 
Mark Shuttleworth
(Entrepreneur, Astronaut, Engineer, Inventor, Scientist, Blogger, Businessperson, Computer scientist)
Mark Shuttleworth
6
Birthdate: September 18, 1973
Birthplace: Welkom

Mark Shuttleworth is a South African-British entrepreneur. He is credited with founding Canonical, the company that developed the popular Linux-based Ubuntu operating system. Mark Shuttleworth became the first African from an independent country and the first South African to travel to space; he traveled as a space tourist in 2002.

 30 
Walter Reed
(U.S. Army Physician Who Led a Team Which Confirmed That Yellow Fever Gets Transmitted By a Mosquito)
Walter Reed
6
Birthdate: September 13, 1851
Birthplace: Belroi
Died: November 22, 1902

Walter Reed was a U.S. Army physician best remembered for leading a team which confirmed that yellow fever gets transmitted by a mosquito rather than by direct contact. His work went a long way in the fight against yellow fever.

 31 
Jim Al-Khalili
(Physicist)
Jim Al-Khalili
4
Birthdate: September 20, 1962
Birthplace: Baghdad, Iraq
 32 
Johann Heinrich Lambert
(Mathematician who Proved that π is Irrational)
Johann Heinrich Lambert
3
Birthdate: August 26, 1728
Birthplace: Mulhouse, France
Died: September 25, 1777

Johann Heinrich Lambert was a Swiss polymath whose contributions to the fields of physics, mathematics, map projections, astronomy, and philosophy are considered important by many scholars. He is credited with introducing hyperbolic functions into trigonometry. He is also credited with inventing a hygrometer, which is used to measure the quantity of water vapor in soil and air.

 33 
Marquis de Condorcet
(French Philosopher and Mathematician)
Marquis de Condorcet
3
Birthdate: September 17, 1743
Birthplace: Ribemont, France
Died: March 29, 1794

French mathematician and philosopher Marquis de Condorcet was a champion for liberal economy and women’s rights. He was a significant contributor of the Encyclopédie and was part of the Academy of Sciences. He is also remembered for his political activities in the wake of the French Revolution.

 34 
Hans Christian Gram
(Former bacteriologist noted for his development of the Gram stain)
Hans Christian Gram
4
Birthdate: September 13, 1853
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: November 14, 1938

Hans Christian Gram was a Danish bacteriologist best remembered for developing a technique called Gram stain, which is still used today to classify bacteria. He achieved international recognition after developing the Gram stain technique. Hans Christian Gram also served as a professor at the University of Copenhagen.

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii
4
Birthdate: August 30, 1863
Birthplace: Murom
Died: September 27, 1944

Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii was a photographer and chemist of the Russian Empire. Prokudin-Gorskii is remembered for his effort to capture early 20th-century Russia and his groundbreaking work in color photography. From 1909 to 1915, Prokudin-Gorskii traveled across the Russian Empire, documenting several of its aspects. After his death, many of his negatives were taken to the U.S. Library of Congress.

 36 
Michael Moritz
(Computer scientist)
Michael Moritz
4
Birthdate: September 12, 1954
Birthplace: Cardiff

Welsh venture capitalist and former journalist Michael Moritz was earlier associated with Time as a writer. Now a partner at Sequoia Capital, he has invested in and been part of the boards of organizations such as Google, PayPal, and Yahoo. He penned The Little Kingdom, the first-known history of Apple.

 37 
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
(French Mathematician, Cosmologist Encyclopédiste and One of the First Naturalists to Recognize Ecological Succession)
Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon
3
Birthdate: September 7, 1707
Birthplace: Montbard, France
Died: April 16, 1788

Georges-Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon was a French mathematician, encyclopédiste, cosmologist, and naturalist. He is best known for authoring and publishing Histoire Naturelle, an encyclopaedic collection of 36 volumes, which he worked on for 50 years. His work had a strong influence on two subsequent generations of naturalists, including popular French scientists like Georges Cuvier and Jean-Baptiste Lamarck.

 38 
Wen Jiabao
(Politician, Geologist, Economist)
Wen Jiabao
4
Birthdate: September 15, 1942
Birthplace: Tianjin

Wen Jiabao is a retired Chinese politician who served as the country's head of government from 2003 to 2013. As Premier, Wen Jiabao played a major role in directing Beijing's economic policy. Nicknamed the people's premier, Wen worked towards bettering the lives of migrant workers and farmers rather than focusing on GDP growth in rich coastal areas and large cities.  

 39 
Kenneth Arrow
(Eonomist)
Kenneth Arrow
4
Birthdate: August 23, 1921
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 21, 2017
 40 
Albert Sabin
(Polish-American Medical Researcher Best Known for Developing the Oral Polio Vaccine)
Albert Sabin
5
Birthdate: August 26, 1906
Birthplace: Białystok, Poland
Died: March 3, 1993

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.

 41 
Charles Simonyi
(Astronaut, Computer scientist, Engineer, Scientist, Programmer)
Charles Simonyi
6
Birthdate: September 10, 1948
Birthplace: Budapest

A Stanford PhD, Charles Simonyi initially worked on one of the world’s first computers for Xerox. He is best known for developing Microsoft Office. Though he launched his own firm, Intentional Software, he later sold it to Microsoft. Part of the Forbes Billionaires 2021 list, he also donates extensively to educational charitable causes.

 42 
Frederick Soddy
(Radiochemist)
Frederick Soddy
5
Birthdate: September 2, 1877
Birthplace: Eastbourne
Died: September 22, 1956
 43 
Carl Zeiss
(Scientific instrument maker)
Carl Zeiss
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1816
Birthplace: Weimar
Died: December 3, 1888
 44 
Rudolf Vrba
(Former biochemist became known for having escaped from the camp in April 1944, at the height of the Holocaust)
Rudolf Vrba
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1924
Birthplace: Topoľčany, Slovakia
Died: March 27, 2006
 45 
Shinya Yamanaka
(Nobel Prize-Winning Japanese Scientist Who Is Known for his Work on Stem Cell Research)
Shinya Yamanaka
4
Birthdate: September 4, 1962
Birthplace: Osaka

Nobel Prize-winning Japanese scientist Shinya Yamanaka is known for his contribution to stem cell research. He developed the induced pluripotent stem cell, a stem cell that can be created directly from a somatic cell. He is a professor at Kyoto University’s Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences and has held several senior research positions.

 46 
Edward Witten
(Mathematician, Physicist, University teacher, Theoretical physicist)
Edward Witten
15
Birthdate: August 26, 1951
Birthplace: Baltimore

American mathematical and theoretical physicist Edward Witten is regarded as the practical founder of M-theory. His proof of positive energy theorem led him to become the first physicist who received the Fields Medal by International Mathematical Union. His research works mainly include the areas of string theory, supersymmetric quantum field theories and quantum gravity, besides other areas of mathematical physics.  

 47 
Peter Scott
(Ornithologist)
Peter Scott
3
Birthdate: September 14, 1909
Birthplace: London, England
Died: August 29, 1989
 48 
Carl David Anderson
2
Birthdate: September 3, 1905
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: January 11, 1991
 49 
Steve Shirley
(Computer scientist, Feminist)
Steve Shirley
4
Birthdate: September 16, 1933
Birthplace: Dortmund

Born Vera Buchthal, Steve Shirley moved from Germany to Britain as a child refugee during the Nazi regime. Later, going by the name Stephanie Brook, she began learning coding. Battling a male-dominated workplace environment, she changed her name to Steve. The celebrated scientist now runs a charitable foundation.

 50 
Albert Szent-Györgyi
(Physiologist)
Albert Szent-Györgyi
3
Birthdate: September 16, 1893
Birthplace: Budapest, Austria-Hungary
Died: October 22, 1986

Born in Budapest, Nobel Prize-winning biochemist Albert Szent-Györgyi shot himself in the arm while serving in World War II, so that he could be sent back home, and then studied medicine. While he is remembered for first isolating vitamin C, unknown to many, he was also a skilled pianist.