• Question: hatsune miku is the best scientist to ever live and is my favourite, what is yours?

    Asked by hatsunemiku to Thomas Telford, Stephen Hawking, Rosalind Franklin, Peter Medawar, Nicholas Shackleton, Mary Somerville, Mary Anning, John Snow, G. H. Hardy, Sir Geoffrey de Havilland, Frederick Sanger, Francis Crick, Elizabeth GarrettAnderson, Edwards and Steptoe, Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin, Beatrice Shilling, Aneurin Bevan, Alan Turing, Ada Lovelace on 21 Nov 2018. This question was also asked by kelsiepops11.
    • Photo: Rosalind Franklin

      Rosalind Franklin answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      I didn’t really have much time in my life for fictional characters. Of real scientists, as someone whose work combined physics, chemistry and biology, I find it hard to choose between James Clerk Maxwell, the great Scottish physicist whose theory of electromagnetism is essential to the work that I do, Charles Darwin, whose theory of natural selection revolutionised biology, and John Dalton, originator of the modern atomic theory of matter. Science is really a collective endeavour, and it’s very seldom the case that one individual stands out among the crowd, but Maxwell and Darwin certainly do.

      In the spirit of this event, which focuses on British scientists, I have named three British heroes. But, as a Jew, I of course also have immense regard for Albert Einstein!

    • Photo: Peter Medawar

      Peter Medawar answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      I was very much inspired by Howard Florey, who made me realise that the power held inside our own immune systems can be used to fight illness and disease, which in turn led to my most famed discovery. But I have continued to be inspired by those who are driven by curiosity and tinker and experiment endlessly to find an answer. I was always enormously inspired by research students tirelessly working away in my lab and would very much look up to the most impressive and curious minds of Prof Stephen Hawking (one of my fellow £50 not contestants) as well as the 2018 Nobel Prize winning cancer immunologists, James Allison and Tasuku Honjo. I am also very curious to understand the fascinatingly futuristic science behind your own inspiring scientist, Hatsune!

    • Photo: Dorothy Hodgkin

      Dorothy Hodgkin answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      I was greatly inspired in and out of my work by John Desmond Bernal. It was working with him that I first realised the potential of X-ray crystallography for working out the structures of proteins.

      I’m also a very big fan of several of the other candidates here: Rosalind Franklin, Mary Somervile, Mary Anning, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson, Beatrice Shilling, and Ada Lovelace – as I was always a big supporter and promoter of female scientists.

    • Photo: Ada Lovelace

      Ada Lovelace answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      hard to choose
      Newton for inventing calculus as well as work on gravity. why hatsune miku?

    • Photo: Mary Somerville

      Mary Somerville answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      Isn’t Hatsune a voice synthesiser? I’ve had to look her up as there weren’t even computers in my day!
      Having said that, a lot of the work I did made it possible for them to happen.

      I translated the work of Leplace and Newton, both of whom were incredible, but I also admire Caroline Herschel, it was such an honour when we were the first women to join the Royal Society
      I’m a fan of many of the great minds of my day, especially as I like to work across lots of different sciences to find the links. Some have also enabled and encouraged me to pursue science, even though I had to teach myself everything (I wasn’t allowed to learn maths or to go university, being a woman).

    • Photo: Thomas Telford

      Thomas Telford answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      I guess it would have to be a mathematician such as Euler as much of his work has aided me in the design of my great bridges and aqueducts.

    • Photo: Francis Crick

      Francis Crick answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      My big influence and friend was James Watson, who I worked with and shared the same interests of how genetic information is stored in molecular form. I also was influenced by my co-researcher Rosalind Franklin’s research which helped in our discovery of the structure of DNA.

    • Photo: Nicholas Shackleton

      Nicholas Shackleton answered on 22 Nov 2018:


      A scientist I really admired when I was younger was Prof. Harry Godwin

    • Photo: Godfrey Harold Hardy

      Godfrey Harold Hardy answered on 22 Nov 2018:


      Certainly Srinivasa Ramanujan – and Indian mathematical prodigy, who came up with some of the most groundbreaking theorems without having a proper background in mathematics. He sent me examples of his work, and I was so impressed that I invited him to come to Cambridge. We have worked together until his premature death at the age of 32. He was an amazing man.

    • Photo: Aneurin Bevan

      Aneurin Bevan answered on 26 Nov 2018:


      As all the scientists here are deceased I’m going to pick somebody still alive that inspire many people today. I think Professor Averil Mansfield is quite a remarkable woman, she was the first ever female professor of surgery and she was also a key figure in pionerring life saving vascular surgeries such as those patients suffering from strokes. It’s these surgeries that are now common place and are still saving lives.

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