• Question: how did you help people

    Asked by glitterunicorn158 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 15 Nov 2018.
    • Photo: Peter Medawar

      Peter Medawar answered on 15 Nov 2018:


      Hello Glitterunicorn, what a splendid name! I helped people by understanding how their immune system functions and worked out how my research could make it possible for people to have transplants that would save their lives. Before me, people who needed transplants couldn’t get them because their immune system would reject the organ or skin that had been transplanted. I also wrote books and gave talks to the public to help people understand how research works, which inspired lots of other people to become scientists.

    • Photo: Rosalind Franklin

      Rosalind Franklin answered on 15 Nov 2018:


      My work helped to establish the structure of DNA. This has led to revolutionary developments in genetics and biology. By establishing the genetic basis of some inherited diseases, we can try to fix them so that people will no longer have to live with conditions that will kill them at a young age. We already tailor treatments for some cancers based on whether or not they have a particular mutation in their DNA. We can identify dangerous criminals by matching up their DNA with DNA they left at a crime scene, and conversely in situations like plane crashes and earthquakes DNA testing can help identify victims so that their loved ones can know what happened to them. Looking at the DNA of animals helps us to target conservation efforts more effectively, e.g. by deciding whether two populations of closely related animals are one species or two. It’s all potentially valuable to many people, and it will only get more valuable in the future.

    • Photo: Aneurin Bevan

      Aneurin Bevan answered on 15 Nov 2018:


      I have helped people by giving everybody free access to health care. This has meant that people can have the surgery, treatment, and medication they need rather than having (or not having) what they can afford. What good is having all this amazing information we have learnt from researchers and scientists if it can’t be applied, and this is why I wanted to help set up a welfare state because I don’t believe that people should be refused medical treatment because of lack of means.

    • Photo: Dorothy Hodgkin

      Dorothy Hodgkin answered on 15 Nov 2018:


      I helped people in lots of ways and not just with my research.
      My work was on the structure of insulin; the hormone needed to treat people with diabetes. Understanding that structure has helped people by leading to better treatments.
      By developing the techniques to discover this structure, I’ve helped a lot of other scientists do great work that has also led to new medicines that help people every day.
      I also donated part of the money I received with the Nobel Prize to set up a nursery where I worked, which is still there today and still helps people keep working there while they have young children.
      And finally, I tried to help scientists from developing countries to try to make science a less elitist club and bring more different ideas forward.

    • Photo: Mary Anning

      Mary Anning answered on 16 Nov 2018:


      I hope that I help people today by getting them excited in science and discovery; and as an early example that anyone can become a scientist!

    • Photo: Mary Somerville

      Mary Somerville answered on 17 Nov 2018:


      I made a lot of maths understandable, so that people could use it to come up with all sorts of ideas; it was a long time ago, but Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace used my maths in their design of computers, as well as the likes of Faraday and even Einstein all used the maths that I made easier for everyone to understand.

    • Photo: Nicholas Shackleton

      Nicholas Shackleton answered on 17 Nov 2018:


      My discoveries will help us understand our future climate because the data i produced helped us understand climate millions of years of ago during geological time periods that we use as future climate analogues.

      By creating a better picture of what future climate will be like, communities today can start to prepare and this will help save lives. For example, if we can work out the rate of future sea level rise because of rising temperatures based on past examples, this will help communities living in coastal regions that will lose their homes/livelihoods/towns/cities as a result of this threat.

    • Photo: Francis Crick

      Francis Crick answered on 19 Nov 2018:


      My research and work in the field of the structure of DNA with my other research colleagues allowed us to discover DNAs structure, which helped to ensure that much of the future research and testing which goes on today could take place. This discovery helps to diagnose patients as we know how DNA works and functions like know and is used in some lab tests.

    • Photo: Ada Lovelace

      Ada Lovelace answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      in my time I hepled people on a personal level – always good to talk to.
      For the future and yur time, you must judge how much your life rlies on ideas in my work – for good and bad

    • Photo: Thomas Telford

      Thomas Telford answered on 21 Nov 2018:


      I connected communities through the provision of infrastructure like canals, roads and bridges which allowed people to socialise, trade goods, get medical treatment etc.

    • Photo: Godfrey Harold Hardy

      Godfrey Harold Hardy answered on 26 Nov 2018:


      Having lived through the first half of the 20th century I saw a lot of scientific inventions being used against humanity… I never wanted any of my research to become a tool of war, so I took pride in working on problems in pure mathematics that would not affect people’s lives! Although I should probably say that I did not completely succeed in my plan: somewhat accidentally I made important contributions to genetics, which people these days refer to as the Hardy-Weinberg principle. I still cannot believe that Reginald Punnett managed to get me involved in this! I should have known better when he approached me about this problem of his while we played my beloved cricket!

      However, please do not think that because I worked in pure mathematics I must never have cared about people! I was the first person to recognise Srinivasa Ramanujan’s genius, and this was despite seeing only a couple of his letters, which two mathematicians before me unbelievably dismissed as rubbish created by some unschooled clerk. But I could see that this man was brilliant! I invited him to Cambridge where he could continue his mathematical studies and I did what I could to take care of him here. My main worry was how to teach this astounding talent much mathematics without destroying his confidence. The last thing I wanted was to dent his fearless approach to the most difficult problems! In a measure I succeeded, though I obviously learnt from him much more than he learnt from me.

    • Photo: Beatrice Shilling

      Beatrice Shilling answered on 4 Dec 2018:


      I helped people by saving the lives of many pilots who’s aircraft’s engines were failing. I fixed the engines so they no longer caused the planes to crash.

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