Articles in the category scientist

Jacob Bronowski

(18 January 1908 – 22 August 1974) Jacob Bronowski was a humanist, polymath and all round Renaissance man. He was born in Poland in 1908 to Jewish parents who moved to Germany during the first World War and then on to England in 1920. Bronowski won a scholarship to study Mathematics at Cambridge but was […]

Benjamin Franklin

(January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) Benjamin Franklin was one of the greatest figures in the American Enlightenment and the struggle for American independence. He was born in Boston and was apprenticed to the printing trade — where he educated himself. He set up his own printing trade after a brief spell in Britain. He […]

Paul Dirac

(8 August 1902 – 20 October 1984) Paul Adrien Maurice Dirac was probably the greatest English physicist since Sir Isaac Newton. He was born in Bristol to a Swiss immigrant father and Cornish mother. Physicist At the University of Bristol he obtained a degree in electrical engineering in 1921 and a BA in applied mathematics in […]

Margaret Knight

(November 23, 1903 – May 10, 1983) Margaret Kennedy Knight was a psychologist, broadcaster and humanist. Born in Hertfordshire, England, Knight went to Girton College, Cambridge University. In her third year there she found the “moral courage”, as she put it, to finally abandon the religious beliefs she had long been uneasy with. Psychologist Between 1926 and 1936 […]

Sigmund Freud

(6 May 1856 – 23 September 1939) Sigmund Freud was an Austrian physician and founder of psychoanalysis Pioneer of understanding mental health The 20th century has seen a revolution in our attitudes to mental problems. A hundred years ago children and adults with mental health problems were often abandoned in institutions where little or no treatment […]

John Maynard Smith

(6 January 1920 – 19 April 2004) John Maynard Smith was one of the greatest biologists of the 20th century, remembered for his contributions to genetics and evolutionary biology, and was one of the British Humanist Association‘s distinguished supporter of Humanism. He was deeply committed to his work and to making scientific ideas accessible, and inspired […]

T.H. Huxley

(4 May 1825 – 29 June 1895) Thomas Henry Huxley was a Victorian scientist and popularizer of Charles Darwin‘s theory of Evolution by Natural Selection.  He was colloquially known as Darwin’s Bulldog. Huxley had an impressive career.  He sailed with the HMS Rattlesnake as the Assistant Surgeon and naturalist – much like Darwin on the HMS […]

Herbert Spencer

(27 April 1820 – 8 December 1903) Herbert Spencer was a philosopher and sociologist, contemporary with Charles Darwin. Contrary to popular usage, the phrase ‘Surivial of the fittest’ was actually coined by Spencer and not Darwin. Born in Derby, England, Spencer was the only child of nine to survive infancy.  He was largely educated by his […]

Charles Darwin

(12 February 1809 – 19 April 1882) Charles Robert Darwin is arguably Britain’s greatest contributor to science and his ‘On the Origin of Species’ changed the way we think about life on earth. The theory of evolution has been repeatedly confirmed by evidence and continues to shape our understanding of biology. Darwin was born in […]

Alan Turing

(23 June 1912 – 7 June 1954) Alan Mathison Turing was a code breaker and pioneer of computer science who was eventually prosecuted for being gay. Growing up – shattered faith Turing was born at 2 Warrington Crescent, London but spent most of his childhood in Hastings, where his parents left him and his brother with a retired Army couple, Colonel […]