What makes a great science mind? I spent the last ten weeks on my blog giving examples of who I think are great ones. This is by no means a declaration of fact, just my humble opinion. As a matter of fact, I feel that I forgot many of the great minds throughout history. I tried to group as many as I could into the countdown.
I didn't touch on medical minds, like Dr. Jonas Salk and Dr. Albert Sabin who eradicated polio in the United States. Marie and Pierre Curie discovered that some elements were radioactive and Marie Curie discovered Radium and Polonium and her discoveries would lead to cancer treatment later in the century. Louis Pateur discovered that by heating liquids to a specific temperature would kill off most of the microorganisms and render the liquids safe for consumption. I did miss a few others in fields that I did cover.
I failed to mention Edwin Hubbble who showed us that there were more galaxies than just the Milky Way. He also showed how to use redshift of light to show relative distance of galaxies. Christian Huygens developed a new way to grind and polish lenses to make telecopes more powerful. He was the first to identify Saturn's rings. Giovanni Cassini discovered the gaps in Saturn's rings. Carl Sagan was an astonomer who was searching for the origins of the universe and life as we know it. He was also a promoter of the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). I just wanted to mention these minds because I didn't during the countdown. I also wanted to talk about something else.
I mentioned way back in SMC #8, that I would discuss the belief systems in the time of Galileo. During the 16th and 17th centuries it was widely accepted that the earth was the center of the universe and the sun, moon and stars moved around the earth on spheres. Anybody that proposed otherwise (heliocentrism) was considered a heretic and jailed by the church. Astrology was widely accepted during this time to predict future events and was not questioned. The belief system of this time period was not very science friendly. Even with a highly logical explanation, if it did not include the earth in the center, it was wrong, until people started thinking and reasoning more. That's the best I can do with this topic at this time.
That's it, the end of the science minds countdown. I hope you enjoyed this whole feature and I will be back with another countdown in a couple weeks. If you think I missed anybody, please speak up. I don't like leaving anybody out of the discussion.