- Joseph Stanga
- Wichita, KS
- United States
Executive Director, Wichita Con 2012
This conversation is closed.
Who are the 3 most influential scientists of all time?
I have been reading My Inventions, the autobiography of Nikola Tesla. I was no more than a few pages in when I was struck with an awful realization: For all the wondrous ideas and technologies Tesla had, he was cursed with being an awful writer! Is this one of the reasons he is not more widely-regarded?
It got me to thinking: Who are the three most influential scientists of all time?
It would be hard to nail down a precise list. Should I include statesmen whose influence in political matters led the way for scientific discovery, such as Thomas Jefferson's interest in archaeology? Should I include theorists who never saw any practical application for their ideas? Should I include inventors, such as Gutenberg, who helped pave the way for mass literacy and the transmission of ideas? Should I include living scientists, who may or may not have reached the zenith of their influence, or whose work has yet to be fully realized? Should I include authors who wrote science fiction and thus helped influence the field of science itself despite the fact they may not have been scientists in the truest sense of the word?
With so many questions, and realizing that there would be much cultural bias to which I would be subjected in pursuit of an answer, I thought it best to:
A: Name 3, off the top of my head.
B: Ask TED.
Archimedes ("Eureka!" -- Principle of Displacement)
Al-Kindi (Preservation of Greek philosophy/science, innovator, Golden Age of Islam)
Tesla (Alternating Current, Tesla Coil, Wireless Information Networks, innovator)