I first heard this question posed in the media several years ago, when it was reported that most people could not name even one still living. I was taken aback as I had difficulty coming up with a name myself, though I could name many dead ones. Since then I've made a point of trying to remember as least a few that I admire. I will now offer up the name of my favorite living scientist, James Hansen. Hansen, recently retired from NASA, is America's leading climatologist and climate activist. He is author of the book "Storms of My Grandchildren", a must read. Now your turn.
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Good one! I read about him a while back, but wouldn't have remembered the name in a million years!
Of course! I meant to mention that people in scientific fields would obviously be able to name scientists, including famous ones. Also meant to say 'No cheating' to find names; just ran out of characters.
I hate it when I run out of characters and can't finish making a point! They cut comments WAYYYY short. (Shorter than the old days?) Makes one write succinctly, though. I'm loquacious (no, really??), so it's good practice for me, I admit.
That's NOT cheating, lone77star! That's totally cool--both that you are both scientists, that you both wrote a book together, and that you both still write significantly!
Technically not cheating since I didn't specify any ground rules. Now I'm curious what field you're in. Will have to check your profile since you didn't say. Did you do that on purpose? jk
Show off! (jk ) You make some great points, like what are the parameters of who is considered a scientist. I don't remember/know? Richard Feynman, but will look him up.
Feynman is famous not just for his physics but for his teaching--bringing the complex down to earth where "us normal folk" can comprehend and appreciate it. Many of his lectures are on DVD and are very animated and enlightening. Genius!
I Googled Feynman. Turns out he died in '88. Has an impressive resume though. Helped develop the atom bomb, advances in quantum physics, etc for those interested.
That's too bad he died; sorry, thought he'd just retired. I guess it was an occupational hazard (working with radiation). Thanks for googling him and providing the extra info!! He's really cool--I studied his work in school. Recommended geek reading!
Good choice. Of course, I'm familiar with Hawking, but sometimes I have trouble coming up with his name if I haven't heard it lately.
Thank you! :)
Stephen Hawking is amazing! I'm right with you, JT, he's top of my list, too for all of the reasons you mentioned (and I hadn't read your answer when I wrote mine :-) ).