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Who is your favorite scientist, and why ?

  1. Sep 15, 2009 #1
    For me it's a toss up between Paul Verhoeven & Stephen Hawking.

    Verhoeven because with his PhD in Mathematics in Physics he's gone on to make some of the most entertaining films of the 20th century. Starship Troopers, Total Recall, RoboCop; awesome movies, I know lol.

    Hawking because after reading a brief history of time it inspired me to pursue astronomy and mathematics as my fields of study.

    What about you guys ?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 15, 2009 #2
    Hawking, Ramanujan, Bohr, Einstein, Roger Penrose, and several of my astrophysics professors at Berkeley as well as my first research mentor at UCSD.
  4. Sep 15, 2009 #3
    I wish if Ramanujan had lived longer.
  5. Sep 15, 2009 #4
    My current favorite is Neil deGrasse Tyson. I just can't get enough of him and the way he speaks of science.

    My old favorites are the likes of Feynman, Carl Segan, Einstein, Hawking.. I always catch myself listening to the great Feynman lectures.

    I also like Dr. Alex Filippenko, UC Berkeley from his work available at the teaching corporation, his work on UC Berkeleys virtual classroom and his science outreach through shows like "The Universe" where is enthusiasm for science shows.

    I'm a computer nerd by day and mad scientist at night with no formal science training so thats my 2 cents ;)
  6. Sep 15, 2009 #5
    Not trying to brag, but just support you. I worked with/for Alex for 4 years during my undergrad there, and did supernova searches. He's a great guy to work for, though a little bit tough on his undergrads and grad students.

    I've only once seen his 800 student Astronomy 10 class. It's for non-majors so I never got to like take it in full, but for that one moment I sat in it I was amazed. He's really great at teaching.
  7. Sep 15, 2009 #6


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    Me, I'm my favorite scientist. If I don't love me, who else will? :biggrin:

    He's a good second choice, if you want to pick famous ones. He is the coolest geekiest scientist I've heard in a long time. Really, I just love how he can talk about things on a level where you know he can just reach out to the general public and be understood, and then in the next sentence, he'll say something that just screams out how much of a geek he really is. It's wonderful!
  8. Sep 15, 2009 #7


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    I always loved Carl Sagan, how can you not love how he said "billions and billions". He did so much to make science 'cool' and less intimidating for millions of people.
  9. Sep 16, 2009 #8
    I'll have to second Carl Sagan. He was as excellent writer, helped pioneer SETI, published over 600 papers, was awarded the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, the Public Welfare Medal from the NAS, a Pulitzer Prize, and an Emmy.

    One of my earliest memories is of watching Cosmos. Sagan is the primary reason for my love of natural science.
  10. Sep 16, 2009 #9
    Thirded, I can't imagine how many science careers were started because of what he did, which may be more an impact than any one individual.
  11. Sep 16, 2009 #10
    I guess Richard Dawkins, but can't say why because of the forum rules.
  12. Sep 16, 2009 #11
    Sagan was quite the pothead (not that it affected his science).
  13. Sep 16, 2009 #12
    Yeah I've read this about him as well, although it's only second hand reference, dont' believe he or anyone who knew him firsthand ever came outright and said so.

    Probably only helped with his visions of the cosmos lol.
  14. Sep 16, 2009 #13
    :rofl: :rofl:
  15. Sep 16, 2009 #14
    Did the guy who played Agent Smith in The Matrix get his character's voice from Carl Sagan? Sounds like he studied Carl Sagan videos to get that voice down for the role.
  16. Sep 16, 2009 #15

    The Matrix is a system, Neo. That system is our enemy. But when you're inside, you look around, what do you see? billions upon billions of smiths. . .
  17. Sep 16, 2009 #16
    lol same here but I'd also add Steven Weinberg.
    And also, Richard Feynman because of his pure passion for physics and because he's one of the most rational people I've heard speak.
  18. Sep 16, 2009 #17


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    Yes, he did. They mention this on the DVDs commentary track.

    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  19. Sep 16, 2009 #18


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    Carl Sagan is also my favorite. The Cosmos series is probably the best science documentary ever produced. He also had a kind of tact that the "New Atheism" crowd seems to lack. Though, he never lived to see September 11th...
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