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Why are all scientists refered to by the their surname

  1. Apr 17, 2004 #1
    why are all scientists refered to by the their surname except Galileo who gets first name treatment.

    how did this come about?

    is it becuase Galileo sounds better and it's close enough to his surname so it will do.
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 17, 2004 #2

    jimmy p

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    well it is such a unique name really (or how i see it). There could have been plenty of great achievers called Isaac, or Ernest, or John, but not many Galileo's. Or maybe its cos he may not be classed as a scientist.. more a philosopher, like Democritus or something. Anyway, my attention span isnt long enough to carry on thinking....
  4. Apr 17, 2004 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    Good question.

    Another good question - why is the middle finger of Galileo's right hand on display at the Museo di Storia del Scienza in Italy? :confused:
  5. Apr 17, 2004 #4


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    Staff Emeritus
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    And how about Archimedes and Pythagoras? Why did those old dudes only have one name? Maybe we can just call them Joneses. "Archimedes Jones." I like the sound of that.

    - Warren
  6. Apr 18, 2004 #5
    Galileo was probably so-called to distinguish him from his father, also an important thinker of those times. His middle finger is found in the museum in Firenze and you can read about it here. It's well worth a visit.
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