Who was the greatest scientist of the 20th century?

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Who was the greatest scientist of the 20th century?

Marie Curie
1
20%
Albert Einstein
2
40%
Alan Turing
1
20%
Tu Youyou
0
No votes
Other
1
20%
 
Total votes: 5

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Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
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Who was the greatest scientist of the 20th century?

Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Tue Feb 26, 2019 3:16 pm

So, the BBC launched a television program recently called "Icons", in which they would talk about four people in each episode from six different categories (Leaders, Explorers, Scientists, Entertainers, Activists, Sports, and Artists & Writers) and the public would vote on who is the greatest one of that category, and then each winner of each category would be paired up to find out who is the greatest icon of the 20th century.

Now, I find it confusing that they would pair up people from these different fields when there is obviously quite a stark difference in what they accomplished. I also didn't care for the fact that they put Thatcher as one of these icons when she accomplished nothing but increasing poverty and unemployment in Britain whilst backing the fascist Pinochet regime in Chile.

Anyway, the four candidates for greatest scientist were Marie Curie, Albert Einstein, Alan Turing and Tu Youyou. The first three need no introduction, however, Tu Youyou wasn't very well known until 2011 when her role in discovering new treatment came to light. You can read more about her here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tu_Youyou

Alan Turing won this category, and ultimately, won the contest for greatest icon of the 20th century. I agree with this choice because I think he had the most positive impact on the world by cracking the enigma code.

What are your thoughts? Who do you think was the greatest scientist of the 20th century?
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Post by Red » Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:34 pm

I think Einstein, but I'm more predisposed to that since I'm more interested in Physics than the other fields these people are known for (Feynman is a close second in that respect).

While Turing was a genius and revolutionized the way we view AI and such, I think there might be a bias here since the British Broadcasting Company launched this survey, and Turing was English himself. That's just a guess though.

Personally, I think it's a bit inconsiderate in a way to have these types of surveys, especially with this limited roster; In a way, it's almost pushing aside other fields of science, as if they are less important (unless it's a social science ;)), or other scientists don't deserve similar recognition, which you brought up. It would likely make more sense to have a 'Who was the greatest Biologist/Astronomer/etc of the 20th century?" or maybe making your own Mount Rushmore of scientists if you're going to have a survey like this.
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Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:43 am

Red wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:34 pm
While Turing was a genius and revolutionized the way we view AI and such, I think there might be a bias here since the British Broadcasting Company launched this survey, and Turing was English himself. That's just a guess though.
I don't think so. Mandela won the Leaders round against Churchill and Thatcher, and Martin Luther King won the Activists round against Emmeline Pankhurst.
Personally, I think it's a bit inconsiderate in a way to have these types of surveys, especially with this limited roster; In a way, it's almost pushing aside other fields of science, as if they are less important (unless it's a social science ;)), or other scientists don't deserve similar recognition, which you brought up. It would likely make more sense to have a 'Who was the greatest Biologist/Astronomer/etc of the 20th century?" or maybe making your own Mount Rushmore of scientists if you're going to have a survey like this.
Agreed, but I don't think that they put that much thought into it.
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Post by Red » Fri Mar 01, 2019 9:28 pm

Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz wrote:
Wed Feb 27, 2019 2:43 am
Red wrote:
Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:34 pm
While Turing was a genius and revolutionized the way we view AI and such, I think there might be a bias here since the British Broadcasting Company launched this survey, and Turing was English himself. That's just a guess though.
I don't think so. Mandela won the Leaders round against Churchill and Thatcher, and Martin Luther King won the Activists round against Emmeline Pankhurst.
Affirmative action. Blacks get more respect than gays.
Plus Churchill and Thatcher are more controversial, whereas Mandela is less so. Didn't you say that Brits are becoming disillusioned with Thatcher?
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Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Sat Mar 02, 2019 4:03 am

Affirmative action. Blacks get more respect than gays.
???
Plus Churchill and Thatcher are more controversial, whereas Mandela is less so. Didn't you say that Brits are becoming disillusioned with Thatcher?
Yes, but Churchill isn't that controversial. John McDonnell called him a villain recently, but still stated that he was a hero for his role in the second world war.
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Post by Lay Vegan » Sun Mar 03, 2019 2:49 pm

It's extremely difficult to rank any of these scientists as greater than the others, since each revolutionized his or her respective field in their own way. Einstein progressed Newtonian physics, while Curie's research in radioactivity/chemistry preluded electromagnetic radiation. And Tu YouYou's work saved millions.

By sheer number of awards, Curie takes the lead with 2 Nobel prizes in Chemistry and Physics. However, I’m still inclined to pick Einstein, since he practically flipped modern physics, the Godfather of the sciences, on its head. And he’s got more mainstream recognition than the others (I mean, “Einstein” has become synonymous with genius).

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