The understanding of science forms the basis of how we can perceive the world. The top scientists throughout human history have made the world what it is today, including genius minds even dating back to the 15 century. The world would be a very different place if it wasn’t for the scientific innovations and discoveries that some of our ancestors made.
All it takes is one light bulb moment to change the course of history. But who is the most important scientist of all time? Who is the most significant single individual that put in the motions for humanity to take the biggest step forward? Let’s take a look at who we think is in the running for being the most influential scientist of all time.
Sir Isaac Newton (1642 – 1727)
We all know the story of him sitting under a tree when an apple hit him on the head. Well, that was his light bulb moment. Why did it fall down and not float in the air? From this, Newton developed his theories of universal gravitation and the physics of motion. His work on classical mechanics then changed the direction of physics research for centuries to come, ultimately going on to influence the theories surrounding planetary motion, optics, and color too.
Alan Turing (1912 – 1954)
Alan Turing’s engineering of several code-breaking techniques in WW2 is often considered the most honorable body of scientific work in recent history. He was a mathematician who single-handedly pioneered the way for modern computing, formalizing the concept of the algorithm through his famous Turing Machine. It’s even been labeled the first form of artificial intelligence – a conscious machine that can think for itself.
Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)
As a Polish scientist in the fields of both chemistry and physics, Marie Curie started exploring the concept of radiation, going on to discover two new elements too – radium and polonium. Her work on the theory of radioactivity ultimately paved the way for modern X-Ray machines, revolutionizing modern medicine into what it is today.
Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882)
The theory of evolution is still ignorantly criticized today, but when Charles Darwin published his first set of thesis back in the 1850’s, his concepts were widely disputed and mocked. Now, Darwin is considered to be one of the most significant minds of all time, having provided the foundation for biology itself, all formed from his ideas on human evolution, natural selection and the origins of species.
Albert Einstein (1879 – 1955)
Einstein’s name has become a worldwide household name, winning the Nobel Prize in 1921 for his services to modern theories of physics. His work was particularly formed around the discovery of the photoelectric effect and the development of the general theory of relativity. His work established the basis of the all-important advancements in understanding atomic structure and the Quantum theory itself.
So who is the most important scientist?
It’s a very hard question to answer. You’ll have to have a heated debate about it for a long time to come up with a solution to who is actually the most important. Each scientist on this list changed the world in some way or another, so the answer to the question depends on what you personally consider to be the most important discovery of our scientific world.