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Old 26th June 2003, 07:21 PM   #1
COCT
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Who is the most famous scientist alive today?

While recently having a conversation about Oliver Sachs, my friend proclaimed that Dr. Sachs must be the most famous scientist alive today.

I countered that I think Stephen Hawking is more famous than Oliver Sachs, and is perhaps the most famous scientist alive today. My friend disagreed.

So... who's the most famous scientist alive today?

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Old 26th June 2003, 07:36 PM   #2
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Should have been a poll! But yes, I think Stephen Hawking is the most recognizable and I think certainly the most popular.

Others include Jane Goodall and Ross Gellar.
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Old 26th June 2003, 07:39 PM   #3
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Phil Plait! Seriously though, I agree that it is probably Stephen Hawkings. Not so sure why the media decided to make him their darling, and not saying it's a bad thing, but I'm sure there are scientists out there doing amazing work that is hardly reported on.
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Old 26th June 2003, 07:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by Denise
Phil Plait! Seriously though, I agree that it is probably Stephen Hawkings. Not so sure why the media decided to make him their darling, and not saying it's a bad thing, but I'm sure there are scientists out there doing amazing work that is hardly reported on.
I think his disability plays a part in why he is so well known. I'm sure his work is excellent, but as a human interest story, he is fascinating. The guy should have died over 30 years ago, but he kept on ticking and has singled himself out as one of the greatest minds ever.
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Old 26th June 2003, 08:03 PM   #5
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Definitely Stephen Hawking, if only because he was a Simpsons guest.

(Well, Gould was too, but he didn't have a flying super-wheelchair, so I think it's safe to say more people recall Hawking's episode.)
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Old 26th June 2003, 08:15 PM   #6
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Everyone recognizes Stephen Hawking except Homer Simpson, who said, after Stephen said some truism, "LARRY FLYNT IS RIGHT!"

And by the way - who is Oliver Sachs? Maybe I shouldn't admit it, but I thought I followed science pretty closely, and I don't think I've ever heard of him.
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Old 26th June 2003, 08:31 PM   #7
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Wow, such a broad term, scientist


Alive huh, well I think all those people deserve mention:

Arthur C. Clark

Richard Leakey

The science guy (Bill Nye) - perhaps more an educator though

Dr. Francis Crick

Richard Dawkins

Jack Horner

L. Ron Hubbard (self proclaimed scientist)
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Old 26th June 2003, 09:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by CurtC

And by the way - who is Oliver Sachs? Maybe I shouldn't admit it, but I thought I followed science pretty closely, and I don't think I've ever heard of him.
I also follow science, and I also don't know this guy. I am sure I would have heard of his work so if you say, he did such and such, I'll tweak.

On topic the most famous scientist for TODAY would probably be Stephen Hawking.

Arthur C. Clark might be more famous, but would be known for his novels, not his scientificness.
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Old 26th June 2003, 10:10 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by PygmyPlaidGiraffe
Wow, such a broad term, scientist


Alive huh, well I think all those people deserve mention:

L. Ron Hubbard (self proclaimed scientist)
I thought L. Ron Hubbard was dead.
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Old 26th June 2003, 10:20 PM   #10
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The most famouse scientist is probably Stephen Hawking. Not only is he a genious but he rides a wheelchair with retractable rotor blades. He also fancies himself to be quite Thuggish .
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Old 26th June 2003, 10:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by UnrepentantSinner


I thought L. Ron Hubbard was dead.
He is, and has been for quite a while. But then he did promise to come back as a politician next time around, so he could be strutting around the planet incognito.
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Old 26th June 2003, 10:26 PM   #12
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Here's one of those famous Mugshots when Hawking had gone on of spree of driveby's.
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Old 26th June 2003, 10:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by PygmyPlaidGiraffe
L. Ron Hubbard (self proclaimed scientist)
Isn't L. Ron sort of, um, L. Dead?
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Old 26th June 2003, 11:20 PM   #14
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Jack Horner?

Is he the one with plum juice on his thumb?
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Old 27th June 2003, 02:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by CurtC

And by the way - who is Oliver Sachs? Maybe I shouldn't admit it, but I thought I followed science pretty closely, and I don't think I've ever heard of him.
Perhaps COCT meant Oliver Sacks.
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Old 27th June 2003, 06:00 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by JamesM


Perhaps COCT meant Oliver Sacks.
Yup. That's what I meant. The, um, "k" key on my keyboard isn't working. Yeah, that's it. (er... I mean "hey on my heyboard").

And in case anybody still is confused: He's the Doctor (although if medical doctors are considered scientists, maybe Dr. Drew Pinsky is the most famous scientist) who wrote The Man Who Mistook His Wife For a Hat among other books, including Awakenings which was later turned into a movie starring Robin Williams and Robert DeNiro.

On another interesting note, he also recently wrote a recent article for Astrobiology Magazine about life in outer space (or lack thereof). It can be found at http://www.astrobio.net/news/sacks.php

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Old 27th June 2003, 06:08 AM   #17
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Stephen Hawking is the only one know whose's famous that is.
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Old 27th June 2003, 06:33 AM   #18
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hawking, for his game
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Old 27th June 2003, 06:33 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally posted by PygmyPlaidGiraffe

Dr. Francis Crick
Doubtful. He's certainly universally known in scientific circles, but much of the general public probably thinks his name is really 'Watson N. Crick'.
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Old 27th June 2003, 08:10 AM   #20
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Until recently, I might have picked Stephen Jay Gould.

Can anyone alive rival Hawking's high profile?

David Suzuki? Edward O. Wilson?

Or how about this guy:

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Old 27th June 2003, 08:42 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Central Scrutinizer


Isn't L. Ron sort of, um, L. Dead?
No one can prove he is dead or a live.

Quote:
reprise quote:....But then he did promise to come back as a politician next time around, so he could be strutting around the planet incognito.
the speculation rages on
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Old 27th June 2003, 08:43 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally posted by arcticpenguin

Doubtful. He's certainly universally known in scientific circles, but much of the general public probably thinks his name is really 'Watson N. Crick'.
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Old 27th June 2003, 08:49 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally posted by ceo_esq
Until recently, I might have picked Stephen Jay Gould.

Can anyone alive rival Hawking's high profile?

David Suzuki? Edward O. Wilson?

Or how about this guy:

Is David Suzuki known well enough outside of Canada?

not sure on the status of E. O Wilson's renown... he is certainly known well in some societies/circles.

The man in the pic: that man could do a lot with a pair of coconuts.
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Old 27th June 2003, 08:57 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally posted by ceo_esq
Or how about this guy:

My hero!

(from my own files)

Everything I Ever Needed to Know I Learned from the Professor on Gilligan's Island:

-Don't be concerned with appearances. Wear the same thing every day if you want, as long as it's comfortable.

-Sometimes, Gilligan's ideas aren't as crazy as they sound.

-Take an interest in the arts. Be the MC for a talent show, or direct a musical (but leave the singing for those who can)

-Sometimes, it helps to know a little about obscure things, like bat anatomy.

-Don't dwell with what you don't have, but deal with the supplies that you DO have. If a coconut radio is what you can make, then a coconut radio is what you get.

-"Kissing on the mouth is far from sanitary. It can lead to all sorts of bacterial transfer."

-Voodoo is nothing but native superstition, and the sharp pain in your back and your burning feet are merely coincidence.

-Always be aware of your surroundings, but be cautious. You never know if the island is really sinking, or if someone is just moving your measuring stick.

-Two words: Acetylsalicylic Acid

-Don't overstate your position. No one will believe you when you tell them there are no such things as zombies if you've just spent two weeks standing in a rainstorm while in a trance.
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(Stolen from the side of a lava lamp box, and modified slightly)
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Old 27th June 2003, 09:16 AM   #25
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Good Ed, can't anyone use a proper research tool???

googlefight reports:
Stephen Hawking ( 95 900 results) versus Oliver Sachs ( 53 100 results)

The winner is: Stephen Hawking
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Old 27th June 2003, 10:41 AM   #26
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Does Oliver Sacks do empirical research? Seems it's mostly case studies or patient series....just curious.

My vote is for David Suzuki but that's because he's Canadian.

Ok, Skepchicks...whose the hottest living scientist? hmmmmmmm.....
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Old 27th June 2003, 01:27 PM   #27
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About the Professor from Gilligans Island...
The question continues: How could the Professor make a radio out of a coconut, but couldnt fix a hole in a boat?
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Old 27th June 2003, 01:50 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally posted by Yahweh
About the Professor from Gilligans Island...
The question continues: How could the Professor make a radio out of a coconut, but couldnt fix a hole in a boat?
Let's start with your premise: the Professor never made a radio out of coconut. He did make a battery recharger from coconuts, but never made a radio from anything. For a list of the things he did make, check out


http://www.russell-johnson.com/The_P...sor_s_lab.html
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(Stolen from the side of a lava lamp box, and modified slightly)
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Old 27th June 2003, 01:59 PM   #29
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Heres some more famous scientist mugshots...
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Old 27th June 2003, 03:38 PM   #30
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The only scientific way to determine who is the most famous scientist alive today to take a poll.

Results from the U.S.A.

1) Albert Einstein *(results include those who responded Alfred Einstein)

2) Abraham Lincoln

3) Spock (that's Lt. Cmndr., not Dr.)

4) Professor Sherman Klump / Dr. Doolittle [tie]


It's quite clear that there is no "most famous scientist alive today."
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Old 27th June 2003, 04:41 PM   #31
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Quote:
Originally posted by roger
Good Ed, can't anyone use a proper research tool???

googlefight reports:
Stephen Hawking ( 95 900 results) versus Oliver Sachs ( 53 100 results)

The winner is: Stephen Hawking
I'm happy to discover that in the linked venue, atheism (366,000) beats theism (87,100) hands down!

(sorry to be off topic, I won't let it happen again!)
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Old 28th June 2003, 03:40 AM   #32
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Quote:
Originally posted by PygmyPlaidGiraffe:
Alive huh, well I think all those people deserve mention:

Arthur C. Clark

Richard Leakey

The science guy (Bill Nye) - perhaps more an educator though

Dr. Francis Crick

Richard Dawkins

Jack Horner

L. Ron Hubbard (self proclaimed scientist)
Personally I'd have put James Watson in instead of Francis Crick. Crick has become something of a recluse, while Watson maintains a high profile and is fairly outspoken.
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Old 29th June 2003, 05:55 AM   #33
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Shouldn't this be in Banter.
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Old 29th June 2003, 06:01 AM   #34
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I would vote for David Suzuki for greatest pseudoscientist or greatest self-promoter-with-mediocre-talent...
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