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Topic: How many of these "most famous" scientists have you heard of?
Message: Posted by: panlives (May 25, 2011 05:49AM)
Message: Posted by: Woland (May 25, 2011 06:27AM)
Familiar with all in the top 25 except Oliver Lodge, Karl Pearson, James Jeans, and Ray Lankester.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (May 25, 2011 08:16AM)
Rather a comical metric: They count instances of the names in books. And how odd that two philosophers--Russell and Whitehead--a mathematician--Pearson--and a science fiction writer--Asimov--made the top 25.

And is it just me or is the list a tad Anglo-American?

Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (May 25, 2011 08:53AM)
Asimov had a PhD in biochemistry and was a science consultant for World Book Encyclopedia. Now if they'd picked Harlan Ellison or Spider Robinson, I could see your complaint.
Message: Posted by: Woland (May 25, 2011 09:20AM)
Well, Magnus, since the method is to count the frequency of the names in English-language books, the preponderance of English & American names is not surprising. You do have Bernard, Bohr, Planck, Pasteur, Curie, Koch, and Weizmann - although Weizmann had a post at Manchester. The omission of real scientific heavyweights such as Helmholtz, Virchow, Nernst, Schroedinger, Golgi, Metchnikoff, Ehrlich, Mendeleev, Maxwell, De Broglie, Dirac, etc. is indeed surprising.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (May 25, 2011 09:52AM)

Actually, there are 4,169 names on the list provided at the link. All of the ones you've mention, with the exception of Metchnikoff and Dirac are, in fact on the list. (No, I didn't go through the whole thing, but there is a search function at the top of the list and you can also view the list broken down into various categories.)

Message: Posted by: critter (May 25, 2011 10:27AM)
Skimming the first page most look familiar. I even remember what some of them did! :)
Message: Posted by: Woland (May 25, 2011 10:29AM)
Thanks, Bob - I only looked at the Top 25.
Message: Posted by: ed rhodes (May 26, 2011 03:43AM)
Also the list was compiled by the frequency in which the scientist's name appeared on the cover of a scientific book. Asimov was very prolific and a lot of his output was of a fact-based scientific nature as well as "science fiction." (He admits a little embarrassment that one of his books was a manual on how to use a slide rule, published just about the time calculators were becoming the vogue and slide rules were on the way out!)

No. If scientific based books written (or compiled/edited) by the scientist was the basis of the list, then Asimov belongs here, right where he is!
Message: Posted by: landmark (May 26, 2011 08:35AM)
Lewis Carroll in the top 10? I'm a fan, but even if you count his contributions to Mathematics and Logic, that's quite a stretch. And Maxwell doesn't show up until the 90s? This is really bizarre.
Message: Posted by: Woland (May 26, 2011 08:37AM)
Well, landmark, it's based on the frequency of their names appearing in English-language books, I think, not based on an assessment of their actual contributions.
Message: Posted by: ringmaster (May 26, 2011 10:58PM)
I only know 47, and only two are well known magicians.