I believe in the light of being in a position where we have the honor of being burdened with such scientific power that we are obligated to discern whether our actions which we are capable of are moral or immoral and be responsible for that decision, we must honor and respect our foundation: science and its pioneers. When we lose respect for science’s beginnings and base we will certainly be lost in the dark as we try to navigate the moral pathway being laid before us. To honor the source of our technology and what has shaped so much of current society I made a list of my top ten favorite scientists:

  • Hippocrates of Kos- Father of the Hippocratic Oath, he was eons ahead of science in anticipating that one day our scientific abilities would exceed our moral abilities to agree on what is ethical, creating relentless controversy.

 

  • James Watson and Francis Crick- Though it may be argued that they swiped the credit from Rosalind Franklin, they are great examples of how perhaps non-traditional methods need to be implemented in order to reach quicker and unexpected groundbreaking conclusions.

 

  • Gregor Mendel- Proof that some discoveries indeed require simple patience and hard work. Though Mendel’s observations weren’t accredited until generations after his death, he paved a crucial path, which allowed science to proceed towards genomic understanding.

 

  • Joseph J. Schildkraut- Published ‘The Catecholamine Hypothesis of Affective Disorders: A Review of Supporting Evidence,’ which spurred a whole new realm of quantifying mental disorders through the study of neurotransmitters, turning the study of mental disease into a science rather than a stigmatized voodoo.

 

  • Alfred Wallace- He came from extreme poverty and worked hard, also dabbling in social activism. He practically birthed all of the Darwinistic ideas, yet doesn’t receive as much credit, all for the lack of coining the phrase “natural selection”.

 

  • Ernest Rutherford- Not only the father of nuclear physics and the discoverer of the proton, but also a protector of the integrity of science-he refused to shake hands with Fritz Haber (who used science for evil, researching warfae technology such as poison gas).

 

  • John Forbes Nash Jr.- His paper on game theory delves into the risky science of chance and brings up the controversy of the relationship between religion and science-just how much of our lives can be explained by each? Above this, Nash is an example of the emotional struggles that the intellectually gifted often suffer as a tradeoff for their genius, which is often uncelebrated and unbeknownst to the public. (I would highly recommend watching A Beautiful Mind for a glimpse at this struggle)

 

  • Marie Curie- It is indispensible for scientific credibility as well as eligibility for the Nobel Prize to be extended to women and therefore judged on a basis of merit rather than gender (or any other bias)—this is something we strive for everyday in our current society.

 

  • Brahmagupta- Where would we be without ‘0’? Or basic algebraic functions?

 

  • Charles Lyell- How can we improve and understand our current selves without exploring and comprehending our past and origins?

 

 

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