The Most Influential Scientists in the World Today


As the world continuously bears fruits from our scientists’ greatest inventions and discoveries in the past and in the present, we have our great scientists to thank for. For all their breakthroughs and in which they have greatly affected and transformed in science and technology, such as our computers, lights, electricity, history, human body, and many others. It is us who benefitted from all their deeper study and curiosity that reshaped our usual perspective or our way in our lives.

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Here are some of the most influential scientists in our world today and their greatest contributions to science through their groundbreaking innovations following a great impact in our world:

Margaret J. Geller

She is an American astrophysicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics.

Her contribution with Astronomy is that she made a large-scale structure map of the universe. That made way for the discovery of the filamentous galactic superstructure known as the “Great Wall”. The Great Wall is known as the largest superstructure in the universe.

She also co-discovered the hypervelocity stars. These are stars that travel with speed faster than escape velocity in which they provide a pathway or a space on black holes that helps with the distribution of the dark matter around the ecstatic Milky Way.

John Tyler Bonner

He is a distinguished biologist that studied at Harvard University then joined Princeton University as a faculty member. As he discovered The Randomness in Evolution, he helped us understand evolution through his cellular slime molds. In which he made an argument for the role that randomness—or chance—plays in evolution. With Darwin’s study on evolution, we have forgotten the importance of randomness.

He explained that organisms of different sizes that its linguistic differences will be random and selection may not be involved to any degree. He explained also on how sexual cycles may vary depending on its size and complexity and how the trend away from randomness in higher forms has even been reversed in some social organisms.

Alan Guth

He is an American theoretical physicist and cosmologist. He originated the Inflation Theory that answers the questions about the Big Bang Theory in which is why is the earth flat, homogeneous or all its parts are the same/alike, isotropic or consists of properties in materials which are independent with direction in examinations such glass and metals, heterogeneous or have different phases or content, and anisotropic or its properties in materials are dependent with direction.

Allen J. Bard

He is an American chemist and a chair professor and director at Center for Electrochemistry at the University of Texas at Austin.

He is known as the “Father of modern electrochemistry”. His current research revolves around the use of sunlight for sustainable energy. He did some tests in his laboratory at the University of Texas in which he is a professor and also a director at Center for Electrochemistry and holds the Norman Hackerman-Welch Regents Chair. He received his doctorate degree from Harvard University. To which he believed and hoped that it would result in artificial photosynthesis.

He believes he must pursue and achieve this goal to help humanity as fossil fuels are running out.

He had published three books such as Electrochemical Methods, with Larry Faulkner, Integrated Chemical Systems, and Chemical Equilibrium, published hundreds of papers and chapters, edited Electroanalytical Chemistry series and the Encyclopedia of the Electrochemistry of the Element. He is also the editor-in-chief of the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

Timothy Berners-Lee

Timothy is also known as “TimBL”, an influential English scientist that made a huge impact on technology by discovering and creating the World Wide Web that we still use until today. He then also executed the first ever successful transmission with the hypertext transfer protocol that we know as http client and server with the use of the internet. He also built the first website at CERN or European Organization for Nuclear Research which appeared online in August of 1991.

In 2013, the Alliance for affordable internet was launched and he spearheaded the federation on both public and private sectors for the known technological company giants such as Google, Facebook, Intel, and Microsoft.

He was awarded with the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering and entered into the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society.

Stephen Hawking

He is a British theoretical physicist and cosmotologist that greatly contributed to what we know of today with the big bang, black holes, and relativity. He is commended on his studies about gravitational singularity theorems in the framework of general relativity, and his prognosis that black holes emit radiation known as the “Hawking radiation”

He is also known as a science popularizer for writing a bestselling book “A Brief History of Time”. In which he wrote for readers that do not have knowledge on physics and to those interested in learning the subject. The book contains non-technical terms and is easy to understand for new modern physics and astronomy curious minds that do not have background about it. He discussed in the book the basic knowledge about space and time, basic components of the Universe, and gravity.

His goal also was to inspire a lot of people with disabilities that he himself has. He was suffering and paralyzed with a sickness called Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis or ALS from the early stages of his life.

Jane Goodall

She is a British primatologist. Jane is also known in the world as the leading expert on chimpanzees in which she studied social and family interactions with wild chimpanzees for over 55 years.

She shared to the world her studies about them that they are capable of learning to make and use certain tools just like us humans do. She also learned through her constant observations that they do become violent and have a capability to find smaller monkeys to prey and eat to be able to survive in the wild.

Jane is also the founder of her own foundation known as the Jane Goodall Institute and became a tireless advocate and voice for conservation, biodiversity and some other environmental causes.

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Ashoke Sen

He is an Indian theoretical physicist that made a great contribution by sharing his study on string theory. String theory is a theory on space particles that he describes as having point-like particles of particle physics being replaced by one-dimensional objects called strings. He showed also how these particles cultivate in space and interrelate with each other. The theory also helped answer and address the questions surrounding fundamental physics.

He is among the first beneficiaries of the Fundamental Physics Prize for showing the way and for realizing that all string theories have different limits of the same concealed theory.

James Watson

He is an American molecular biologist, zoologist and geneticist. He earned his degree at University of Chicago and Indiana University for his PhD and then became a faculty member at Harvard University in the Biology department in which he encouraged the research in molecular biology.

He is known to have co-discovered that DNA molecule consists of double helix structure. Double helix structure is formed by double stranded molecules of nucleic acids or known as the DNA.

He also won together with his colleagues a Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for discovering the molecular structure of nucleic acids and its importance for transfer of information in any living thing.

Tu Youyou

She is a Chinese pharmaceutical chemist and malariologist that focuses on traditional Chinese medicine for cure. She uses the method of artemisinin and dihydroartemisinin to help her patients with malaria that helped people living in tropical climates and improve their health.

She is the first ever Chinese woman to ever win a Nobel Prize for her discovery of an anti-malaria drug that saved a lot of people and even millions around Asia and Africa.

Noam Chomsky

Noam is an American linguist, philosopher, cognitive scientist, historian,[b][c] social critic, and political activist. He is also known sometimes as the “Father of modern linguistics”. Linguistics is the study of human language.

He also founded the field of cognitive science while writing over 150 books on linguistics, war, politics, and mass media. He is also an outspoken rival of the US involvement in the Vietnam War and critic of American foreign policy which he saw as an act of American imperialism. He then shared an anti-war essay titled “Responsibility on Intellectuals” and became a national interest.

Shinya Yamanaka

He is a Japanese stem cell researcher and a Nobel Prize winner. He co-discovered that our existing cells in our body can then be converted into a stem cell. Stem cells or the multicellular organisms are undifferentiated or that can partially differentiate cells into another type of cells and proliferate or known also as cell proliferation. Cell proliferation is a process in which a certain cell grows and divides to produce two daughter cells.

He received his Nobel Prize in 2012 and also received 2013 breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences worth $3 million.

Elizabeth Blackburn

She is an Australian-American Nobel laureate and a former president of Salk Institute for Biological studies. She won her Nobel prize for her research on anti-aging or to be specific her study on the benefits of lengthening telomeres. Telomeres are a region of repetitive nucleotide sequences in which they protect terminal regions of chromosomal DNA from mortifying and ensure the integrity of linear chromosomes by preventing DNA repair.

She co-discovered an enzyme called telomerase that helps replenish and regrow the telomere.

Craig Venter

He is an American biotechnologist and entrepreneur. He is known to be the first man to lead the first study on the sequence of the human genome. Human genome is a set of nucleic acid sequences for humans and has DNA within the 23 chromosome pairs in cell nuclei and in a small DNA molecule found within individual mitochondria.

He also founded Celera Genomics which is a private research group to study the human genome that is a direct rival of the government efforts at the NIH to succeed with results.

He is also committed to teaching science, math, and technology for all students in which they teach them to learn by doing to improve their knowledge on science.

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Lene Vestergaad Hau

She is a Danish physicist and educator. She is also a faculty member at Harvard University for Applied Physics.

She spearheaded a team at Harvard University for their study on slowing down the beam of light with the use of Bose-Einstein condensate. Bose-Einstein condensate or BEC is a state of matter that is typically formed when a boson of gas or it is complete on its own at low densities is cooled and reaches a temperature very close to absolute zero (-273.15C or -459.67F) and on 2001 they were able to stop the beam completely. With these that led them to transfer light to matter and then from matter back to light and this process is important for involvement in quantum encryption or quantum computing.

Andrew H. Knoll

He is Fisher Research Professor of Natural History Research Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University.

He is known to track down microscopic traces of early life or microfossils in various locations around the world. He was discovered at Spitsbergen, Greenland, Siberia, China, Namibia, western North America, and Australia. In each of his discoveries and being among of the very first few people that he then applied the principles of taphonomy or study on how the organisms decay or become fossils and being preserved and the use of paleoecology which is a study on how these organisms interact with each other and how they interact with the environment across its timelines.

He also published four books titled Biology: How Life Works, Fundamentals of Geobiology, The Evolution of Primary Producers in the Sea, and Life on a Young Planet: The First Billion Years of Evolution on Earth. In which he received an award for the book on Life on a Young Planet.

He still continued to study Archean and Proterozoic paleontology and biochemistry and other selected issues on Phanerozoic earth history and was also a member of NASA’s MER rover mission to Mars.

Written by Yna Faundo