Famous Scientists

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The Wonder of Avi Loeb

The physicist thinks we might have glimpsed evidence of an alien civilization. Despite controversy, he’s determined to find more

Jacques-Louis David, Antoine Laurent Lavoisier (1743–1794) and Marie Anne Lavoisier (Marie Anne Pierrette Paulze, 1758–1836), 1788

Art Meets Science

Iconic Portrait of French Chemist and His Wife Once Looked Entirely Different

Jacques-Louis David's 1789 painting originally depicted Antoine and Marie Anne Lavoisier as wealthy elites, not modern scientists

Townsend captured the Oregon dark-eyed junco, above, and the Townsend’s warbler, below, named after him—for now.

Birds Collected Nearly Two Centuries Ago Still Help Scientists Today

The specimens gathered during an illustrious expedition by naturalist John Kirk Townsend continue to provide value to researchers

Albert Einstein arrived in New York on the SS Rotterdam IV; crowds of people awaited his arrival in the States.

One Hundred Years Ago, Einstein Was Given a Hero's Welcome by America's Jews

The German physicist toured the nation as a fundraiser for Zionist causes, even though he was personally torn on the topic of a Jewish nation

Newton held unconventional religious beliefs and dabbled in alchemy and the occult.

Isaac Newton Thought the Great Pyramid Held the Key to the Apocalypse

Papers sold by Sotheby's document the British scientist's research into the ancient Egyptians and the Bible

A 1928 portrait of physicist Albert Einstein by Lotte Jacobi

Tesla's Patents, Einstein's Letters and an Enigma Machine Are Up for Auction

Christie's Eureka! sale features personal and academic objects owned by 20th-century scientists

Chinese authorities found that He's team falsified regulatory paperwork.

Scientist Behind First CRISPR-Modified Babies Sentenced to Three Years in Prison

He Jiankui faced backlash immediately after announcing the twins’ birth late last year

Scientific illustrations, Humboldt once wrote, should “speak to the senses without fatiguing the mind.” His famous illustration of Chimborazo volcano in Ecuador shows plant species living at different elevations.

Alexander von Humboldt

The Pioneering Maps of Alexander von Humboldt

Beautiful and insightful, the illustrations of the German naturalist helped shape a new understanding of the world

Margaret Rossiter's research spotlights the women in science whose intellectual contributions have not been given their due.

Women in Science

Women Scientists Were Written Out of History. It's Margaret Rossiter's Lifelong Mission to Fix That

The historian has devoted her career to bringing to light the ingenious accomplishments of those who have been forgotten

Alan Turing Will Be the New Face of Britain’s £50 Note

Persecuted at the end of his life, the British mathematician and code-breaker is now widely admired as a father of computer science

Botanist George Washington Carver, seen here in a 1940 photo, donated $33,000 in cash to the Tuskegee Institute to establish a fund to carry on the agricultural and chemical work he began.

In Search of George Washington Carver’s True Legacy

The famed agriculturalist deserves to be known for much more than peanuts

Some of the ‘remarkable beetles’ Wallace collected in Borneo.

Tracing Alfred Russel Wallace’s Footsteps Through the Jungles of Borneo

A biologist treks to the site where the little-known naturalist penned a paper on evolution that would spur on a rivalrous Charles Darwin

Stephen Hawking's memorial stone in Westminster Abbey.

Trending Today

A Message From Stephen Hawking Is On Its Way to a Black Hole

After his ashes were interred at Westminster Abbey, a musical composition and "message of hope" were broadcast toward 1A 0620-00, the nearest black hole

Stephen Hawking's Stark Warning for Humans to Leave Earth

In one of his final on-camera appearances, iconic physicist Stephen Hawking issued a warning to humanity about the existential threats we face

Albert and Elsa Einstein in Japan

When Albert Einstein Visited Japan

As he traveled through Asia, including a trip to Palestine, the brilliant scientist discovered much he didn’t understand

How It All Began: A Colleague Reflects On the Remarkable Life of Stephen Hawking

The physicist probed the mysteries of black holes, expanded our understanding of the universe and captured the world's imagination, says Martin Rees

Hilleman's one-year-old daughter Kirsten (center, with her sister Jeryl Lynn and Dr. Robert Weibel) became the first to receive the mumps vaccine.

The Next Pandemic

You Should Thank Maurice Hilleman for Helping You Live Past the Age of 10

A new Smithsonian podcast tells the story of the “Greatest Scientist of the 20th Century”

A replica of Foucault's famous experiment at the Museo Nazionale della Scienza e Tecnica in Milan, Italy

Ask Smithsonian

How Does Foucault's Pendulum Prove the Earth Rotates?

This elegant scientific demonstration has been delighting everyday people for nearly 200 years

The reproductive organs of Schlumbergera, known as the Holiday Cactus. This was heady stuff in Erasmus Darwin's time.

Charles Darwin’s Grandfather Was Famous for His Poems About Plant Sex

Erasmus Darwin’s poetics influenced his grandson’s vision of nature

Cool Finds

Einstein's Maxims on Life Fetch $1.8 Million at Auction

The notes were given as a tip to a Tokyo bellboy in 1922

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