Saturday, May 8, 2010

Irish Scientists

Just recently Irish national broadcaster RTE decided to conduct a poll for the 40 greatest Irish people. I must admit I was very shocked by some of the people who made it into the final 40. We are a nation who prides itself on our national heritage and history, yet in the so called 40 greatest Irish people we find the likes of Stephen Gately, Ronan Keating, Louise Walsh, Roy Keane, Liam Neeson, Daniel O Donnell, Colin Farrell, Bono etc. Seriously is this the best we could come up with?

Where are some of great scientists that were born here? We are a small nation but we have produced some very fine scientists. So starting this week I will write a piece on a few of these people who have graced us with their presence. Each week I will add another. I have chosen a few that I have a good knowledge of, if there is any you think that I should add please feel free to comment and I will try to put together a piece on them. The list I am going to work off is as follows;

There are several great contributors I have missed out on and time permitting I will try and return to them and give them the recognition they deserve. First thing from this list I have complied here is the lack of women. It may have to do with the lifestyle in years gone by that women were not encouraged more to do science as a possible career but the two women on this list have made significant contributions to their respective fields.

I decided to start with Ernest Walton as he was born only a few miles from I live. He is our only ever Noble prize winner in science. I still feel Jocelyn Bell Burnell should be our second but controversially she was over looked while her associates received the Noble prize.


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