Learn about the history of science by reading about the significant scientific events that took place on this day in history.
1997 - Alexander Robertus Todd died.Todd was a Scottish biochemist who was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work with nucleotides, nucleosides and their co-enzymes. He studied the structure and synthesis of many of these compounds that are the building blocks of DNA and RNA. He also synthesized two important biochemical compounds: adenosine triphosphate or ATP and flavin adenine dinucleotide or FAD.
1936 - Robert Woodrow Wilson was born.Wilson is an American astronomer who shares half the 1978 Nobel Prize in Physics with Arno Allan Penzias for the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background radiation. CMB radiation is the background radio 'noise' that is believed to be the remnant radiation from the Big Bang.
1916 - Sune K. Bergström was born.Bergström was a Swedish biochemist who shares the 1982 Nobel Prize in Medicine with Bengt Samuelsson and John R. Vane for their discoveries concerning prostaglandins and related substances. Prostaglandins are biochemical compounds that influence physiological phenomena such as blood pressure, body temperature, and allergic reactions.
1770 - Carolus Linnaeus died.
Linnaeus was a Swedish biologist who was a pioneer in modern taxonomy. He introduced the naming scheme for plants and animals known as binomial nomenclature. An organism is known by a two part name involving it's genus and species name. For example, humans are Homo Sapiens, house cats are Felis catus, wolves are Canis lupus.
1654 - Nicholas Culpeper died.
Culpeper was an English physician and herbalist who documented the medicinal benefits of several English herbs. His Complete Herbal, published in 1653, was an attempt to provide medical information to the general public to treat their own sicknesses and ailments. This book is one of the most successful non-religious English books ever written and is still in print today.
1573 - Simon Marius was born.
Marius was a German astronomer who was one of the first to use a telescope. He had a dispute with Galileo for priority of the discovery of Jupiter's four largest moons. He did not receive the credit, but his names: Io, Europa, Calisto, and Ganymede are still used today. He also recorded observations of the 'nebula' Andromeda noting it got brighter in the center than the edges. Today, we know Andromeda is a nearby galaxy.