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Unknown scientists who changed the world

Joseph Lister (1827 – 1912)

Lister worked as a surgeon at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, his main focus was solving the problem of infected wounds which killed up to 50% of his amputates. Lister revolutionised the cleanliness of hospitals, by forcing his surgeons to wash their hands and surgical equipment before and after the procedure with carbolic acid solution. This discovery has saved millions of lives around the world, and is considered one of the biggest medical breakthroughs in history.

Marie Curie (1867 – 1934)

Not only was she the first woman to win a Noble Prize, she’s the only woman to receive another in two different fields. Specialising in the physics and chemistry field, she discovered polonium and radium.

John Bardeen (1908 – 1991)

With not one, but two Noble prizes under his belt, John Bardeen is a little name everyone loves to forget. An American physicist and electrical engineer; he developed the electrical transistor which is used in virtually every electrical device today. In 1972, Bardeen developed superconductivity which enables us to use CAT and MRI scanners.

Leonardo da Vinci (1452 – 1519)

Da Vinci was truly a man ahead of his time! An artist and innovator, was there anything he couldn’t do? He’s thought to have started the scientific revolution, with his ability to conceptualise technology, centuries before means of production.

James Clerk Maxwell (1831 – 1979)

The father of modern physics, Maxwell was a huge influence in the fields of electricity, thermodynamics, photography and nuclear energy. He discovered the electromagnetic spectrum which led to the development of the television, radio, microwave and telescope. His work even inspired Einstein to create the Special theory of Relativity.

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