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(Popular Science)   Five beloved scientists who were really dicks   ( divider line
    More: Amusing, Mr. Thomas Alva Edison, Alternating Current, direct currents, scientists, Nobel Prize in Physics, Origin of Species, Army Air Corps, Isaac Newton  
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6525 clicks; posted to Geek » on 23 Aug 2013 at 9:00 AM (4 years ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»

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2013-08-23 09:49:03 AM  
2 votes:
I love a good story as much as the next guy... tell me about infidelity, about how Einstein married is cousin and cheated on her.  Good stuff... allows people to be people, without the deification that occurs.

The most interesting question is why do we idolize PEOPLE?   We know that they have faults, like us, or anyone else... yet we attempt to make them PERFECT.

This same thing happens with celebrities.  Michael Jackson or Woody Allen or Michael Jordan.  I say, LET PEOPLE BE PEOPLE!

They are GOOD at their JOB... being a scientist... or a basketball player... or a musician...  THEY ARE NOT FAULTLESS GODS!

Who are these weak minded people who need to idolize others, to such a Disney extent, that once they find out their faults, the whole image of the person is broken.
Why do we do this as a society?
Why can't we accept that smart / talented people are PEOPLE with FAULTS... they are NOT heroes, idols, or role-models of perfection.
2013-08-23 08:37:16 AM  
2 votes:
Anyone who is remotely familiar with Edison's legacy realizes he was a dick.  That was a major part of his character.
2013-08-23 02:52:49 PM  
1 vote:

You Are All Sheep: Wasn't Edison more of a businessman than a scientist?

Not according to all of our Elementary School teachers... Hell, they even call him an "inventor" in nearly everything about him, when really all he was was a a businessman, like you said. He hired people and then stole their ideas, and history gives HIM the credit for inventing them.

Sure, some have pointed out that this is becoming well known, but it's still important to let people know about this as often as possible, until history accurately portrays the slimeball...
2013-08-23 12:54:38 PM  
1 vote:

Amish Tech Support: Good no Carl Sagan. I would have to go all Jihad if they had Carl Sagan.

If you read his biography, he was more than a bit of a dick in certain situations.  And he definitely didn't treat his first wife well at all (something he realized himself by the end of his life).

Likewise, Stephen Hawking gets dick points for dumping his wife of decades, who helped him through all his important theoretical work as he got sicker and sicker, for a much younger post-grad student.
2013-08-23 12:53:27 PM  
1 vote:
Copperbelly watersnake:
I'm surprised they left off Watson and Crick for failing to recognize the woman who did a lot of the ground work on the discovery of DNA.

Watson is not exactly "beloved".  Apparently he's been the biggest farking pig in biology for decades, you can't invite the guy to speak at a conference without him showing up and saying something horribly sexist, racist or otherwise inappropriate.

(The same Wikipedia section suggests Franklin did not harbour obvious ill-will against Watson, but she may have not realized she was being screwed out of a Nobel Prize, not cared as long as she got to Do Science, or simply decided to be the bigger (wo)man...)
2013-08-23 12:04:12 PM  
1 vote:
A compelling case can be made that Newton's increasingly erratic and belligerent behavior later in life was attributable to an accumulated dosage of mercury, which he used in his alchemical work. After his exhumation, testing revealed massive amounts of mercury in his body.
2013-08-23 11:23:52 AM  
1 vote:
Good no Carl Sagan. I would have to go all Jihad if they had Carl Sagan.

I miss you CS.
I hope you're doing advanced mathematics with Jesus.
2013-08-23 10:24:53 AM  
1 vote:
Wasn't Edison more of a businessman than a scientist?
2013-08-23 10:13:15 AM  
1 vote:
List fails without Tycho Brahe. When you go through life with a metal nose because your natural one was cut off in duel with your third cousin over an academic disagreement, you might have an attitude problem.
2013-08-23 09:24:13 AM  
1 vote:
It's good to see Shockley getting a historic rep as an ass.

But remember the Feynman had the biggest penis in physics. He spent a year in a Brazilian hotel with stewardesses for farks sake.
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