Story of SUBJECTS and the Scientists, Explorers, Philosophers &Thinkers
It all started some billions and billions of year back and we keep reading the figure between the 12-13 billion years with the master stroke of Big Bang. Suddenly everything changed and changed for a better world. The birth of matter and energy, and everything around us revolves around these two things.
This led to the story of what we call it today Physics.
Once matter came into existence we could see a plethora of activities and there were atoms and molecules who started to work their way out. The amino acids are the building blocks of life. And we had the chemical properties of these tiny things make titanic difference to our basic formation of life forms.
This led to the story of what we call it today Chemistry.
The beginning of a magical period when atoms combined and molecules started to form the structure, and the genesis of species. The organisms started to crawl and then walk out of the molecular structures and we had the life form in its full form. A whole gamut of new spices took charge of the planet earth.
This led to the story of what we call it today Biology.
There were different species that started to occupy the different parts of the world, and there was a huge struggle and then there was fight between the species gain their legitimacy of the land. They had to talk and it was through signs and symbols before the words and sound took charge of the mode of communication. The genesis of language began with a single gene mutation some 30-40 thousands of years back.
This led to the story of what we call it today Language.
The nature was a storehouse of phenomena and patterns. This kept the human mind in a state of intrigue and was curious to know the logic behind the magic. The human mind started calculating and combining the observations into definite analysis and the numerical and equations unravel the mystery.
This led to the story of what we call it today Mathematics.
Then we had a flurry of activities with the descending of Homo sapiens and the formation of community, the building of societies and the transformation of civilizations. The communication and interactions between communities and societies across different parts of the world brought in a different science into play.
This led to the story of what we call it today Social Science.
Physics remains the fundamental branch of science that deals with the nature and properties of matter and energy and it is generally get divided into classical and modern physics. It is basically a study of the interactions of physical systems.
- Isaac Newton
Sir Isaac Newton contribution to the field of maths and physics is what set the world rolling and rocking. He developed both the differential and integral Calculus remains the important chapter for learning higher mathematics. But his greatest discovery of gravitational force redefined the way we have looked at the physical world.
- Niels Bohr
The Danish physicists made extensive contribution in the area of atomic structure and quantum mechanics. He contributed to the idea that electrons have energy levels with specific amount of energy. Bohr’s atomic model describes the structure of atom. But his discovery of nucleus and atomic model earned him a Noble Prize. He was between the period (1885-1962).
- Albert Einstein
The German physicists developed the theory of relativity that is one pillar of modern physics along with quantum mechanics. Though he known for his mass-energy equivalence equation e=mc^2. He was awarded the Noble Prize for Physics for his services to Theoretical Physics and especially for his law of photoelectric effect. He was between the period (1879-1955).
- Robert Hooke
He was Britisher, a natural philosopher. He proposed the law of elasticity better known as the Hooke’s Law. It states that for relatively small deformations of an object, the displacement or the size of deformation is directly proportional to the force.
- Michael Faraday
He was a British scientist. He is considered as the “Father of Electricity”. He worked extensively in the field of magnetism and electricity. He managed to convert gases into liquid form. He was the discovered of electromagnetic induction later known as Faraday’s Law of Induction.
- Stephen Hawking
He was physicists and cosmologist. He is known for his scientific work in explaining the Black Holes and advances in the General Theory of Relativity and Quantum Mechanics. He was born exactly 300 years after the death of Galileo.
Chemistry is that branch of physical science that deals with properties and components of matter. The universe is composed of matter. There is an interaction between these diverse set of matters. The relationship that arises out of these interactions is fascinating to study and demystified the mystery of chemical reactions. There are many who have contributed to development of this very subject and here are just few names and their body of great work.
- Robert Boyle
He is considered as the first modern chemist. His book titled as “The Sceptical Chymyst” is a foundation source for the course in chemistry. According to Boyle’s Law in a closed system at constant temperature, the absolute volume and pressure of gas are inversely proportional. He coined the tem “cell”.
- Dmitri Mendeleev
He was a Russian deeply passionate about chemistry. He invented the Periodic Table. He unraveled that the physical and chemical properties of the elements were related to the atomic mass in a periodic way. He also worked on the capillarity of liquids to spectroscope.
- Otto Hahn
A German chemist, he was the winner of Noble Prize in chemistry for the discovery of nuclear fission. He is considered as the father of nuclear chemistry. His extensive work in the area of radioactivity and radiochemistry led to the development of nuclear chemistry.
- Thomas Graham
He was a British chemist and he was known for his pioneering work in the area of dialysis. He was known for his study of the behaviors of gases. His work on the diffusion of gases led to the formulation of Graham’s Law. He separated crystalloids from colloids.
- Marie Curie
Also known as Madame Curie, she was born in Poland but later became a French citizen. She was both a chemist and physicist, and she was the first woman to win Nobel Prize and more importantly she won the prize for both Chemistry in 1903 and Physics in 1911. She was known for her discovery of chemical elements of radium and polonium. She introduced the theory of radioactivity and developing the techniques for isolating isotopes.
- Alfred Nobel
He was the inventor of dynamite and other explosives. He was also a businessman and philanthropist. He had hundreds of patent under his belt and one of his earliest works was in the area of gas meters. The will of Swedish scientist Alfred Nobel established the prizes in 1895.
Biologists from the antiquity to medieval period to modern age have contributed in development and betterment of human life and living. It is a holistic study of the cell structure, the molecular interactions to the complex process of human evolution. They are engaged in a fundamental research to deeply explore the underlying mechanism that governs the functioning of living beings so as to develop a better understanding and expand the horizon of known knowledge.
He was the Greek Biologist known as the “Father of Western Medicine” he has written the guide of how a physician should treat his patients and also he authored the Hippocratic Oath which doctor uses today as the part of their practice.
He is the great Greek philosopher better known as the teacher of the Alexandria the Great. His contribution ranged from metaphysics to mathematics but a solid contribution to biology to medicine. He classified organisms into a ladder of life, and separated animals into two categories animals with blood and animals without blood.
The Greek physician and philosopher in the Roman Empire significantly contributed to the field of medicine and presented revolutionized thoughts from the subject of pathology to neurology. He studied the circulatory system in human body. He was the first to have discovered and differentiated between veins and arteries, also stated that it was larynx that generated sound.
- Charles Darwin
He is considered as the Father of Evolution. In 1859, his book “On the Origin of Species” captures the theories of evolution. Darwinism states that species change over time due to natural selection process through adaptations. He established all species of life have descended from common ancestors and new species have emerged through the process of natural selection.
- Anton Leeuwenhoek
A Dutch scientist he is considered the father of Microbiology. He handcrafted his own microscope for doing the research work. He was instrumental in revolutionizing biological science exposing microscopic life to the world. He discovered “protozoa” – the single cell organism.
It is about the study of earth as it exists, the surface, the atmosphere, the diverse landscapes, different places, people, movement of people, each region, human and environment interactions. Here comes the role of explorer and navigators, the need for venturing out and discovering things that has been away from the human establishment, and learning the laws of nature and how they affect our life and living on this richly diverse planet of ours.
He was a geographer; mathematician and astronomer lived in the city of Alexandria in Egypt. He was considered to be the father of geography as he was the first to use the word geography. He was best known for his accurate measurement of the circumference of Earth, he stated it to be 250,000 stadia.
- Alexander von Humboldt
He was an explorer, the founder of Modern Geography. He traveled to South America and explored the topography and geography of the vast landscape along the Orinco River. He has written extensively in book called as Kosmos and volumes on his filed studies during number of expeditions that he undertook in his life.
- Christopher Columbus
The Italian explorer and navigator is known for discovery of new world and he was credited for opening up new continents to the European civilization that led to American colonization. His wide spread expedition led to unravel a whole new set of activities from transfer of people to materials to animals to plants to culture to disease to different continents.
- James Cook
The English explorer and navigator is best known for his voyage into Pacific ocean mapped the ocean and also application of scientific methods towards exploration. He was the first European to discover the Hawaiian Islands and later discovered New Zealand and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
- Carl Ritter
The German geographer along with Alexander Humboldt founded the geographical science. He is also considered one of the founder of Modern Geography. In 1817, his published the first major work titled as “Die Erdkunde”, a geographical study of the world.
Language is the central connector for the human community it encompasses the living, the working to thinking to development of culture and civilization. It is vital to the existence of human being. Language is more than mere words it is about the formation of sentences and checking the grammatical accuracy. The philosophy of language deals with the relationship between language and reality of life.
- Ludwig Wittgenstein
An Austrian-British philosopher who is considered as one of the most influential philosopher of 20th century, though his worked extensively in the area of logic to the philosophy of mind to mathematics to critically dissects the philosophy of language. He was gripped with the game of unraveling the difficulties of language, getting us out of riddle of words tangling our communication.
There has always been the contesting discourse on nature vs. nurture and Plato has always been in favor of nature and believed that knowledge is innate. These things he has extensively discussed in Phaedo to the Sophist but Cratylus is entirely dedicated to the issue of language.
- Noam Chomsky
An American philosopher, he was as a famous linguist and cognitive scientist he proposed that we are all born with innate knowledge of grammar that serves as the basis for all our language acquisition. The evidence for this reflects in how fast we learn the language; human beings are inherently programmed for language. He has written hundred of books and few of the best known are “Language and Mind” to “Syntactic Structure”.
Mathematics has been bedrock of all subjects and furthering the development through the complex mathematical models. The greatest of genius at work, they have mastered this subject of numbers and formulas and their seminal work kept pushing the boundaries in maths and all other subjects from physics to chemistry to biology.
The Greek philosopher known as the father of numbers discovered the “Pythagorean Theorem”. The formula simply states that in a right angle triangle, the square of the hypotenuse is equal to the sum of the squares of other two sides.
He was both a mathematician and a physicist. The greatest scholar of ancient era and who work in the computation of volume and area of shape has shaped our thinking on the field of mathematics. He is known for his “Archimedes Principles” which states that a body immersed in fluid loses weight equal to the weight of the amount of fluid it displaces.
The Greek mathematician is considered the father of geometry. His book titled Elements has been the fundamental book to teach mathematics. This “Euclidean Geometry” is considered to the greatest piece of historical work in the field of mathematics.
The greatest India scholar contributed zero and the approximate value of pi that led to the subsequently development in the field of mathematics. His major work “Aryabhatiya” a compendium of mathematics and astronomy, the mathematical part included arithmetic to algebra to trigonometry.
Social Science as subject encompasses many sub areas including that of anthropology to sociology to psychology. It is the study of composition of individuals and community of people staying together. How do they demonstrate their behavioral patterns as they interact and engage for diverse activities from work to pleasure? There are many great scientists and thinkers who looked beyond the mere scientific world and world where the human behaviors and human relationship matters…the social scientists. It is basically about the culture and the behavioral science behind the social phenomena that we find difficult to dissect and decipher.
- Auguste Comte
He was a French philosopher and was the first to coin the term “social science”. A prominent figure during the French Revolution and in which he worked on a doctrine based on science. He divided the subject of sociology into two broad fields one (social statics) that deals with the study of forces that hold society together and second (social dynamics) with the study of cause behind the social changes.
- Max Weber
He was one of the founding thinkers of sociology, and best know for his thesis of “Protestant Ethics” In his book “Economy and Society” he dealt on money power and social stratification i.e. possession of wealth to professional position to political affiliations creates an interplay resulting in our hierarchical society. He focused on the question of individual freedom in a rationalized society. According to him social science is value driven. He was one of principal architect of constructing the premise of modern social science.
- Karl Max
He was fundamentally a social scientist and worked on the proponent of communism. Much of his theories are captured in his famous work “Communist Manifesto” and “Das Kapital” He had focused on the area (social order) i.e. society structure and class hierarchy evolves out of the economic churning of the society. He believed that the critical part in the control of proletariat is through the use of alienation in every sphere of society from family to education to working.
The schools are moving beyond the boundary of classroom and physical campus, digital campus is virtually redefining the contours of learning. Subjects cannot be left behind the scene. The curriculum in schools are structured around these fundamental subjects of science to social science. These have been there for centuries and why not, the story of subjects has been for ages. Then the question how long should we piggyback on the old horses to ride the wave of new age learning.
Where are the new thinkers and philosophers?
Isn’t it time to subject the subjects to deeper scrutiny and set new interdisciplinary subjects into vogue? And Finland as a country has already made the first move by doing away with these traditional subjects and getting the students skilled with disjointed subjects…
Nihar R Pradhan