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The greatest visionaries in the history of mankind


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Good call classifying Tesla as an inventor, not a scientist. He would not have invented anything without the work done by scientists such as Faraday and Maxwell.

That's true I suppose, though it is also true of any scientist. Standing on the shoulders of giants, and all that.

The OP called for scientific visionaries that were ahead of their time, I would consider Tesla visionary and ahead of his time in the application of science. Whether you consider that "scientific" or not is largely semantic. It's not like he was a writer or philosopher or some other profession completely unrelated to the sciences.

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Agreed. I apologize for being a bit snarky there.

It's just that so many people on the interwebs are fans of Telsa without knowing on who's shoulders he stood, often accompanied by conspiracy crackpottery surrounding Tesla's legacy.

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Agreed. I apologize for being a bit snarky there.

It's just that so many people on the interwebs are fans of Telsa without knowing on who's shoulders he stood, often accompanied by conspiracy crackpottery surrounding Tesla's legacy.

No apology necessary, I've definitely been guilty of going overboard with the snark so I could hardly criticize. :)

It does seem that any great person (scientific or otherwise) seems to attract a bit of hero worship on the internet. There's usually no need to exaggerate their accomplishments, they should stand on their own. The best example I can think of is Steve Jobs, undoubtedly a visionary and pioneer, but some of the things people attribute to him are just ridiculous, bordering on religious fervor.

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Isaac Newton.

Agreed.

Although people know of Newton as a great scientist among others like Einstein and many more. I don't think people appreciate the significance of his work. Before Newton, science itself wasn't really that scientific. It wasn't a such clearly defined discipline either. Its practitioners were often more philosophers, tinkerers, inventors and theologians.

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I think that generally as a rule of thumb, if you have units and theories named after you, you have probably been good :P

I find it kind of cool, that Tesla does have a unit named after him (The Tesla), long before he became a bit of an internet fad, but Edison doesn't.

And it gives me a feel good feeling in a "all scum will eventually be revealed for what they are" way.

Edited by Vaebn
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Alan Bond

10 char.

You are seriously counting a guy who quit BAe to start his own company whose business model is based on luring venture capital to keep afloat as "the greatest visionary in mankind" ? I have no doubt he's a good engineer, rather creative and a bit of a dreamer, but it's a bit ignorant to put him on par with folks like Tesla, Newton, Einstein or Da Vinci until he actually builds something that flies.

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John von Neumann.

He pioneered many radical and cool thing, but the most important of all was the now called von Neumann architecture: computer programs and data could be made up of the same thing, stored the same way in the same place but just treated different by a computer with, get this, a CPU with registers, memory to read/write, a program counter to run programs and an IO bus.... Yep, exactly what we use today.

He also envisioned viruses...

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Third page and no mention of the rocket guys?!?

If it wasn't for Werner Von Braun and Sergei Korolev our space exploration might be decades behind what is is today.

I think Freeman Dyson deserves an honorable mention as well. In the future his designs may well be looked upon like Da Vinci's helicopter.

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