Scientists are perhaps the most prominent people in the world today. With that, we share with you just some of the greatest modern scientists that we regard as having most profoundly influenced our world.
Who are the top scientists, the most forward-thinking and advanced scientific minds, in the world today?
In no particular order, here’s a debatable list of top 23 scientists from around the world who have made a great impact on our life.
The World’s 23 Greatest Living Scientists
- Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee, also known as TimBL, best known as the inventor of the “World Wide Webm,” he is currently a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Oxford, U.K.
- Stephen Hawking, Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge. Hawking, whose work on the nature of space and time remains groundbreaking and whose story of personal triumph despite suffering a neuro-muscular dystrophy has inspired millions
- Jane Goodall, considered to be the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees, she is the founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and the Roots & Shoots programme.
- Alan Guth, whose idea of inflationary cosmology has revolutionized our understanding of the Big Bang and the large scale structure of the universe.
- Ashoke Sen, an Indian theoretical physicist and distinguished professor at the Harish-Chandra Research Institute, Allahabad.
- James Watson, an American molecular biologist, geneticist and zoologist, Known as the co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953.
- Tu Youyou, a Chinese pharmaceutical chemist – best known for discovering artemisinin (also known as qinghaosu) and dihydroartemisinin, used to treat malaria.
- Noam Chomsky, best known as “the father of modern linguistics,” has fundamentally reshaped the field of psychology, not least by dethroning behaviorism through his ideas about the innateness of language.
- Shinya Yamanaka, a Japanese Nobel Prize-winning stem cell researcher.
- Elizabeth Blackburn, an Australian-American Nobel laureate who is currently the President of the Salk Institute for Biological Studies
- E. O. Wilson has been called “the father of sociobiology” and “the father of biodiversity.”
- Andrew Wiles, a British mathematician and a Royal Society Research Professor at the University of Oxford, specialising in number theory. Known for proving Fermat’s Last Theorem.
- Steven Weinberg, an American theoretical physicist and Nobel laureate in Physics.
- Craig Venter, whose completion of the Human Genome Project and continued work on synthetic genomes and artificially constructed cells is fundamentally challenging our understanding of life.
- Charles Townes, who invented the laser, which is now ubiquitous in technology and ordinary life.
- Frederick Sanger, whose research first revealed the structure of proteins, work for which he received the first of two Nobel Prizes in chemistry.
- Allan Sandage, who continued the work of the legendary Edwin Hubble to become the world’s greatest living observational astronomer.
- Roger Penrose, who has broken new ground not only in fundamental physics but also on its connections to human consciousness.
- Gordon Moore, who as founder of Intel merged business and science in bringing about the information technology revolution (“Moore’s Law” is named after him).
- Lynn Margulis, whose ideas about symbiogenesis have vastly enriched conventional ways of understanding biological evolution.
- Donald Knuth, whose work on the theory of the algorithm has transformed the field of computer science.
- Persi Diaconis, who in merging the mathematical theory of groups with statistics has radically reconfigured our understanding of randomness.
- Richard Dawkins, whose use of evolutionary biology has shaped the way we understand ourselves at the most fundamental levels.