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Famous Scientists: Year 3

Books In the Library

Great Scientists

Be an eyewitness to great scientists and their discoveries. From Benjamin Franklin's electrical charges to Albert Einstein's theory of relativity, meet the people whose discoveries have shaped our world, and find out all about their lives and their lasting impact today.


Get data driven answers to all your questions about plants.

Explore with James Cook

Follow the travels of British explorer and navigator James Cook who sailed across the Pacific Ocean on three expeditions, claiming Australia and New Zealand for the British Empire - as well as sailing around the world not once but twice.

Mary Anning

The day little Mary joined her father on a walk to the beach to look for stones and shells, she became an avid fossil hunter. Aged 12, she uncovered a giant fossilised marine reptile called Ichthyosaurus -- one of the most important prehistoric discoveries of all time. Fossil after fossil, her discoveries sparked a worldwide interest in palaeontology.

Stolen science : thirteen untold stories of scientists and inventors almost written out of history

Over the centuries, women, immigrants and people from underrepresented communities, made remarkable discoveries in science, but they were not the ones to receive credit in history books. With art, biographies and explanations of the exact science behind these discoveries, Stolen Science celebrates the accomplishments of thirteen underrecognized men and women.

Andre Marie Ampere

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André-Marie Ampère was known as the father of the theory of electromagnetism. He heard of the work of the Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted, who had observed that an electric current deflects a magnetic needle. After that, he quickly formulated a theoretical explanation of electromagnetism and related phenomena. His theories formed the basis for the science of electrodynamics.

Adelle Davis

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Adelle Davis was a popular yet controversial American writer and nutritionist. She focused on the lack of proper nutrition in an average processed food American diet and advocated eating natural foods and vitamins supplements. Adelle Davis coined the well-known phrase, “Eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper.”

Inge Lehmann

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Inge Lehmann was a Danish seismologist and geophysicist. In 1936, she discovered that the Earth has a solid inner core inside a molten outer core, using mathematics to analyze the way energy released by earthquakes travels through the earth. She was also one of the longest-lived scientists, having lived for over 104 years.

Ivan Pavlov

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Ivan Pavlov was a Russian and Soviet experimental neurologist, psychologist and physiologist. The work that made Pavlov a household name actually began as a study in digestion. He was looking at the digestive process in dogs, especially the interaction between salivation and the action of the stomach. 

James Clerk Maxwell

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James Clerk Maxwell was a Scottish scientist who made many discoveries about how we see light and colour. Most of his work was done on electricity, light and electromagnetism. His theory on light and colour is used today in the colour screens on our computers and mobile phones.

Joseph Banks

Joseph Banks, as painted by Sir Joshua Reynolds in 1773.
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Sir Joseph Banks was an English naturalist, botanist and patron of the natural sciences. He traveled extensively, collecting plant and natural history specimens in his journeys. He took part in Captain James Cook's first great voyage from 1768 to 1771. He discovered and collected plants such as AcaciaMimosa, Eucalyptus and Banksia. Joseph Banks had about 80 species of plants named after him.

Joseph Lister

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Joseph Lister was a British scientist who noticed that surgery patients often died from infection. He developed a method for keeping microbes, or germs, from entering the body during and after an operation.

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Jan Ingenhousz

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Jan Ingenhousz was a Dutch-born physician, chemist, and plant physiologist. He discovered photosynthesis and showed that green plants in sunlight convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, which they release from the undersides of their leaves.

Marie Curie

Image source: Britannica School

Marie Curie was a Polish physicist, chemist, and feminist. She researched radioactivity. She was the first woman professor at the University of Paris. She was also the first woman to win a Nobel Prize and the first person to win two Nobel Prizes.

Mary Anning

Portrait of Mary Anning with her dog Tray
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Mary Anning was an early 19th-century British fossil collector, dealer and paleontologist. She earned her living finding and preparing fossils. She made many important finds such as the first ichthyosaur skeleton to be correctly identified and the first two plesiosaur skeletons ever found.

William Gilbert

Image source: Britannica School

William Gilbert was an English physician who wrote a six-volume treatise that compiled all of the information regarding magnetism and electricity known at the time. After years of experiments, he concluded that a compass needle points north–south and dips downward because Earth acts as a bar magnet.