Our sense of exploration, curiosity, and purpose in life are said to be intrinsic within us, a sort of a built-in kit in humans.
We seek purpose in life, we strive for knowing our place in the universe and the reasons of why we’re here, and we take steps in learning about all that by exploring the small and the large in the universe, even if the sizes exceed our perception; or shall I say especially when they do.
Unfortunately, for many of us, life has pushed us into never-ending loops of daily routines, difficulties, wars, fictional beliefs and things that seem monumental in most of people’s points of view but are trifling when looked at from a cosmic perspective.
I mean, look at this picture of Earth. Not only is it a tiny spec in a space that is stupendous beyond imagination, but look at its lands and waters. Really take the time to contemplate the continuity and combination of its elements.
Now, think about your problems, your predispositions, your how-do-you-dos, and evaluate them from this vantage point.
How do you feel about them?
Yet, these issues have made us forget some of our most precious abilities: our capacity to imagine and seek knowledge about the universe of which we are a part, and at the same time, that is a part of us.
Luckily though, some people kept their focus on those abilities, developed them, and helped nurture them within us by inspiring us and telling us about the physical world perhaps in the most poetic sense possible. These individuals have made people, like me, fall in love with the universe.
If you want to be inspired or you’re feeling like you lost your purpose…maybe you simply feel disconnected from the beauty of nature…
This is your sign…
Your piece of inspiration that you need today!
Here are 5 brilliant scientists who have inspired us and enriched our imagination and knowledge with the beauty of science and the physical world.
1. Carl Sagan
Carl Sagan (1934-1996-∞) not only was an experienced astronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, and astrobiologist, but he was famously a science popularizer, influencing millions and millions of people through his writings, talks, TV series, and most importantly, his poetic way of delivery of information about the physical world and humanity’s endeavours towards understanding it. Carl is well-known for his epoch-making book/TV series, Cosmos. If you haven’t read or watched it yet, I highly recommend it.
Click here to check out some of Sagan’s best-selling books.
2. Neil deGrasse Tyson
Neil deGrasse Tyson (1958-present) is a famous astrophysicist and science communicator. Fun fact: Back when he was a 17-year old kid, he applied to Cornell University, and Carl Sagan, who was teaching at Cornell at the time, saw his application and invited him in, giving him a tour around the campus. He also gave him one of his books, The Cosmic Connection, and inscribed it “to a future astronomer.”
I already knew I wanted to become a scientist, but that afternoon I learned from Carl the kind of person I wanted to become. He reached out to me and to countless others. Inspiring so many of us to study, teach, and do science. Science is a cooperative enterprise, spanning the generations.
Niel deGrasse Tyson
He was the host of the 2014 TV series Cosmos: A Space Odyssey, which followed Sagan’s 1980 TV series Cosmos: A Personal Voyage. Tyson also has a podcast called StarTalk, where he shares his insights and conversations on science, space, and pop culture.
Click here to check out some of Tyson’s best-selling books.
3. Richard P. Feynman
Richard P. Feynman (1918-1988-∞) was a theoretical physicist at Caltech, known for his contributions in quantum electrodynamics (QED), which won him a Noble Prize in Physics in 1965, and famous for his 1959 talk “There’s plenty of room at the bottom,” which inspired the field of nanotechnology into existence.
He was well-known for his witty remarks and fun approach to life and science, and was titled The Great Explainer.
Not only is he publicly known for finding the cause of the Challenger shuttle disaster that happened in 1986 by simply using a cup of ice water, but his historic lectures were riveting to a whole generation of physicists. One mental model for effective learning has been named after him as in The Feynman Technique.
Feynman loved art and painting, cracked safes for fun, claimed he had synaesthesia (seeing certain letters in his equations in colour), and had a van with a license plate displaying “quantum” and weird drawings on the van’s sides, which turned out to be the diagrams describing his QED theory.
Click here to check out some of Feynman’s best-selling books.
4. Stephen Hawking
Stephen Hawking (1942-2018-∞) was a prominent theoretical physicist and cosmologist at the University of Cambridge. In 1963, he contracted ALS, a motor neuron disease, and was told that he had a mere 2 years to live. Fortunately, that turned into 55 years with a lifetime of achievements and endless inspiration to millions of people.
He aspired to reach a “one single unifying equation that explains everything in the universe.” He is well-known for his works on gravitational singularities, black holes, and his beautiful depiction of the universe in his best-selling books.
Stephen Hawking’s writings, talks, and even cameos on pop media continue to inspire people all around the world.
The Theory of Everything is an amazing biographical movie about his life. I highly recommend it.
Click here to check out some of Hawking’s best-selling books.
5. Richard Dawkins
Richard Dawkins (1941-present) is an evolutionary biologist and ethologist. Known for his strong advocacy of Darwin’s Theory of Evolution and for being a representative character of the atheist community, Dawkins elegant writings and exquisite delivery gives you no chance but to sit and read/listen to his words. His description of evolution and natural selection is as beautiful as it could ever be.
His gene-centred reformulation of the theory of evolution and natural selection in 1976 propelled him into popularity, with his best-selling book, The Selfish Gene. Fun fact: He coined the word “meme,” which stood for the behavioural counterpart of a gene, before it became the meme that the internet world knows today.
Arguably one of Richard Dawkins’ biggest inspirational aspects is his pursuit and conveyance of the truth, regardless of how one feels about it. He is a big critic of faith and faith-based approaches to life, as faith is “belief in the absence of evidence.”
Click here to check out some of Dawkins’ best-selling books.
Hey you! I got some exciting news! 🔥
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Born in 1992 in El Chouf, Lebanon, Samir grew up dreaming of becoming a scientist and an explorer. Today, he is a former bioengineering and nanotechnology research engineer who has contributed to award-winning projects on cancer diagnosis and silicon-based nanofabrication. He is currently a science communicator and content writer, and is influenced by scientists such as Carl Sagan, Richard Feynman, Richard Dawkins and Stephen Hawking.
Living between Lebanon and Germany, he aims to inform, inspire, educate and entertain readers in various areas of science and engineering by simplifying complex topics, triggering curiosity, provoking thoughts about science and the natural world, and as he says, “gradually bridging the information gap.”