Which country made best science/technology contribution?

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Mar 2012
18,030
In the bag of ecstatic squirt
#22
Ah, yes, thanks for reminding me about Japan!

And I think the Germans surpassed the entire world in engineering during WW2. In fact, some people can argue that they still surpass the whole world in engineering today.
There are four stages of engineering,

Poor, good, excellent, and German.
It won't be used in advertisements for nothing.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
5,566
#23
Let's put it like this:
As far as history of science goues, you can't really understand what the US did in the 20th c. without understanding what the Germans did in the 19th c., and you can understand what the Germans did in the 19th c. without undertanding what the French did in the 18th c. Prior to that we tend to get into trouble over quite how our concept of "science" applies to what people where doing in the 17th c., but in the 1950's historians of science came up with the umbrella concept of the "scientific revolution" for that period. It gathers up contributions from all over the place, but the English might deserve a special nod for Bacon, the Royal Society (Boyle and Hooke), and Newton — though others will point to Copernicus, Vesalius, Gallileo etc.
 

Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
#25
Science and technology are separate but somewhat related topics. And people from many countries contributed in Europe - it was not exclussively or "almost exclussively" the british I think - there is many well known names from other countries than Britain, Germany, France.
 
Jun 2012
1,473
Florida
#26
It always amazes me why the "British" never seem to want to acknowledge the contribution of other peoples to their innovations and inventions. The British contribution is huge, I agree, but nearly every British contribution, whether is was from Isaac Newton or Maxwell was built on the intellectual and scientific work of other peoples of which these British individuals merely contributed to that work. But God forbid, if the British were to give credit to other nationalities for their innovations or if any British person were to admit, "Oh yeah. I guess there are other peoples that contributed to the foundation of calculus and that Isaac Newton did not come up with calculus out of thin air."

[ame="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_calculus"]History of calculus - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
 
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Fantasus

Ad Honorem
Jan 2012
2,381
Northern part of European lowland
#27
There is also the famous scientists, that originated in another country, like Haerschel, who came from Germany to England, and immigrant inventors to US, like Tezla.
 
Mar 2011
1,986
Bulgaria
#28
I believe The Netherlands. I read somewhere that the industrial revolution actually started there.

Also the Arabs have contributed a lot. I read in some British's book that they laid the basis of today's computers in the 10 - 11th century. Amazing, huh?
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#29
America is rightly hailed as one of the world's great scientific nations, but in terms of sheer contribution to the sciences, it trails a fair distance behind Great Britain, and Germany, too. Great Britain's contribution is quite simply terrifying. Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution (by far the most important event of the last five-thousand years), Britain's contribution to the sciences, in particular physics, is almost rude in its profundity. At the risk of becoming loquacious, I shall list several eminent British figures who helped change the course of human history.

Isaac Newton -- a nasty, awful piece of work, but quite clearly the greatest scientific genius who ever lived. A colossus among geniuses, his Principia is simply the most important book ever written. The genius to whom other geniuses pay reverence.

James Clerk Maxwell -- underrated genius second only to Newton in terms of brainpower and overall scientific contribution to the world. His work on electrodynamics led to a great many inventions that are now indispensable to our modern world. It truly astonishes me that his name is so unfamiliar to the general public. Idolised by Einstein.

Michael Faraday -- a personal hero of mine, commonly hailed as the greatest scientific experimentalist the world has ever known. Fought against the class prejudice of Victorian England to become the pre-eminent scientist of his day, and laid the foundations for Maxwell's famous equations. If you rely on electricity, then you owe a huge debt of gratitude to Faraday.

James Watt -- invented the separate condenser, which in terms of ingenious inventions, ranks just behind the wheel. One of the most influential men to ever exist, he provided the Industrial Revolution with the raw power it needed to take over the world.

Alan Turing -- the father of computer science, his face will appear on dollar bills and pound notes in the not too distant future. Died under tragic circumstances, having been treated despicably by the British government.

Edward Jenner --the father of immunisation, famous for inoculating his gardener's young son with smallpox. It is commonly said that Jenner is responsible for having saved more lives than any other person in history.

And a few others: Charles Darwin (enough said), James Hutton (father of geology), Alexander Fleming (antibiotics), George Cayley (immensely important in aerodynamics), John Hooke (Newton's contemporary and rival, almost written out of the history books by Newton), Adam Smith (father of modern economics), Robert Boyle (founder of modern chemistry), John Dalton (founder of atomic theory) Francis Bacon (one of the great geniuses of all-time, a polymath who is credited as the creator of empiricism and the scientific method), Henry Cavendish (secretive genius with enormous contribution to the sciences), etc…etc…etc…if you want me to list more just say, as I've only just touched the tip of the iceberg.

To conclude, no other nation on Earth comes close to matching Britain in terms of scientific contribution to the world. Sorry, went off on one there.
Thank you, you made me realize how stupid it was to focus on the US, when my argument is liberal education produced people of science, and I question how well education for technology compares. For sure I enjoy the passion with which you write.

However you write of genius as though it were something that springs just from the mind, and often I am arguing, a lot of learning comes before such genius. Newton had a great curiosity, and had to have been well read. Much of the genius was building on what came out of ancient civilizations and alchemy. Obviously this is an argument for liberal education. I think education for technology, has become like a poison to children's minds, especially in schools hit hard by budget cuts and focused too narrowly on training for the test. Whereas, I think liberal education would better encourage imaginations and a sense of personal importance, vital to the pursuit of science.
 

athena

Ad Honorem
Jan 2010
5,032
Eugene, Oregon
#30
Since I don't want to get into a who contributed more to the scientific development of the world, I will only state that the Italians: Fermi, Marconi, Volta, Galvani, Galileo, etc., and the French made substantial contributions to scientific development...notwithstanding certain Anglophiles stating that the English invented nearly everything.

As Isaac Newton once stated, that he stood on shoulders of geniuses who preceded him. Nothing invented comes clearly out of the ether.
Yes, thank you!
 
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