All of them died or were injured in their pursuit of knowledge. The advances they have all made to science are extraordinary and many of them paved the way for some of man’s greatest discoveries and inventions.
Galileo’s work on the refinement of the telescope opened up the dark recesses of the universe for future generations, but it also ruined his eyesight. He was fascinated with the sun and spent many hours staring at it – leading to extreme damage to his retinas. This was the most likely cause of his near blindness in the last four years of his life. Because of his life’s work, he is sometimes referred to as the “father of modern physics”.
Died of radiation exposure
In 1898, Curie and her husband, Pierre, discovered radium. She spent the remainder of her life performing radiationresearch and studying radiation therapy. Her constant exposure to radiation led to her contracting leukemia and she died in 1934. Curie is the first and only person to receive two Nobel prizes in science in two different fields: chemistry and physics. She was also the first female professor at the University of Paris.
Suffered chronic poisoning
Thanks to the injury to Sir Humphrey Davy’s eyes, Faraday became an apprentice to him. He went on to improve on Davy’s methods of electrolysis and to make important discoveries in the field of electro-magnetics. Unfortunately for him, some of Davy’s misfortune rubbed off and Faraday also suffered damage to his eyes in a nitrogen chloride explosion. He spent the remainder of his life suffering chronic chemical poisoning.
Sir Humphrey Davy
A catalog of disasters
Sir Humphrey Davy, the brilliant British chemist and inventor, got a very bumpy start to his science career. As a young apprentice he was fired from his job at an apothecary because he caused too many explosions! When he eventually took up the field of chemistry, he had a habit of inhaling the various gasses he was dealing with. Fortunately this bad habit led to his discovery of the anesthetic properties of nitrous oxide. But, unfortunately, this same habit led to him nearly killing himself on many occasions. The frequent poisonings left him an invalid for the remaining two decades of his life. During this time he also permanently damaged his eyes in a nitrogen trichloride explosion.
Blinded himself in one eye
Robert Bunsen is probably best known for having given his name to the bunsen burner which he helped to popularize. He started out his scientific career in organic chemistry but nearly died twice of arsenic poisoning. Shortly after his near-death experiences, he lost the sight in his right eye after an explosion of cacodyl cyanide. These being excellent reasons to change fields, he moved in to inorganic chemistry and went on to develop the field of spectroscopy.
Killed himself with blood
Bogdanov was a Russian physician, philosopher, economist, science fiction writer, and revolutionary. In 1924, he began experiments with blood transfusion – most likely in a search for eternal youth. After 11 transfusions (which he performed on himself), he declared that he had suspended his balding, and improved his eyesight. Unfortunately for Bogdanov, the science of transfusion was a young one and Bogdanov was not one to test the health of the blood he was using or the donor. In 1928, Bogdanov took a transfusion of blood infected with malaria and tuberculosis. Consequently he died shortly after.
Killed by X-Rays
Elizabeth Fleischman Ascheim married her doctor, Dr Woolf, shortly after her mother died. Because of his medicalposition, Woolf was very interested in the new discovery of Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen – x-rays. His new wife became equally interested and she gave up her job as a bookkeeper to undertake studies in electrical science. Eventually she bought an x-ray machine which she moved in to her husbands office – this was the first x-ray lab in San Francisco. She and her husband spent some years experimenting with the machine – using themselves as subjects. Unfortunately they did not realize the consequences of their lack of protection and Elizabeth died of an extremely widespread and violent cancer.
Sir David Brewster
Sir David was a Scottish inventor, scientist, and writer. His field of interest was optics and light polarization – a field requiring excellent vision. Unfortunately for Sir David, he performed a chemical experiment in 1831 which nearly blinded him. While his vision did return, he was plagued with eye troubles until his death. Brewster is well known for having been the inventor of the kaleidoscope – a toy that has brought joy to millions of children over the years.
Jean-Francois De Rozier
First victim of an air crash
Jean-Francois was a teacher of physics and chemistry. In 1783 he witnessed the world’s first balloon flight which created in him a passion for flight. After assisting in the untethered flight of a sheep, a chicken, and a duck, he took the first manned free flight in a balloon. He travelled at an altitude of 3,000 feet using a hot air balloon. Not stopping there, De Rozier planned a crossing of the English Channel from France to England. Unfortunately it was his last flight; after reaching 1,500 feet in a combined hot air and gas balloon, the balloon deflated, causing him to fall to his death. His fiancee died 8 days later – possibly from suicide.
Died from tasting his discoveries
Scheele was a brilliant pharmaceutical chemist who discovered many chemical elements – the most notable of which were oxygen (though Joseph Priestley published his findings first), molybdenum, tungsten, manganese, and chlorine. He also discovered a process very similar to pasteurization. Scheele had the habit of taste testing his discoveries and, fortunately, managed to survive his taste-test of hydrogen cyanide. But alas, his luck was to run out: he died of symptoms strongly resembling mercury poisoning.
What a day!
atmosphere, a weather like a blast furnace, you would think someone left the
portals of hell open as hot airs oozed out and swirled around.
As I stood under
the sweltering air waiting to
be attended, my patient snapped, face puffed up with anger, I raised my voice
at the fish seller. “Madam, please hurry up now or do you want me to sleep in
this market?” “Aunty me, a beg no vex I dey come.” With
both hands up in supplication, she appealed to me.
These market women
could be irritating, once they collect your money, they left you standing to
attend to a new customer.
The harshness in my voice and my unsmiling
face made her stopped haggling with the next customer, and with a plea for her
to wait, she took the fish I paid for,
cut it, wrapped it and gave to me with a smile meant to thaw my anger.
I took it and ignored her smile. I didn’t
need it; she had kept me more than necessary under a boiling sun. Once I stowed
the fish i…
For 35 years.he lived an empty life filled with shame and guilt as a result of his condition, coming to terms with the fact he was a hermaphrodite (person with both the male and female sex organs) was too much for Apostle Darlan Rukih Moses to contend with.
When he got married, it was difficult for the wife to come to term with his dual personality initially, however he said his wife has since accepted him the way he is,
The father of three adopted children (with the same condition) says he’s now ready to come out of the closet. Speaking to The Nairobian, Moses says he is proud of being a man and a woman and going public will help create awareness and is advocating against discrimination of people suffering from his condition.
"I underwent a medical examination and the doctors confirmed I have a normal uterus, ovaries and I can bear children,’ he said.
Moses, a gospel musician who even sings Taarab gospel, was born in Bondo where his mother was shocked after the doctors anno…
The author It is really heart-warming seeing a young man striving to excel in every aspect of his life, when someone this young discovers his purpose early in life and follows it through with tangible achievement, the sky is not even the limit.
In this day of social media crush by the youths, a young man has decided to add value to his life and that of others. Not only did he write a book, The force of positive thinking, that will impart and motivate his generation but that the proceedings from the sale of the book would go into assisting other youths in the funding of their education – what a commendable achievement and sacrifice.
This humble, talented and generous young man is Ekere Goodluck Ebimobowei, author of, The force of positive thinking. He is a speaker, writer and a young entrepreneur and an undergraduate, presently studying Business Administration in Covenant University.
About the book:
The force of positive thinking is a book written to inform, impart, reform and transform yo…