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A lot of people have contributed to the development of science (which includes mathematics). I have read that Newton's popularity was powerful enough to dominate the wave-model. Similarly, do we have any scientist whose work was underestimated, was not accepted by the community and was left unnoticed during his/her lifetime, but when a popular scientist published the same thing, got a wide appreciation?

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    $\begingroup$ Please specify discipline, time period, etc., so that there is plausibly one or few such scientists. "The wave-model" in optics was proposed by Huygens, and he was very well recognized and appreciated, including by Newton, even if Newton's model originally dominated. $\endgroup$ – Conifold Jan 28 at 0:26
  • $\begingroup$ @Conifold even I'm having confusions in what time period to use.. I wanted to cover completed science, because I don't know which discipline to choose. You can specify one other wsie, sorry $\endgroup$ – J Arun Mani Jan 28 at 16:26
  • $\begingroup$ Would Ignaz Semmelweiss (an obstetrician) count? $\endgroup$ – NickM Feb 8 at 23:10
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Julius Robert Mayer is now known for enunciating in 1841 one of the original statements of the conservation of energy (First Law of Thermodynamics). But his achievements were overlooked, and priority for the discovery of the mechanical equivalence of heat was attributed to James Joule. According to Wikipedia:

He attempted suicide on 18 May 1850 and was committed to a mental institution. After he was released, he was a broken man and only timidly re-entered public life in 1860. However, in the meantime, his scientific fame had grown, and he received a late appreciation of his achievement, although perhaps at a stage where he was no longer able to enjoy it.

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I can think of Alfred Wegener, the discoverer of plate tectonic, who died completely ignored before his theory gained acceptance.
Also Ludwig Boltzmann, defender of statistical mechanics in Physics.
Giordano Bruno, who was burnt at the stake for defending that the Universe is infinite and not centered around the Earth.
Galileo Galilei, who was kept under house arrest for the same reason.
Gregor Mendel, discoverer of the laws of genetic inheritance, who died completely unknown.

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George Green springs to mind. Whilst he had a very interesting, and not unsuccessful life, it was only after his death and Lord Kelvin looking through his works on mathematical physics that he was appreciated for quite how significant he truly was.

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Three people whose work in mathematics was not properly recognized in their lifetime but its importance was appreciated later are Galois, Grassmann, and Heegner.

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Sir Ronald Fisher was a statistician who produced work of profound significance. He almost founded biostatistics by himself and not only is the name behind the Fisher distribution, but also behind Fisher information, now used in quantum physics. Fisher also produced a magnificent treaty on the design of experiments, describing in particular applications of orthogonal Latin squares to agricultural experiments.

His level of public recognition suffered as a result of his strong views on race. He died in the 1960s.

$_{\textrm{Note that my avatar is a pair of orthogonal Latin squares.}}$

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