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For questions about specific occurrences of a distinct character (to be specified in the question) in the history of science or mathematics.

3
votes
4answers
229 views

Failures in math

I would like to have help in producing examples of mathematicians that, in some sense I'll explain below,turned their career into failure. I am mainly interested in examples from XIX and XXth century. ...
2
votes
2answers
217 views

Famous messy scientists

Which scientists were known to be messy? I know of Albert Einstein: And of Jean Piaget: Are there other examples?
2
votes
0answers
253 views

The Pedagogy of Physics — Bob and Alice?

It seems that almost every where that physics is taught, in particular teaching relativity or quantum phenomena, that examples or demonstrations using persons Bob and Alice is a common tradition. ...
14
votes
17answers
1k views

Literary works authored by mathematicians

At a first glance, Mathematics and Literature look like two completely unrelated subjects. I wonder whether there are examples of acclaimed mathematicians which wrote novels, poems, or other ...
6
votes
1answer
103 views

Source for Weierstrass's quote “Any function addition law is due to an elliptic curve lurking in the background.”

"Any function addition law is due to an elliptic curve lurking in the background." When I was reading about the origin of the concept of a genus, I came across a quote along these lines, I believe ...
4
votes
3answers
371 views

Scientific discoveries that were made “late”

I'd like to ask a similar question from Math.SE for the natural sciences (physics, chemistry, biology and allied disciplines). What are examples of scientific results that were discovered ...
2
votes
2answers
552 views

Scientists with exceptionally good or bad memory

I'd like to know about examples of prominent scientists having exceptionally good memory, with anecdotes if possible, and how it affected their work. It would also be interesting to see examples of ...
13
votes
5answers
392 views

Which school of philosophy motivated thinking about spaces of higher dimension?

I'm trying to make a link between important mathematical breakthroughs in history and the important philosophical schools at the time. I realize that this topic is awfully broad and could be the ...
15
votes
8answers
3k views

Famous Scientific Conflicts and Controversies

To clear any misunderstandings, I am interested not in the gossipy aspect of the matter (i.e. conflicts that had mainly to do with character-clashes and idiosyncratic psychs) but rather in conflicts ...
17
votes
5answers
493 views

Considered a breakthrough at its time – almost forgotten nowadays

In the comments on this question on Physics about the usefulness of expensive experiments such as the CERN, the following short discussion happened: Has there ever been a major basic science result ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Examples of Kuhn loss?

A Kuhn loss is: a success, empirical or theoretical, of a prior theory – or paradigm as Kuhn would have preferred – that does not carry over to the theory or paradigm that replaced it. [Midwinter ...
37
votes
3answers
2k views

Was Occam’s razor ever wrong?

In brief, I am looking for an example where Occam’s razor favoured a theory A over another theory B, but theory B turned out to be a better description of reality later. But let me formulate some ...
13
votes
2answers
307 views

Scientific progress claimed to be caused by dreaming

Kekulé, who discovered the chemical formula for benzene in 1865, claimed that he had guessed the ring formula with the alternating single and double bonds in a day-dream. Are there similar examples of ...