• Nicolaus Copernicus was a church canon. His actual duties at the bishopric palace were largely administrative and medical and his astronomical work took place in his spare time.
• Charles Darwin dropped out of medical school and was an amateur botanist when he sailed on the Beagle.
• Albert Einstein was an obscure patents clerk when he came up with the theory of relativity.
• Antony van Leeuwenheok (1632 –1723) a textile trader used a lens to assess the quality of cloth. He was the person who discovered the world of micro organisms.
• Gregor Mendel, a Morvarian monk (whose main duties were administrative) but in his spare time dabbled in plant breading and discovered the gene.
• Alfred Wegener was by training and profession a meteorologist. Wegener was highly respected for his work in climatology and paleoclimatology, but he is best remembered for the foray into geology that led to his formulation of the concept of continental drift.
• Thomas Alva Edison (1847 to 1931) had only 3 months formal education and was virtually illiterate.
• James Watson and Francis Crick were very young (and regarded as ill informed up-starts) before discovering the structure of DNA.
• Walter Heape, a businessman who learnt embryology in his middle years, and became a highly proficient research scientist. He is credited with having carried out the first embryo transplant more than 100 years ago.
• Ben Lexcen left school at age 14 to become a panel beater. He designed the yacht Australia II which won the Americas Cup in 1983.
• John Harrison was a working class joiner who took on the scientific and academic establishment of his time and won the longitude prize through extraordinary mechanical insight, talent and determination.
• Neither William Shakespeare or Charles Dickens studied at university and Dickens spent many years of his early life living in poverty.
• Jane Austin left school at age eleven claiming that she had learned nothing. Pride and Prejudice was read and rejected by two publishers before being successfully published by a third.
• Michael Faraday had only a very basic education and throughout life remained mathematically almost illiterate.
• James Watt, Born in Greenock, Scotland, on January 19, 1736, was the son of a successful ship's chandler. He had poor health as a child and little formal education.
• Richard Pearse – A New Zealand farmer who was the first person to achieve sustained flight. (NOTE: Pearse did not claim to be the first to successfully fly. He flew a “heavier than air” plane earlier and further then the Wright brothers but could not manoeuvre his craft and only ever crash landed.) [www.nzedge.com]
• Elizabeth Kenny (a country nurse) was a pioneer in the treatment of Infantile Paralysis or polio. Her revolutionary treatment was initially rejected by the medical establishment.
• John Likoudis the Greek GP who (in 1958) discovered the cause of and the treatment for, peptic ulcer disease. Likoudis discovered the right treatment yet went to the grave a vilified man. Australians Barry Marshall and Robin Warren have now received a Nobel Prise for doing little more than proving Likoudis was correct.
• Fred Hoyle was an astronomer but is probably best known for his claim that bacteria live in space. That life on earth was seeded from space.
• Mike O’Dwyer (Metal Storm) did not have any military or formal training in ballistics. He was a Woolworths Store Manager but invented a revolutionary gun that has now been adopted by US, UK and Australian Defence Forces.
• Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis (1818-65), a Hungarian obstetrician educated at the universities of Pest and Vienna, introduced antiseptic prophylaxis into medicine.
In the 1840s, puerperal or childbirth fever, a bacterial infection of the female genital tract after childbirth, was taking the lives of up to 30% of women who gave birth in hospitals. Women who gave birth at home remained relatively unaffected. As assistant professor on the maternity ward of the Vienna General Hospital, Semmelweis observed that women examined by student doctors who had not washed their hands after leaving the autopsy room had very high death rates. When a colleague who had received a scalpel cut died of infection, Semmelweis concluded that puerperal fever was septic and contagious. He ordered students to wash their hands with chlorinated lime before examining patients; as a result, the maternal death rate was reduced from 12% to 1% in 2 years. Nevertheless, Semmelweis encountered strong opposition from hospital officials and left Vienna in 1850 for the University of Pest.
As a professor of obstetrics at the University of Pest Hospital, he enforced antiseptic practices and reduced the death rate from puerperal fever to 0.85%. However, Semmelweis findings and publications were resisted by hospital and medical authorities in Hungary and abroad. After a breakdown, he entered a mental hospital in Vienna, where he died of an infection contracted during an operation he had performed.
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 23-Jun-19 09:56 by Robert Jameson.