lp9 Testimonials of three of the world's greatest revolutionary scientists

(1)Antoine Lavoisier (1743-1794)

Lavoisier wrote in "Reflections on Phlogiston": "I do not expect my ideas to be adopted all at once. The human mind gets creased into a way of seeing things. Those who have envisaged nature according to a certain point of view during much of their career, rise only with difficulty to new ideas. It is the passage of time, therefore, which must confirm or destroy the opinions I have presented. Meanwhile, I observe with great satisfaction that the young people are beginning to study the science without prejudice...." .

In 1791 he further wrote: "All young chemists adopt the theory and from that I conclude that the revolution in chemistry has come to pass".

Only three years later, on May 8 1794, Lavoisier died at the guillotine in the hands of the Revolutionary Tribunal for crimes he never committed.

At this execution, the tribunal made the now-famous comment: "Nous n'avons plus besoin des savants"( "We no longer need men of learning"), echoeing the sentiments surrounding the condemnation and execution of another man of learning, Socrates.

(2) Charles Darwin (1804-1882)

In his "Origin of Species", Darwin wrote: "Although I am fully convinced of the truth of the views given in this volume under the form of an abstract, I by no means expect to convince experienced naturalists whose minds are stocked with the multitude of facts all viewed, during a long course of years, from a point of view directly opposite to mine. It is so easy to hide our ignorance under such expressions as "plan of creation", "unity of design,"&c., and to think that we give an explanation when we only re-state a fact...but I look with confidence to the future, --to young and rising naturalists , who will be able to view both sides of the question with impartiality. Whoever is led to believe that species are mutable will do good service by conscientiously expressing his conviction; for thus only can the load of prejudice by which this subject is overwhelmed are removed...." .

Charles Darwin died of a heart attck on April 18, 1882 . On April 26, he was buried at the Westminster Abbey.

(3) Max Planck (1858-1947)

Planck stated in his "Scientific Autobiography" :"A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it."

Planck's idea that radiant energy consists of little packets called quantums, revolutionized the field of physics. Later Albert Einstein and Niels Bohr applied Planck's Quantum Theory to explain the photoelectric emission and the atomic structure. Planck received the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1918.