The trouble with scientists
The trouble with scientists
Popular Science features stories about 10 “brilliant” scientists. Reading about them and their accomplishments gives pause. Having just lived through the life and death of Steve Jobs, I am wondering what the heck these guys are doing with their brainpower when the world has so many practical needs?
Then, I think about Henry Ford. He was a machinist who worked on the farm repairing steam engines. Then, he took bookkeeping in school. On that, he invented the American transportation industry.
“Ford was born July 30, 1863, on a farm in Greenfield Township (near Detroit, Michigan). His father, William Ford (1826–1905), was born in County Cork, Ireland, of a family originally from western England, who were among migrants to Ireland as the English created plantations. His mother, Mary Litogot Ford (1839–1876), was born in Michigan; she was the youngest child ofBelgian immigrants; her parents died when Mary was a child and she was adopted by neighbors, the O'Herns. Henry Ford's siblings include Margaret Ford (1867–1938); Jane Ford (c. 1868–1945); William Ford (1871–1917) and Robert Ford (1873–1934).
His father gave him a pocket watch in his early teens. At 15, Ford dismantled and reassembled the timepieces of friends and neighbors dozens of times, gaining the reputation of a watch repairman.At twenty, Ford walked four miles to their Episcopal church every Sunday.
Ford was devastated when his mother died in 1876. His father expected him to eventually take over the family farm, but he despised farm work. He told his father, "I never had any particular love for the farm—it was the mother on the farm I loved."
In 1879, he left home to work as an apprentice machinist in the city of Detroit, first with James F. Flower & Bros., and later with the Detroit Dry Dock Co. In 1882, he returned to Dearborn to work on the family farm, where he became adept at operating the Westinghouse portable steam engine. He was later hired by Westinghouse company to service their steam engines. During this period Ford also studied bookkeeping at Goldsmith, Bryant & Stratton Business College in Detroit.”
What are these guys doing?
Our yearly list of young geniuses shaking up science includes scientists making new forms of geometry, better HIV drugs, studying sun plasma, butterfly pharmacology and more.
For a decade now, the editors of Popular Science have been seeking out promising young researchers at labs across the nation, and for a decade we’ve been dazzled by the intelligence and creativity of the people we’ve discovered. This year’s honorees, like the 90 others before them, represent the best of what science can achieve. Some are looking for specific solutions to daunting social problems, such as how to manufacture more-effective drugs or cheaply diagnose diseases in developing nations. Others are engaged in more-speculative work—studying solar plasma, inventing a new kind of geometry. All of them are brilliant, and all of them, perhaps most amazingly, are under 40. They have long careers ahead of them, which is yet another reason why we remain so optimistic about the future.
Click the links below to check out the amazing work of the sludge miner, the molecular filmmaker and the rest of our Brilliant 10.