25 Surprising Facts About Scientists You Didn’t Learn in School

1Stephen Hawking

There was a rumor that Stephen Hawking would deliberately run over the toes of people he didn’t like. He denied this rumor by stating it was “A Malicious rumor” and “I’ll run over anyone who repeats it.”


2James Watson

Famed molecular biologist James Watson put his Nobel Prize up for auction in 2014 due to financial hardships. It sold for $4.1 million and was promptly returned to him by the buyer.


3Michael Faraday

Michael Faraday, one of the foremost experimenters of his time, declined a knighthood, believing that it was against the word of the Bible to pursue worldly reward. He stated that he preferred to remain "plain Mr. Faraday to the end."


4J.C. Maxwell

J.C. Maxwell, the inventor of color photography and founder of the theory of electromagnetism, killed a lot of cats by throwing them out of windows to find the precise height from where the cat couldn't land on its feet anymore.


5Robert Bunsen

Famous chemist and lifelong bachelor Robert Bunsen once proposed to a girl who said yes, but he then lost himself in his work for a few weeks. When he finally emerged from his lab, he couldn't remember if he ever proposed or not, so he did it again, only to have her turn him down.


6Charles Darwin

Charles Darwin ate every animal he ever discovered. He sought out “birds and beasts which were unknown to the human palate.”


7Emilie du Châtelet

Emilie du Châtelet was a female scientist who in 1749 feared that bearing a child at the age of 42 would be the last thing she did. She worked furiously on a magnum opus that would eventually change the world of physics. Within days of completing her work, she gave birth to a daughter and died soon after.


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8Neil Degrasse Tyson

As a teenager, Neil Degrasse Tyson walked people’s dogs and earned 50 cents per dog, per walk, two or three times a day. He saved up $200 and bought his first serious telescope at the age of 14.


9Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin wanted to make the odor of farts smell good so that farting in public will become socially acceptable. He wanted flatulence to be "as agreeable as perfumes."


10Rosalind Franklin

Rosalind Franklin is the unsung hero of DNA research. Her X-ray Crystallography allowed her colleagues Watson and Crick to accurately characterize the double helix. Many believe she should’ve shared in their Nobel prize.

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