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Einstein wins easily.

Just because it is a cliche to point out Einstein was the greatest scientist of the last century doesn't mean it's not true. If anything, Einstein should be in the race for the greatest scientist of all time! There is simply something absurd in saying, "Einstein wasn't the greatest. It was Murray Gell-Mann!" "No, it was Alan Turing!" That's just trying to be clever or authentic, rather than honest.
 

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Very few people will understand this, but I nominate Phillip Hagar Smith (of RCA, then Bell Labs) for his invention of the Smith Chart. It is used by engineers to design electrical and optical equipment. It is very difficult to understand and to work with unless you are really good at it. Nowadays it is incorporated into software and it is used to demonstrate on a computer display the situations encountered by instrumentation. It is an incredible tool.
Digger Blue
 

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Physics: A. Einstein, M. Planck, N. Bohr, D. Bohm
Biology: A. Fleming, F. Banting
Computer Science: D. Hilbert, A. Turing, K. Godel

Engineering: N. Tesla, F. Whittle/H. von Ohain, O. Heaviside

If I had to pick one, it would be Einstein. There are so many others. I wonder if someone has a graph showing the impact of scientists visually based on some metric, e.g., relationship to key technologies like computers, internet, immunization, satellite networks/cells, aircraft, etc..
 

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The sad part about this thread is that most scientists are kept under wraps by corporate secrecy. Every company wants to avoid having their scientists become well known because then they would be bought out by other companies. Probably, next to sex, market forces are the strongest forces in the universe.
Digger Blue
 
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