Consider this list of ten rightly celebrated men of science , all standouts of the mid- and late-nineteenth century ; they include astronomers , physicists , chemists , geologists , biologists , physiologists , and mathematicians . All made breakthrough discoveries that changed the world of science and that have lasting impact today . These ten men also shared one more remarkable trait . Don ’ t look ahead . Care to take a guess ?
Alfred Russel Wallace was a British naturalist , explorer , geographer , anthropologist , and biologist , best known for independently conceiving the theory of evolution through natural selection .
John William Strutt was a physicist who , with William Ramsay , discovered the element argon , an achievement for which he earned the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1904 .
John William Strutt
Robert Hare was an early American chemist who developed the “ galvanic deflagrator ,” a type of voltaic battery for producing rapid and powerful combustion , and developed , with Edward Daniel Clarke , the oxy-hydrogen blowpipe .
Augustus De Morgan was a British mathematician and logician who formulated De Morgan ’ s laws and introduced the term “ mathematical induction ,” making its idea rigorous .
Robert Chambers was a Scottish geologist , evolutionary thinker , publisher , author and journal editor who was highly influential in mid-19th century scientific and political circles .
Pierre Curie was a French physicist , a pioneer in crystallography , magnetism , piezoelectricity and radioactivity . In 1903 he received the Nobel
Prize in Physics with his wife , Marie , and Henri Becquerel .
August De Morgan
Charles Robert Richet was a French physiologist known for his pioneering work in immunology . In 1913 , he won the
Nobel Prize “ in recognition of his work on anaphylaxis .”
Nicolas Camille Flammarion was a French astronomer and prolific author of more than fifty titles , and in 1897 he received the Prix Jules Janssen , the highest award of the French astronomical society .
Sir Oliver Joseph Lodge was a British physicist and writer who identified electromagnetic radiation independent of Hertz ’ proof , and demonstrated an early radio wave detector . In 1898 he was awarded the “ syntonic ” ( or tuning ) patent by the United States Patent Office .
Sir William Crookes was an English chemist and physicist who worked on spectroscopy and was a pioneer of vacuum tubes , inventing the Crookes tube , and the Crookes radiometer , still sold today as a science novelty . He was a professor at the University of London , editor of the Quarterly Journal of Science , and president of the British Chemical Society .
Care to guess what else , besides their brilliant discoveries , these men of science shared ?
They all believed … in ghosts . Not just in ghosts , but most of them , in one way or another , believed that they had seen , and indeed , personally communicated with ghosts and spirits . Each and every one of these world-class scientists supported , or believed some aspects of , Spiritualism , which claimed that it was possible to communicate with the spirit realm , and that the existence of an afterlife could be proven by scientific investigation . One of them — Charles Robert Richet , a Nobel Prizewinner — is responsible for coining the term ectoplasm . Unfortunately , the evidence these men accepted , and in many cases passionately embraced ,
Sir William Crookes