Arrhenius (ion chemistry) Hans Alfven (galaxy-scale plasma dynamics) James L. Baird (television camera) Robert Bakker (fast, warm-blooded dinosaurs) Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (black holes in 1930, squashed by Eddington) Chladni (meteorites in 1800) W. Harvey (circulation of blood) Krebs (ATP energy, Krebs cycle) Galileo (supported the Copernican viewpoint) Karl F. Gauss (nonEuclidean geometery) Binning/Roher/Gimzewski (scanning-tunneling microscope) Robert Goddard (rocket-powered space ships) Goethe (Land color theory) Thomas Gold (deep non-biological petroleum deposits) T. Gold (deep mine microbes) J. Lister (sterilizing) Lynn Margulis (endosymbiotic organelles) Julius R. Mayer (The Law of Conservation of Energy) B. Marshall (ulcers caused by bacteria, helicobacter pylori) Barbara McClintlock (mobile genetic elements, "jumping genes", transposons) J. Newlands (pre-Mendeleev periodic table) George S. Ohm (Ohm's Law) L. Pasteur (germ theory of disease) Stanford R. Ovshinsky (amorphous semiconductor devices) I. Semmelweis (surgeons wash hands, puerperal fever ) N. Tesla (Earth electrical resonance, now called "Schumann" resonance) N. Tesla (brushless AC motor) Alfred Wegener (continental drift) Wright bros (flying machines) George Zweig (quark theory)
Some ridiculed ideas which had no single supporter:
- Mind-body connection (psychoneuroimmunology, doctors ridiculed any emotional basis for disease)
- Child abuse (before 1950, doctors were mystified by "spontaneous" childhood bruising)
- Instantaneous meteor noises (evidence rejected because sound should be delayed by distance)
- Ball lightning (lacking a theory, it was dismissed as retinal afterimages)
- Cooperation or altruism between animals (versus Evolution's required competition)
- Perceptrons (later vindicated as neural networks)
- Permanent magnet levitation ("Levitron" shouldn't have worked)
- The Plight of the Obscure Innovator in Science
- The Blind Eye of Science
- Cognitive Processes & Suppression of Ideas
- Closed-minded Science
- Fatal Attractions: The Troubles with Science, H. Bauer
- At the Fringes of Science, M. Friedlander
- Great Feuds in Science H. Hellman
- Hidden Histories of Science, R. Silvers (ed)
- ...the Myth of the Scientific Method, H. BauerArrhenius (ion chemistry)His idea that electrolytes are full of charged atoms was considered crazy, and he almost didn't get his degree because of it.
Hans Alfven (galaxy-scale plasma dynamics)Astronomers thought that only gravity is important in solar systems, galaxies, etc. Alfven's idea that plasma physics is of equal or greater importance was derided for decades.
James L. Baird (television camera)When the first television system was demonstrated to British scientists, they scoffed and ridiculed it.
Robert Bakker (fast, warm-blooded dinosaurs)Everyone knows that dinosaurs are like Gila monsters or big tortoises: large, slow, and intolerant of the cold. And they're all colored olive drab too! :)
Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar (black holes in 1930, squashed by Eddington)In the end Chandra was driven out of England and moved his research to the U. of Chicago
Chladni (meteorites in 1800)
William Harvey (circulation of blood)
Krebs (ATP energy, Krebs cycle)
Galileo (supported the Copernican viewpoint)
Karl F. Gauss (nonEuclidean geometery)Kept his mathematical discoveries secret for fear of ridicule. Lobachevsky later published similar work on nonlinear geometery and WAS ridiculed. After Gauss' death his work was discovered, but it took decades for Noneuclidean Geometery to win acceptance among the professionals.
Binning/Roher/Gimzewski (scanning-tunneling microscope)Invented in 1982, surface scientists refused to believe that atom-scale resolution was possible, and demonstrations of the STM in 1985 were still met by hostility, shouts, and laughter from the specialists in the microscopy field. It's discoverers won the Nobel prize in 1986, which went far in forcing an unusually rapid change in the attitude of colleagues.
R. Goddard (rocket-powered space ships)
Goethe (Land color theory)
T. Gold (deep non-biological petroleum deposits)
T. Gold (deep mine microbes)
J. Lister (sterilizing)
Lynn Margulis (endosymbiotic organelles)In 1970 Margulis was not only denied funding but subjected to intense scorn by reviewers at the NSF. "I was flatly turned down," Margulis said, and the grants officers added "that I should never apply again." Textbooks today quote her discovery as fact; that plant and animal cells are really communities of cooperating bacteria.
Julius R. Mayer (The Law of Conservation of Energy)Mayer's original paper was contemptuously rejected by the leading physics journals of the time.
B. Marshall (ulcers caused by bacteria, helicobacter pylori)Stomach ulcers are caused by acid. All physicians knew this. Marshall needed about ?? years to convince the medical establishment to change their beliefs and accept that ulcers are a bacterial disease.
B. McClintlock (mobile genetic elements, "jumping genes", transposons)
J. Newlands (pre-Mendeleev periodic table)
George S. Ohm (Ohm's Law)Ohm's initial publication was met with ridicule and dismissal. Approx. ten years passed before scientists began to recognize its importance.
L. Pasteur (germ theory of disease)
Stanford R. Ovshinsky (amorphous semiconductor devices)Physicists "knew" that chips and transistors could only be made of expensive slices of single-crystal silicon. Ovshinsky's breakthrough invention of glasslike semiconductors was attacked by physicists and then ignored for more than a decade. Ovshinsky was bankrupt and destitute when finally the Japanese took interest and funded his work. The result: the new science of amorphous semiconductor physics, as well as inexpensive thin-film semiconductor technology (in particular the amorphous solar cell, photocopier components, and writeable CDROMS sold by Sharp Inc. and other Japanese companies.)
I. Semmelweis (surgeons wash hands, puerperal fever )
N. Tesla (Earth electrical resonance, now called "Schumann" resonance)
N. Tesla (brushless AC motor)An AC motor which lacks brushes was thought to be an instance of a Perpetual Motion Machine.
Alfred Wegener (continental drift)
Wright bros (flying machines)The Wrights flew their machine in open fields next to a busy rail line in Dayton Ohio for almost an entire year. American authorities refused to come to the demos, and Scientific American Magazine published stories about "The Lying Brothers." Even the local Dayton newspapers never sent a reporter (but they did complain about all the letters they were receiving from local "crazies" who witnessed the many flights.) Finally the Wrights packed up and moved to Europe, where they caused an overnight sensation and sold aircraft to France, Germany, Britain, etc.George Zweig (quark theory)
Zweig published quark theory at CERN in 1964 (calling them 'aces'), but everyone knows that no particle can have 1/3 electric charge. Rather than receiving recognition, he encountered stiff barriers and was accused of being a charlatan.