90% of all scientists who have ever lived are alive today.
When Stephen Hawking’s first wife, Jane, saw the movie script for The Theory of Everything, she deleted all the F-words, saying “Scientists in the 1960s and 70s didn’t use the F-word and I’m pretty sure they don’t now either.”
Albert Einstein was also a gifted musician, playing both the piano and violin with exceptional skill. He once said: “The greatest scientists are artists as well.”
While bored during his work with the Manhattan Project Richard Feynman would amuse himself by picking the locks of his colleagues confidential file cabinets and placing prank notes, his colleagues believed a spy had infiltrated the project.
Henry Moseley, the scientist that pioneered the concept of the atomic number, volunteered for combat duty in World War I, and was killed by a Turkish sniper. As a result of his death, scientists were later prevented from enlisting in the military.
In 1941 the world’s largest seed bank (created by botanist Nikolai Vavilov) was housed in Leningrad. As the Germans surrounded the city forcing mass starvation, Vavilov’s scientists refused to eat from the collection, slowly dying of hunger as they maintained 16 rooms of edible plants.
The man who first artificially cloned a fish was later forced to give up his research and become a janitor by the Chinese government during the Cultural Revolution.
Leo Szilard conceived the nuclear chain reaction,the nuclear reactor, and wrote the letter suggesting the Manhattan Project, which Einstein signed. After being diagnosed with bladder cancer, he designed his own radiation therapy which led to a full recovery.
The discoverer of a gene for Green Fluorescent Protein lost his grant, didn’t get tenure, left academe and was working at a car dealership in Huntsville, Alabama, when he learned that former colleagues had won the Nobel Prize using the gene he sequenced.