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Albert Einstein was once nominated for the Presidency of which country?

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Shortly after Israel became a country, Einstein was offered the presidency... and turned it down. The reason? He said he no head for large problems.

Nikola Tesla was a humanist. That means he:

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Tesla believed that the highest calling a person could aspire to was improving life for the most number of people possible.

Who was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize?

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Marie did much of her research with her husband, Pierre. When their work was submitted to the to the Nobel Prize committee, Marie’s name was never mentioned due to prevailing sexism at the time. Eventually, though, that wrong was amended. Years later, Marie became the first woman to be recognized with the Nobel Prize.

True or False: Stephen Hawking was knighted by Queen Elizabeth

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False! Stephen Hawking once declined a Knighthood from the Queen of England, explaining in interviews that he “dislikes the whole concept” of titles. His refusal was also due in part to what he saw as the UK Government’s “mishandling” of science funding.

Sigmund Freud lived much of his life with an addiction to one surprising substance. What was it?

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Sigmund Freud, the dignified cocaine addict, published his Cocaine Papers in 1887. He called them “song of praise to this magical substance.”
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Nikola Tesla and Thomas Edison publically butted-heads over their competing versions of distributing electricity. Their respective methods were known as...

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AC was Tesla’s solution. DC was created by Edison.

In an effort to prove that Nikola Tesla’s form of electricity distribution was more dangerous than his own, Thomas Edison once publically electrocuted an animal. What kind?

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Edison once electrocuted a circus elephant in front of a sold-out crowd, just to prove that Nikola Tesla's alternating current form of distributed electricity was more dangerous than his own direct current.

Stephen Hawking wrote a popular science book that explained his ideas in a simplified manner. It became his first best-seller. What was it called?

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Despite the small initial first printing, his A Brief History of Time became an instant bestseller and has sold more than forty million copies worldwide.

True or False: the Soviet surgeon Vladimir Demikhov once created a living, breathing two-headed dog.

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True! Demikhov was instrumental in the development of organ transplants as a viable surgery. Just goes to show: science can be morally complicated.

Isaac Newton was a big believer of the pseudo-scientific idea that some metals could be converted into gold. This is known as…

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Newton wrote 169 books on the subject of alchemy... but none were published in his lifetime. Even the smartest can be wrong sometimes...
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Which of these scientists once won an award for being the “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive”, from People Magazine?

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Neil DeGrasse Tyson once described his high school self as “a nerd who could kick your butt.” His muscular physique, along with his charm and good looks earned him the distinction of “Sexiest Astrophysicist Alive” from People magazine.

How did Albert Einstein lose most of the money from his Nobel Prize?

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Einstein’s Nobel Prize money went to his ex-wife as part of a divorce settlement.

Charles Darwin once made a list to decide whether he should get married. Which of these options did he NOT write down as a reason to follow through with the marriage?

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Charles Darwin was a very logical person… but apparently not all that romantic.

True or False: Isaac Newton wrote more about the Bible than he wrote about science or math.

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True! Newton was positively obsessed with the Holy Bible.

Which of these scientists had a hand in the Manhatten Project, the U.S. initiative during WW2 which led to the invention of the atomic bomb?

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Oppenheimer played a lead role in the invention of the atomic bomb. You might even know his famous quote about the endeavour: “Now I am become Death, destroyer of worlds”.
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This architect and scientist had a few strange habits, like wearing three different watches at a time, and writing in his diary every 15 minutes.

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Buckminster, like many other geniuses, was more than a little quirky.

True or False: Before he worked in science, Isaac Newton was pressured to become a farmer.

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Isaac almost became a farmer. When he returned from school at the age of 17, his mother insisted that he take over the family farm. He was an awful farmer, though.

Which of these scientists theorized “a network of information that was broadcast to handheld devices”, well before the invention of the Internet?

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Nikola had a great imagination. Not only did he attempt to create something like the internet, he also worked on x-rays and radar.

After Marie Curie was prevented from receiving a 2nd Nobel Prize, and began to sink into depression, she received a passionate letter from a fellow scientist that helped to lift her spirits. That scientist’s name was...

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Soon after reading Einstein’s letter, Curie emerged from her depression… and celebrated by finally accepting her second Nobel Prize.

True or False: Much like fingerprints, every person has a unique tongue print.

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True! Just don’t try to offer up your tongue to authorities when they request fingerprints…
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Which of these scientists played a lead role in designating Pluto as not being a planet?

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Tyson was at the forefront of the movement to declassify Pluto as a planet. He did so by refusing to refer to Pluto as a planet in the Hayden Planetarium’s display back in 2006.

The Greek mathematician Pythagoras had a big beef with one specific type of food. What was it?

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Ten percent of all the photos ever taken were taken in the past 12 months... which is due to the growing availability of cameras and, more importantly, the digital memory to store all those selfies.

True or False: Ben Franklin was notorious for starting every day by writing in the nude beside an open window.

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True! Franklin claimed that the brisk air helped to stir his creativity.

In 1992, the Catholic Church released an important statement regarding Galileo. What was the message?

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In 1992, Pope John Paul II issued an official declaration acknowledging mistakes made by the Church in how they treated Galileo and his findings.

Which famous scientist lost his nose in a duel, and a result was forced to wear a metal prosthetic?

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The 16th-century Danish astronomer Tycho Brahe lost his nose in a duel. He donned a metal one instead.
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True or False: Isaac Newton was inspired to explore his theory of gravity when he was hit on the head by an apple.

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False! Newton simply watched apples fall, and wondered why they did so. His head was safe.

After being forced to renounce his position that the Earth revolves around the Sun, Galileo is thought to have rebelliously muttered the phrase “E pur si muove,” which translates as...

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“And yet it moves.” The original Italian phrase is depicted in a portrait of Galileo, thought to be painted during his lifetime, where it appears scribbled on a wall behind Galileo.
About This Quiz
These days the world's most innovative scientists don't really get as much attention as, say, the Kardashians. But maybe they should. Because real, profound genius often comes hand-in-hand with being absolutely bonkers. Seriously: the lives of some of the most famous scientists of all-time read like the biography of an insane circus clown. Besides, it’s famous scientists who got us where we are today. So the question is: how much do you know about the most important scientists to ever live? Time to find out...


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