25 Surprising Facts About Scientists You Didn’t Learn in School

11John Logie Baird

John Logie Baird

Looking for publicity for his television, John Logie Baird went to the Daily Express to promote it. The editor was so terrified by his invention he said, "Get rid of a lunatic who's down there. He says he's got a machine for seeing by wireless! Watch him — he may have a razor on him."

12Marie Curie

Marie Curie

Marie Curie was involved in a sex scandal when a newspaper published love letters between her and a former student of her deceased husband. Her lover later challenged the newspaper’s editors to a dual to defend Marie’s honor.

13Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking

Stephen Hawking once dined in the company of Edward Teller, pioneer of the hydrogen bomb, and typed "He is Stupid" in his speech synthesizer without bothering to lower the volume.

14Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke

Robert Hooke, despite pioneering the experimental method and discovering many elements of gravitational theory first, was almost entirely erased from history by Sir Isaac Newton because they did not like each other, and Newton lived 25 years longer, allowing him to edit history to his favor.

15Anders Celsius

Anders Celsius

Anders Celsius originally created the temperature scale with 100 degrees as freezing and 0 degrees as boiling. Carl Linnaeus, another scientist, waited until he died to change the scale to what it is today.

16Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin used chess as a means of learning Italian. He would play games with a friend who was also studying the language. The winner of their match assigned a task to the loser; such as making them learn some Italian grammar, which had to be performed before their next match.

17Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla

Nikola Tesla was voluntarily chaste, despite numerous women "vying for his affections... some even madly in love with him", because he believed sex inhibited his abilities to think in a scientific manner.

18Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton

Isaac Newton once tried looking at the sun in a mirror, essentially blinding himself for 3 days and experiencing afterimages for months.

19Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison

Thomas Edison abandoned his research into x-rays when he damaged his eyesight, and his assistant had his arms amputated from repeated exposure. “Don’t talk to me about X-rays,” he said. “I am afraid of them.”

20Francis Crick

Francis Crick

Francis Crick, the co-discoverer of the structure of the DNA molecule and Nobel prize laureate, sent a letter accompanied by a cheque for 10 guineas to Winston Churchill, saying that the money should be used for the establishment of a brothel at the Cambridge University, instead of a chapel.