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Articles on History of science

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A man of genius – but his ideas were not to the benefit of all humankind. Mondadori Portfolio/Hulton Fine Art Collection via Getty Images

Francis Galton pioneered scientific advances in many fields – but also founded the racist pseudoscience of eugenics

Smart people can have really bad ideas – like selectively breeding human beings to improve the species. Put into practice, Galton's concept proved discriminatory, damaging, even deadly.
Woodcut from Camille Flammarion’s 1888 book L'Atmosphère : météorologie populaire. The caption reads: ‘A missionary of the Middle Ages tells that he had found the point where the sky and the Earth touch’ and continues, ‘What is there, then, in this blue sky, which certainly exists, and which veils the stars during the day?’ Wikipedia

Einstein’s two mistakes

Albert Einstein may have been the ultimate example of a visionary genius, but that did not stop him from twice losing his way due to beliefs that were perhaps not so scientific.
Camp beds set up for travelers returning to Germany from China, who will be isolated for two weeks to make sure they don’t have coronavirus. YANN SCHREIBER/AFP via Getty Images

Quarantines have tried to keep out disease for thousands of years

Even before people understood how germs spread disease, they tried to isolate the sick to keep them from infecting others.

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