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The historical persecution of scientists

Posted on Monday, 25 June, 2012 | Comment icon 11 comments | News tip by: Still Waters

Image credit: Justus Sustermans

There are many records of scientists being persecuted in a number of dispicable ways over the years.

As recently as the 1950s, computer scientist Alan Turing chose to be chemically-castrated rather than accept a jail sentence after admitting to homosexual acts. In the 16th century, Spanish physician Michael Servetus was tortured and burned at the stake for his ideas about reforming Christianity because they were considered heretical.

Famous astronomer Galileo Galilei was placed under house arrest until the end of his days for publishing evidence to support the idea that the Earth revolves around the sun. Even Albert Einstein found himself at the receiving end of persecution in the form of anti-semitism when the Nazis came to power in 1933, throwing him out of the prussian Academy of Science and burning all his books in public.

"Turing was famously chemically-castrated after admitting to homosexual acts in the 1950s."

  View: Full article |  Source: Wired

  Discuss: View comments (11)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #2 Posted by Mr Right Wing on 25 June, 2012, 13:06
I notice the liberal under current in this story.
Comment icon #3 Posted by Junior Chubb on 25 June, 2012, 13:24
I noticed the under current of ignorance in this story, but having said that how many of us would have agreed with these decisions if we had the mind set of the masses at that time. Like all things we read the point of view of the author comes through.
Comment icon #4 Posted by volantis on 25 June, 2012, 14:19
In the future the story will be how religious leaders were persecuted at the hands of scientists at the beginning of the 21st Century. Persecution is a victim's perspective, not a historian's perspective.
Comment icon #5 Posted by tlsmith1138 on 25 June, 2012, 15:58
If it's not junk science, it's junk journalism. Nothing worse than someone who has a job, but is too lazy to do the job. Please, waste some more of my time with misleading headlines.
Comment icon #6 Posted by Paracelse on 25 June, 2012, 16:13
Hum can you name one who doesn't deserve it? And also were those religious leaders burned stoned or else in any ways shape of form??? I would like to see one name. Hum Hum.. (twice this time) Sure it's not a Pulitzer price, all those facts are know to the[s] world[/s] I should say the few the world tends to refute the truth so many time but I do not see anything misleading in the title.. unless your glasses are special and you're seeing something no one else does.
Comment icon #7 Posted by csspwns on 26 June, 2012, 3:29
funny how the scientists tat were persecuted turned out to be correct
Comment icon #8 Posted by sepulchrave on 26 June, 2012, 6:23
The danger is to assume that persecuted scientists are correct, rather than some correct scientists were persecuted. I am not suggesting that you, nor this article, is making such a claim. I am merely pointing out that many more hacks and charlatans have claimed that legitimate criticism of their pseudoscience was actually persecution (just like Galileo! etc.) than legitimate scientists were persecuted. The cases cited in the article are notable, but the exception rather than the rule.
Comment icon #9 Posted by Zamor on 26 June, 2012, 6:31
I would recommend reading "Sleepwalkers" by Arthur Koestler, I love that book. Must admit that I have not researched all the facts in the book, but it gives a new take on how the church viewed sience and especially astronomy in 15:th and 16:th century. Most of the content from that period is built on documents and letters and, in my opinion, Galilei is as much to blame for the rift between the churc and sience as the church itself. The pope and his astronomers were well aware that the churchs geocentric universe was wrong and very interested in the new take on astronomy, but to publi... [More]
Comment icon #10 Posted by Ryegrog on 27 June, 2012, 3:15
I agree. Back then people were burned at the stake for heritical beliefs. Now days ridicule is use. Religion was the powerhouse back then and had the final word. Now that Main Stream Science is a big player they have their form of doctrine and anything that strays from the norm of science on certain subjects it gets slandered. One would think that science would welcome new ideas (even though how strange it could be) but obviously that's not the case.
Comment icon #11 Posted by Vasuvicci on 1 July, 2012, 6:07
Science has become the new religion. Many scientists can be close minded on certain things. Just look at how Daniel Shechtman's 1984 quasicrystal discovery was rejected by many top scientists. He won the 2011 Nobel Prize in Chemisty...

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