• Question: whos was the first scientist?

    Asked by nancyabby to Josh, Serena, Simone, Stuart on 26 Jun 2013.
    • Photo: Stuart Archer

      Stuart Archer answered on 26 Jun 2013:

      That’s a really good question! It really depends on what you mean by ‘scientist’, as the word itself has only been in the English language since 1834. Science is a process of working out how the world works by observation and testing, so you could argue that our ancient ancestors who first discovered how to make fire, or the first to use tools or weapons to catch food were among the first scientists.

      There’s not really much agreement out there about any one person who was the first ‘proper’ scientist as it were. One of the most popular names is a dude called ‘Anaximander’, an ancient Greek philosopher. They reckon he was the first to suggest that the Earth floated in space, that we are all descended from a common ancestor and that the weather on Earth wasn’t caused by the gods!

      Let’s see what the others think 🙂

    • Photo: Serena Corr

      Serena Corr answered on 27 Jun 2013:

      Great question!

      Stu – I’ve seen a book about your Greek philosopher Anaximader, though I didn’t know him before now. I thought it might have been Thales – he came up with theories to explain the world around him without using about mythology. And he developed geometry and ways of measuring heights of objects like the pyramids!