Science Magazine has posted its most famous scientists of the last 200 years:
Welcome to the Science Hall of Fame, a pantheon of the most famous scientists of the past 200 years. This interactive database uses an objective and literal measure of fame: the frequency with which the full names of scientists appear in books published between 1800 and 2000. This is an example of “culturomics” (see the Research Article by Michel et al. in the 14 January 2011 issue).
Look up scientists by name — or sort the data by column — to see their impact in milliDarwins (mD): one-thousandth of the average annual frequency that Charles Darwin’s name appears in English-language books from the year he was 30 years old (1839) until 2000. Click the mD value to see a chart of their data over time.
This first version of the Science Hall of Fame is a rough draft. There are classification errors, and many famous scientists are excluded at this point for technical reasons. Please read the article introducing The Science Hall of Fame. To explore the data further and hear interviews with famous scientists, visit the supporting site. You may also share your thoughts about this new view of scientists’ impact across society and history.
Interestingly, Bertrand Russell heads the list.