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Famous Scientists and Engineers from Poland

Famous people from Poland

Throughout history some of the most exciting scientists engineers in the world to have all been Polish.

Here’s a quick look at the ones John Iflyalot has found out about on his travels:

Nicolaus Copernicus

In science, there aren’t too many more important or influential than this guy! Copernicus is said to be the founder of modern astronomy.

Born on February 19, 1473, in Torun, Poland, Nicolaus Copernicus was the first person to state that the Earth was not in the centre of the Universe!

His work, known has heliocentric cosmology, is not only seen as the starting point of modern astronomy but also what helped inspire the scientific revolution, a time when science caused massive changes in the way we view society and nature.

As you might expect Copernicus was rather clever, and during his life he was a mathematician, astronomer, physician, classics scholar, translator, artist, governor, diplomat and economist!

Marie Curie-Skłodowska

Perhaps more famously known as Marie Curie, she was born in 1867 in Warsaw before moving to Paris aged 24.

Marie Curie is famous for her discovering radium and  her pioneering work on radioactivity paved the way for nuclear physics and cancer therapy.

Not only is she the first woman to win a Nobel Prize, but she is also still the only woman to have won in two fields and is the only person to win in multiple sciences!

Henryk Arctowski

Clearly this Polish scientist didn’t think Poland could get cold enough! So he headed off to Antarctica!

Born in Warsaw in 1871, Henryk went on to become a respected scientist and in 1897 set off on the Belgian Antarctic Expedition, which became the first expedition ever to spend the winter in the Antarctic region.

Ernest Malinowski

In 1859, this Polish engineer  came up with a clever plan to help the Government of Peru reach the plentiful resources in the centre of the country using a massive railroad line.

Ernest’s railway was actually the the world’s highest railway when it was created. It climbs from sea level to 15,806 feet as it climbs the Peruvian Andes by means of many zigzags and double zigzags.

Henryk W. Magnuski

Born in Warsaw in 1909, Henry went on to work at Motorola in Chicago and invented one of the very first Walkie-Talkies, helping establish the company in communications to this day!

Kazimierz Funk

No, he didn’t create funk music! Kazimierz was a Polish biochemist who grew up in Warsaw, and through his work he became the first person to discover vitamins!

As we now know vitamins are one of the most important nutrients to keep us healthy. And it was Kazimierz who first worked out that vitamins’ importance, putting forward his theory that vitamins could cure diseases like scurvy.

Jan Szczepanik

Jan Szczepanik was a Polish inventor, with several hundred patents and over 50 discoveries to his name, many of which are still used today, especially in the film industry, as well as in photography and television.

Ludwik Zamenhoff

Born in 1859, Ludwig became a great physician and linguist, most famous for the invention of Esperanto.

This was a special language designed to help people learn it in the least possible time. It was Ludwig’s hope that it would become the language used across the world bringing understanding between all people.

Unfortunately this was not to be. Esperanto was not accepted by many people, although a lot of research is still being done into it and there are 8 million speakers worldwide.


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Where in the World? Poland! with support from the Polish Cultural Institute in London

To find out more visit www.polishculture.org.uk

Where in the World? Poland!

Find out about Poland

More From Where in the World? Poland!