List of multiple discoveries

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Main article: Multiple discovery

Historians and sociologists have remarked on the occurrence, in science, of "multiple independent discovery". Robert K. Merton defined such "multiples" as instances in which similar discoveries are made by scientists working independently of each other.[1] "Sometimes the discoveries are simultaneous or almost so; sometimes a scientist will make a new discovery which, unknown to him, somebody else has made years before."[2]

Commonly cited examples of multiple independent discovery are the 17th-century independent formulation of calculus by Isaac Newton, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz and others, described by A. Rupert Hall;[3] the 18th-century discovery of oxygen by Carl Wilhelm Scheele, Joseph Priestley, Antoine Lavoisier and others; and the theory of the evolution of species, independently advanced in the 19th century by Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace.

Multiple independent discovery, however, is not limited to only a few historic instances involving giants of scientific research. Merton believed that it is multiple discoveries, rather than unique ones, that represent the common pattern in science.[4]

Merton contrasted a "multiple" with a "singleton"—a discovery that has been made uniquely by a single scientist or group of scientists working together.[5]

A distinction is drawn between a discovery and an invention, as discussed for example by Bolesław Prus.[6] However, since the same phenomenon of multiplicity occurs in relation to both discoveries and inventions, this article lists both multiple discoveries and multiple inventions.

13th century[edit]

14th century[edit]

16th century[edit]

17th century[edit]

18th century[edit]

19th century[edit]

20th century[edit]

21st century[edit]

Quotations[edit]

"When the time is ripe for certain things, these things appear in different places in the manner of violets coming to light in early spring."

— Farkas Bolyai to his son János Bolyai, urging him to claim the invention of non-Euclidean geometry without delay,
quoted in Ming Li and Paul Vitanyi, An introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications, 1st ed., 1993, p. 83.

"[Y]ou do not [make a discovery] until a background knowledge is built up to a place where it's almost impossible not to see the new thing, and it often happens that the new step is done contemporaneously in two different places in the world, independently."

— a physicist Nobel laureate interviewed by Harriet Zuckerman, in Scientific Elite: Nobel Laureates in the United States, 1977, p. 204.

"[A] man can no more be completely original [...] than a tree can grow out of air."

— George Bernard Shaw, preface to Major Barbara (1905).

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Robert K. Merton, "Resistance to the Systematic Study of Multiple Discoveries in Science", European Journal of Sociology, 4:237–82, 1963. Reprinted in Robert K. Merton, The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, Chicago, University of Chicago Press,1973, pp. 371–82. [1]
  2. ^ Robert K. Merton, The Sociology of Science, 1973.
  3. ^ A. Rupert Hall, Philosophers at War, New York, Cambridge University Press, 1980.
  4. ^ Robert K. Merton, "Singletons and Multiples in Scientific Discovery: a Chapter in the Sociology of Science", Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 105: 470–86, 1961. Reprinted in Robert K. Merton, The Sociology of Science: Theoretical and Empirical Investigations, Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1973, pp. 343–70.
  5. ^ Robert K. Merton, On Social Structure and Science, p. 307.
  6. ^ Bolesław Prus, O odkryciach i wynalazkach (On Discoveries and Inventions): A Public Lecture Delivered on 23 March 1873 by Aleksander Głowacki [Bolesław Prus], Passed by the [Russian] Censor (Warsaw, 21 April 1873), Warsaw, Printed by F. Krokoszyńska, 1873, p. 12.
  7. ^ "Copernicus seems to have drawn up some notes [on the displacement of good coin from circulation by debased coin] while he was at Olsztyn in 1519. He made them the basis of a report on the matter, written in German, which he presented to the Prussian Diet held in 1522 at Grudziądz... He later drew up a revised and enlarged version of his little treatise, this time in Latin, and setting forth a general theory of money, for presentation to the Diet of 1528." Angus Armitage, The World of Copernicus, 1951, p. 91.
  8. ^ Cappi, Alberto (1994). "Edgar Allan Poe's Physical Cosmology". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 35: 177–192. Bibcode:1994QJRAS..35..177C. 
  9. ^ * Rombeck, Terry (January 22, 2005). "Poe's little-known science book reprinted". Lawrence Journal-World & News. 
  10. ^ Marilynne Robinson, "On Edgar Allan Poe", The New York Review of Books, vol. LXII, no. 2 (5 February 2015), pp. 4, 6.
  11. ^ Romm, James (February 3, 1994), "A New Forerunner for Continental Drift", Nature, 367 (6462): 407–408, Bibcode:1994Natur.367..407R, doi:10.1038/367407a0. 
  12. ^ a b Schmeling, Harro (2004). "Geodynamik" (PDF) (in German). University of Frankfurt. 
  13. ^ Wallace, Alfred Russel (1889), "12", Darwinism …, Macmillan, p. 341 
  14. ^ Lyell, Charles (1872), Principles of Geology … (11 ed.), John Murray, p. 258 
  15. ^ Coxworthy, Franklin (1924). Electrical Condition; Or, How and where Our Earth was Created. J.S. Phillips. Retrieved December 6, 2014. 
  16. ^ Pickering, W.H (1907), "The Place of Origin of the Moon - The Volcani Problems", Popular Astronomy: 274–287, Bibcode:1907PA.....15..274P ,
  17. ^ Frank Bursley Taylor (June 3, 1910) "Bearing of the Tertiary mountain belt on the origin of the earth’s plan", Bulletin of the Geological Society of America, 21 : 179–226.
  18. ^ Wegener, Alfred (6 January 1912), "Die Herausbildung der Grossformen der Erdrinde (Kontinente und Ozeane), auf geophysikalischer Grundlage" (PDF), Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen, 63: 185–195, 253–256, 305–309. 
  19. ^ Eduard Suess, Das Antlitz der Erde (The Face of the Earth), vol. 1 (Leipzig, (Germany): G. Freytag, 1885), page 768. From p. 768: "Wir nennen es Gondwána-Land, nach der gemeinsamen alten Gondwána-Flora, … " (We name it Gondwána-Land, after the common ancient flora of Gondwána … )
  20. ^ Edward Suess (March 1893) "Are ocean depths permanent?", Natural Science: A Monthly Review of Scientific Progress (London), 2 : 180- 187. From page 183: "This ocean we designate by the name "Tethys", after the sister and consort of Oceanus. The latest successor of the Tethyan Sea is the present Mediterranean."
  21. ^ Perry, John (1895) "On the age of the earth", Nature, 51 : 224-227, 341-342, 582-585.
  22. ^ Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality, Vintage Books, 2005, p. 103.
  23. ^ Alan Ellis, "Black Holes – Part 1 – History", Astronomical Society of Edinburgh, Journal 39, 1999. A description of Michell's theory of black holes.
  24. ^ a b Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam, 1996, pp. 43-45.
  25. ^ "Hong's essential insight is the same as Malthus's." Wm Theodore de Bary, Sources of East Asian Tradition, vol. 2: The Modern Period, New York, Columbia University Press, 2008, p. 85.
  26. ^ Gauss, Carl Friedrich, "Nachlass: Theoria interpolationis methodo nova tractata", Werke, Band 3, Göttingen, Königliche Gesellschaft der Wissenschaften, 1866, pp. 265–327.
  27. ^ Heideman, M. T., D. H. Johnson, and C. S. Burrus, "Gauss and the history of the fast Fourier transform", Archive for History of Exact Sciences, vol. 34, no. 3 (1985), pp. 265–277.
  28. ^ Roger Penrose, The Road to Reality, Vintage Books, 2005, p. 81.
  29. ^ Halliday et al., Physics, vol. 2, 2002, p. 775.
  30. ^ "Aug. 18, 1868: Helium Discovered During Total Solar Eclipse", http://www.wired.com/thisdayintech/2009/08/dayintech_0818/
  31. ^ Isaac Asimov, Asimov's Biographical Encyclopedia of Science and Technology, p. 933.
  32. ^ "Had Becquerel... not [in 1896] presented his discovery to the Académie des Sciences the day after he made it, credit for the discovery of radioactivity, and even a Nobel Prize, would have gone to Silvanus Thompson." Robert William Reid, Marie Curie, New York, New American Library, 1974, ISBN 0002115395, pp. 64-65.
  33. ^ "Marie Curie was... beaten in the race to tell of her discovery that thorium gives off rays in the same way as uranium. Unknown to her, a German, Gerhard Carl Schmidt, had published his finding in Berlin two months earlier." Robert William Reid, Marie Curie, New York, New American Library, 1974, ISBN 0002115395, p. 65.
  34. ^ N.E. Collinge, The Laws of Indo-European, pp. 149-52.
  35. ^ Fortunatov's Law I
  36. ^ Barbara Goldsmith, Obsessive Genius: The Inner World of Marie Curie, New York, W.W. Norton, 2005, ISBN 0-393-05137-4, p. 166.
  37. ^ "Photochemical equivalence law". Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 2009-11-07. 
  38. ^ Brian Greene, "Why He [Albert Einstein] Matters: The fruits of one mind shaped civilization more than seems possible", Scientific American, vol. 313, no. 3 (September 2015), pp. 36–37.
  39. ^ "Big bang theory is introduced - 1927". A Science Odyssey. WGBH. Retrieved 31 July 2014. 
  40. ^ Cappi, Alberto (1994). "Edgar Allan Poe's Physical Cosmology". Quarterly Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society. 35: 177–192. Bibcode:1994QJRAS..35..177C. 
  41. ^ Rombeck, Terry (January 22, 2005). "Poe's little-known science book reprinted". Lawrence Journal-World & News. 
  42. ^ Robinson, Marilynne, "On Edgar Allan Poe", The New York Review of Books, vol. LXII, no. 2 (5 February 2015), pp. 4, 6.
  43. ^ M.J. O'Dowd, E.E. Philipp, The History of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, London, Parthenon Publishing Group, 1994, p. 547.
  44. ^ Eggleton, Philip; Eggleton, Grace Palmer (1927). "The inorganic phosphate and a labile form of organic phosphate in the gastrocnemius of the frog". Biochemical Journal. 21 (1): 190–195. PMC 1251888free to read. PMID 16743804. 
  45. ^ Fiske, Cyrus H.; Subbarow, Yellapragada (1927). "The nature of the 'inorganic phosphate' in voluntary muscle". Science. 65 (1686): 401–403. doi:10.1126/science.65.1686.401. PMID 17807679. 
  46. ^ Frank, Close. Antimatter. Oxford University Press. pp. 50–52. ISBN 9780199550166. 
  47. ^ Stephen Hawking, A Brief History of Time, Bantam Press, 1996, p. 88.
  48. ^ See the "bibliographic notes" at the end of chapter 7 in Hopcroft & Ullman, Introduction to Automata, Languages, and Computation, Addison-Wesley, 1979.
  49. ^ Ralston, Anthony; Meek, Christopher, eds. (1976), Encyclopedia of Computer Science (second ed.), pp. 488–489, ISBN 0-88405-321-0 
  50. ^ Campbell-Kelly, Martin; Aspray, William (1996), Computer: A History of the Information Machine, New York: Basic Books, p. 84, ISBN 0-465-02989-2 .
  51. ^ Jane Smiley, The Man Who Invented the Computer: The Biography of John Atanasoff, Digital Pioneer, 2010.
  52. ^ Richard Rhodes, The Making of the Atomic Bomb, New York, Simon and Schuster, 1986, ISBN 0671441337, p. 27.
  53. ^ Irwin Abrams website,[2]
  54. ^ Troyer, James (2001). "In the beginning: the multiple discovery of the first hormone herbicides". Weed Science. 49 (2): 290–297. doi:10.1614/0043-1745(2001)049[0290:ITBTMD]2.0.CO;2. 
  55. ^ "Twists and Turns in the Development of the Transistor". Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. 
  56. ^ "1948 - The European Transistor Invention". Computer History Museum. 
  57. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1956". 
  58. ^ The Chip that Jack Built, ca. 2008, HTML, Texas Instruments, retrieved 29 May 2008.
  59. ^ Christophe Lécuyer, Making Silicon Valley: Innovation and the Growth of High Tech, 1930-1970, MIT Press, 2006, ISBN 0262122812, p. 129.
  60. ^ Nobel Web AB, 10 October 2000 The Nobel Prize in Physics 2000, retrieved 29 May 2008.
  61. ^ See Chapter 1.6 in the first edition of Li & Vitanyi, An Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its Applications, who cite Chaitin (1975): "this definition [of Kolmogorov complexity] was independently proposed about 1965 by A.N. Kolmogorov and me ... Both Kolmogorov and I were then unaware of related proposals made in 1960 by Ray Solomonoff."
  62. ^ Navarro, Gonzalo (2001). "A guided tour to approximate string matching" (PDF). ACM Computing Surveys. 33 (1): 31–88. doi:10.1145/375360.375365. 
  63. ^ See Garey & Johnson, Computers and intractability, p. 119.
    Cf. also the survey article by Trakhtenbrot (see "External Links").
    Levin emigrated to the U.S. in 1978.
  64. ^ Endo, Akira; Kuroda, M.; Tsujita, Y. (1976). "ML-236A, ML-236B, and ML-236C, new inhibitors of cholesterogenesis produced by Penicillium citrinium". Journal of Antibiotics (Tokyo), '". 1976'. 29 (12): 1346–8. doi:10.7164/antibiotics.29.1346. PMID 1010803. 
  65. ^ Brown, Alian G.; Smale, Terry C.; King, Trevor J.; Hasenkamp, Rainer; Thompson, Ronald H. (1976). "Crystal and Molecular Structure of Compactin, a New Antifungal Metabolite from Penicillium brevicompactum". J. Chem. Soc., Perkin Trans. 1: 1165–1170. doi:10.1039/P19760001165. PMID 945291. 
  66. ^ D. J. Gross, F. Wilczek, Ultraviolet behavior of non-abeilan gauge theoreies, Phys. Rev. Letters 30 (1973) 1343-1346; H. D. Politzer, Reliable perturbative results for strong interactions, Phys. Rev. Letters 30 (1973) 1346-1349
  67. ^ Tim Folger, "The Quantum Hack: Quantum computers will render today's cryptographic methods obsolete. What happens then?" Scientific American, vol. 314, no. 2 (February 2016), pp. 50, 53.
  68. ^ David H. Levy, "My Life as a Comet Hunter: The need to pass a French test, of all things, spurred half a century of cosmic sleuthing", Scientific American, vol. 314, no. 2 (February 2016), pp. 70-71.
  69. ^ See EATCS on the Gödel Prize 1995.
  70. ^ Paál, G.; Horváth, I.; Lukács, B. (1992). "Inflation and compactification from Galaxy redshifts?". Astrophysics and Space Science. 191: 107–124. Bibcode:1992Ap&SS.191..107P. doi:10.1007/BF00644200. 
  71. ^ In regard to his "cosmological constant", "Einstein... blundered twice: by introducing the cosmological constant for the wrong reason [to maintain a static universe, before the advent of the Big Bang theory] and again by throwing it out instead of exploring its implications [including an accelerating universe]." Lawrence M. Krauss, "What Einstein Got Wrong: Cosmology", Scientific American, vol. 313, no. 3 (September 2015), p. 55.
  72. ^ https://arxiv.org/abs/1408.4505
  73. ^ https://arxiv.org/abs/1408.5110

References[edit]

External links[edit]