Thursday, August 15, 2019

Five years in PopulScience

Albert Einstein
This week we celebrate a small anniversary: five years since this blog was created. In this time, 245 posts have been published. The Spanish version of the blog is a little older: it was created 30 weeks before, in January 2014, and has published 257 posts.
To mark the date by some kind of celebration, I have decided to compute the list of people most mentioned in the blog in these five years. The following table shows the names of the ten people most quoted and the number of times their name has been quoted:
Times quoted in PopulScience
Albert Einstein
Isaac Newton
Stephen Hawking
C.S. Lewis
Charles Darwin
Isaac Asimov
Richard Dawkins

Isaac Newton
The presence of Einstein and Newton in the first two places is not surprising: they are generally considered the two most important scientists of our civilization. Nobody will be surprised either that Darwin is there. Aristotle, Plato and Ptolemy represent the Greco-Roman civilization. Stephen Hawking and Richard Dawkins are mentioned so many times because they are or have been quite polemic, and I have disputed their ideas several times. Isaac Asimov is the best-known science popularizer. Finally, C.S. Lewis is one of my mentors, and that is sufficient reason for him to be in the list.
C.S. Lewis
Just for the record, the next most quoted sixteen people for different reasons (4 to 9 times), are the following: Arthur C. Clarke, Ray Kurzweil, Alan Turing, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Jules Verne, Aldous Huxley, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, Bertran Russell, Roger Penrose, Georges Lemaître, H.G. Wells, Emmanuel Kant, Urbain Le Verrier, Archimedes, Kurt Gödel and Daniel Dennett.
The 26 most quoted people are distributed in the following way:
  • 13 scientists.
  • 5 philosophers (2 of them also scientists).
  • 5 writers.
  • 3 science popularizers (2 of them also writers).
In a scientific popularization blog, the abundance of scientists (15 out of 26) seems well justified.

The same post in Spanish
Thematic thread on Anniversaries and Organization: Preceding Next

Manuel Alfonseca

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