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Those happy few: unsung heroes of reason, science and math

Heroes. The very idea of a hero: what a joke!

The poor hero has fallen into disfavor in some quarters in recent years. This is understandable. Hero worship, which amounts really to an appeal to authority, has never been a proper way for a rationalist to behave. However, humans are not rational beings, contrary to what some philosophers believed. We do, however, have certain tools such as science and math that we use in our attempt to be rational. Some of us, those I call the happy few, wield these tools better than others. In so doing, they have brought the human species further out of the shadows of irrationality and into the light of reason.

Given all of that, we may want to acknowledge those heroes of reason, science and math so that more of us can appreciate them.

This forum is ideal for this exercise because of the variety of specialists who contribute their thoughts to it. Together, we can give those unsung or forgotten heroes the time, space and exposure that they deserve, bringing them back into the public domain for a new generation of researchers to delve into the ideas and insights that they brought to human inquiry.

So let’s lift the veil of obscurity and open the tomb of time to the men and women who have lifted the human race, pushed it forward, unraveled its many prejudices, delusions, self-deceptions, myths, and brought light, fresh air, reason and rationality closer to its grasp.

Who, therefore, are your top three unsung heroes of reason, science, and math, and why?



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