SciShow: Great Minds

2012 ,    »  -   35 Comments
Ratings: 8.06/10 from 53 users.

SciShow delves into the minds of some of humanity's greatest scientists. Some of them are:

Dmitri Mendeleev - brilliant Russian chemist, the man behind the periodic table.

Gregor Mendel - the Austrian monk who, with the help of a garden full of pea plants, discovered the fundamental properties of inheritance and paved the way for modern genetics.

Alan Turing - openly gay man in the early 20th century faced brutal prejudice that eventually led to his suicide, despite being a genius war hero who helped the Allies defeat the Nazis.

Fritz Haber - a great mind who is considered "the father chemical warfare," but who also made discoveries and innovations that helped lead to the Green Revolution which is credited with preventing the starvation of over a billion people.

Elizabeth Blackburn - the Nobel Prize-winning Australian woman who discovered telomeres and telomerase, and helped scientists begin to understand the process of aging at a genetic level.

Nikola Tesla - bizarre and eccentric genius with the crazy eyes who spent his life increasing awesome wherever he went, and contributed in some way to pretty much every cool invention you can think of.

Nikola Tesla spoke eight languages and, at the time of his death, held over 700 patents and was being investigated by the US government for claiming to have invented a 60 million volt death ray. Tesla was an undisputed genius.

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35 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Alec Mowat

    If you're going to make a science show, and everything you say is fabricated and made up for the purpose of being entertaining, than it isn't a very good show.

    I can't (well, I can, but that's not the point) separate facts from your humor. This isn't entertaining or educational.

  2. Tk

    That's ridiculous. If you are so dim**tted that you can't differentiate humor from real world facts, anything that contains science is probably not for you. You are either **** or you have a really ***** sense of humor.

  3. Alec Mowat

    I don't know how to respond to this rage post.

  4. bringmeredwine

    I found this short doc very unappealing, there were no visuals, just this young guy talking too fast!
    Oh, and I can't remember a thing he said!

  5. dmxi

    how was tesla 'bizarre & eccentric'(did he archive his own urin samples whilst sporting the dresses of his dead mother?)?typical yank expression for people of slawian descent(weird folk!) & a bright mind ("why on earth didn't WE come up with that?") that exceeds their own!

  6. thinkagainagain

    Things you should have learned in school had you been paying attention.

  7. Epicurus

    what were a few things that you feel were fabricated?

  8. ClownAndGate

    This guy is excellent. So many rage posters here seem to think differently, but they are wrong. I find this guy very entertaining.

  9. ClownAndGate

    What a strange post. Anything and everything is easily confirmable...

  10. thinkagainagain

    The man is obviously speaking of the fabricated presentation of the documentary. He isn't saying any information is fabricated. He just doesn't like the way its presented.

    Nothing wrong with that.

  11. thinkagainagain

    Within the first two minutes:

    1) The Black Death basically killed everybody in Europe. It didn't.

    2) Basically every dome in Europe was built with flying buttresses. How about Hagia Sophia? Santa Constanza? The Pantheon?

  12. Epicurus

    1) he says killed "pretty much everyone in europe" in a very hyperbolic tone. The Bubonic plague did kill approx 1.5 million out of 4 million people, roughly 38% of Europe's population in 2 years.

    2) Hagia Sophia is in Turkey, Turkey is part of Asia not Europe. Also like you said, he says "basically" meaning not every but most.

  13. thinkagainagain

    1) "Basically everyone" does not convey 38% and 38% cannot be made to mean "most". The entire tone of the video is one of hyperbole so he can't hide behind that.

    2) "the city [Constantinople] was the largest and wealthiest European city." Norman Pounds, "An Historical Geography of Europe".
    Turkey is a transcontinental country ( both Asian and European but Istanbul (Constantinople) is considered European.

    As far as him meaning "most" when he says "basically every" do we know he means "most" in light of the fact that by his definition "basically everyone" can mean only 38% which we know is not "most".

    He has to be taken at face value under these circumstances and as such has committed two factual errors not counting the meaning of "most".

  14. thinkagainagain

    Found another. He says "no one knew how to finish the cathedral (i.e. dome) because the technology had not been invented yet". That's false on its face.

    And I still haven't passed the 2 minute mark.

  15. Jack1952

    Tesla hated to touch hair, would not shake hands, was obsessed with the number three, hated jewellery and round objects, hated obese people (fired a secretary because she was overweight) and was a proponent of forced selective breeding. He also claimed that he had intercepted communications with alien beings. I could go on. He was definitely eccentric...and he was brilliant.

  16. Alec Mowat

    Bingo. I'm sure there's truth in what he says, but he exaggerates every point for the sake of entertainment. I don't feel like fact checking for numbers. Just say "38 percent".

  17. Epicurus

    Turkey is in Asia. Istanbul is in Asia. It is all in Asia. Im glad you found the one source that agrees with you (probably Eurocentric source).

    basically everyone does convey 38%. its not everyone, but when you are talking 1.5 million people in 2 years out of 4 million you can say BASICALLY everyone.

    this series is clearly for people with a cursory understanding of history. it is not meant for someone taking a university exam. but more for high school kids. and it also does a good job at making people interested in history.

  18. Epicurus

    thats true for the people that were working on it. they didnt have phones or the internet to share technology the way we do today.

  19. Epicurus

    the series is not for people who have no idea about history clearly. its more about getting people interested in learning history. this is a great starting point that would encourage some people who otherwise had been bored with history, to get back into it.

  20. thinkagainagain

    Funny in a Newspeak sort of way.

  21. thinkagainagain


  22. dmxi

    ...&???he would got on great with my neighbour !ie nothing to write home about>smirk<!sorry for using the 'yank' term negatively as i didn't want to offend & deserve the vote 'down'!<!sorry for using the 'yank' term negatively as i didn't want to offend & deserve the vote 'down'!

  23. Epicurus

    *sigh* yes. how Orwellian.

  24. Epicurus

    So they did?

  25. Earthwinger

    A fun little series, presented by a cute geek with a nice sense of humour. Although clearly aimed at inspiring a much younger audience, I quite enjoyed it.

    My only criticism is that he failed to mention Alan Turing's paper on morphogenesis, which was for my money, was his single most amazing achievement, as he just seemed to pluck a completely new way of thinking about a subject, out of nowhere. That's true genius!

    To be fair though, the short format of the show, no doubt mean't that some tough choices had to be made on what areas to cover. So I guess for pure wow factor, breaking Nazi codes, at a place called Station X (which sounds like it's straight out of a Bond movie), scores pretty high on the universal scale of awesomeness. So I'll let him off this time. ;)


  26. William deLange

    Love your shows, do you a list

  27. Hollis Evon Ramsey

    i would like to suggest Rosalind Franklin, Marjorie Courtney-Latimer, and George Washington Carver for future videos.

  28. awful_truth

    An entertaining quick look at some of history's most influential people. Aside from some generalizations, and exagerations, most of the material is fairly accurate, and a good starting place for those who wish to delve deeper into the history of people who have made an impact on humanity, and society as a whole. Too bad the next video connection crapped out shortly after the Tesla bio.

  29. Matt Murray

    I've noticed the interest in under rated and mate scientists. How about an episode on George Cantor?

  30. dodo

    Russian kicked d Nazis out and saved Poland,, what is this guy saying?

  31. Thomas Bach

    I think you should read couple of books about WW2 before speaking/writing. Russia invade Poland on 9/17/1939. That was a deal between Hitler and Stalin. On 9/23/1939 Russians and Germans throw common parade to mark the end of invasion. If you want to find out how Russians "save" Poland I suggest movie "KatyƄ".

  32. larry

    How about Bucky Fuller? Or Sergei Korolyov (you can roll in Tsiolkovsky as a bonus track). Or or that famous bongo player Richard Feynman. Mandelbrot? Or the absolute drips of the truly modern science of chaos, Robert Shaw and Peter Scott.

  33. denis preedt

    you do realise,don't you, that all Human-beings are totally insane? our brains have developed too far so that we have become very,very clever and as a result can no longer utilise intelligence,our cleverness is everything.The more clever,the more insane.They do things because they can,not because it is an intelligent thing to do.These people that you eulogise,in fact,do enormous damage to the environment, enabling us to destroy most other life forms,on which,we totally depend,poison the oceans,the soil and the air we breath.As Einstein remarked-after it was too late-{ the greatest disaster for mankind,was splitting the Atom!] A pity they had not the intelligence to foresee it.

  34. rabbey

    i just now stumbled onto this, i haven't even started it yet, but i'm sure i'll like it. i say that because i've seen another video by them that was AB FAB - " scishow the chemistry of addiction". i highly recommend it...

  35. Dustup

    In some of Tesla's writings he referred to Maxwell as a poet. A nice way of saying that his mathematical expressions or explanation didn't always hit the mark. Didn't think much of Einstein either. Why? Because he did actual experiments which showed their theories to be bogus and/or knew of others who also showed them to miss the mark. Especially the notion that the speed of light is an upper limit. It varies with the medium it passes thru and some particles are known to travel at speeds approximately 25% faster than light. Tesla could get certain things to act instantly at a great distance, meaning infinite speed or no speed required would be more accurate.

    Imagine a long solid steel shaft held in place on slick ice by 4 stakes, 2 straddling it at each end. Take a large hammer and bang the side of the steel shaft. How long does it take for that wave to reach the other end? Now hit the very end surface of the shaft. If the shaft were nearly massless, similar to a radio wave, then the shaft impulse would be felt instantly at the other end, it would move at the other end instantly. At that other end if you made it sharp and place a bunch of these theories against the shaft you could instantly poke a big hole in them. The difference twixt theorists and good experimenters.

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