Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Coolest Scientist Ever: Championship Match

New Voices Coolest Scientist Ever Tournament

It's time for the championship round!

Stephen Hawking and Albert Einstein are now the only two left in the running for the Coolest Scientist Ever. This past week, winners were selected based on their impact on science and society. Both matches were close, but in the end Bill Gates and Ben Franklin could not match the victors’ cultural cache.

For the championship, the contestants will be judged on all criteria including scientific prowess, promotion of science and cultural impact. Both of these amazing scientists need your votes so vote early and vote often!

Stephen Hawking. Why Hawking? Though Bill Gates has had an undeniable impact on our lives and done enormous good, Hawking has been a driving force behind the popularization of science. And is, simply, awesome.

One of the great challenges to popularizing science is making the most advanced, complex and interesting science understandable; Hawking’s great cultural gift is that he has made science simultaneously accessible and cool. His A Brief History of Time, an international bestseller, is both a brilliant work of science and (relatively) easy to read.

Hawking is also a prominent cultural figure. As the only physicist who has been on The Simpsons, Futurama, Star Trek: The Next Generation and Late Night with Conan O’Brien, he is highly recognizable in scientific and cultural circles.

He has done all this while struggling with ALS and speaking through a computer, which takes more than intellect; it takes strength of character and a sense of humor. That he manages to communicate his good humor while speaking through the computer voice is an accomplishment in its own right. He is clearly one of the coolest scientists out there.

Albert Einstein has been one of the top picks every single week. Regardless of the amount of scientific, cultural, and political prowess Ben Franklin exhibited, he couldn’t quite beat Einstein.

Einstein is one of the most important figures of the 20th century both scientifically and culturally. Few scientists have truly redefined their field, but Einstein’s work resulted in a massive leap forward for physics at the beginning of the 20th century. Even when sneered by bullies ("Nice move EINSTEIN!") he remains synonymous with genius and with intellectual accomplishment.

And his popularity extends far beyond his intelligence. Einstein was a personable and interesting man who explored the seemingly unanswerable questions both scientific and philosophical. He's so well known, he's referred to by his last name alone; and this recognition has helped to make science more prominent in the eyes of Americans and the world. Who could ask for anything more?

Now that we are down to the final pairing it is more important than ever that you visit New Voices daily to vote for your favorite scientist! Be sure to submit your vote each day through Friday, July 31st, when the Coolest Scientist Ever will be announced.

May the best physicist win!

Who is the coolest scientist ever?
Stephen Hawking
Albert Einstein
pollcode.com free polls

Who did Hawking and Einstein beat to get here? Check out the Sweet 16, Elite 8, and Final 4.

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