Science Beards of Note

So the Bank of England has released a list of names of the scientists who have been nominated to appear on the new £50 note. In response to this, Beard Liberation Front spokesperson Keith Flett has argued on his blog for Lord Kelvin (William Thomson) who is indeed a worthy candidate, being both a very distinguished scientist and the possessor of a splendid beard:

However, it must be pointed out that Kelvin was just one of many distinguished British scientists to have been hirsute, especially in the Victorian Era. Two that spring immediately to mind are James Prescott Joule (after whom the SI unit of energy is named):

There is also of course James Clerk Maxwell, who formulated the classical theory of electromagnetism:

Anyway, please submit other candidates through the comments box. If you include a link to a picture I will update and include in this post. Note, however, that to be eligible the person must: (a) be a scientist; (b) be British; (c) be dead; and (d) not have been on a banknote before. For example, Charles Darwin has previously been on the tenner so he is ruled out and many other famous beards in science are ruled out by virtue of not being British.

10 Responses to “Science Beards of Note”

  1. Konstantin Blyuss Says:

    Sir Joseph Swan, FRS (1828-1914), inventor of incandescent light bulb

    Sir William Crookes (1832-1919), vacuum tube, ultraviolet blocking sunglass lens

  2. Michael Faraday, an uneducated and brilliant experimentalist. He was a bit challenged with regards to beards but he wasn’t upper class so perhaps wasn’t allowed one.

  3. Notice the generally divided appearance of beards of those esteemed forebears, who seem to manage their unkempt beards during intense thought through trichotillomania.

  4. Alfred Russel Wallace, as co-discoverer of natural selection and the first prominent scientist to warn of the negative impact that man was having on the environment. A good portrait can be found here;

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