Saturday, January 9, 2010

Scientist with no education??!!

“What can a man without even primary education, contribute to the field of Science?” Our answer to this question may be “No! Nothing” But we are wrong. Such a man also contributes much if he has the will and the determination.

The best example is Anton Van Leeuwenhoek, the Dutch biologist and microscopist of seventeenth century microscopist. As his family very poor he could not complete his primary education. His father a basket maker died when young Leeuwenhoek was only sixteen and the youngster became a clerk in dry goods stores in Amsterdam. Then he opened a drapery shop in his home town Delft. Then he joined as a sinecure doorkeeper at the Delft city hall, a position he held rest of his life.

As he had much leisure time and he lived only for his hobby, grinding lenses. In his life time he ground a total of 419 lenses. Many of these lenses were focused on some permanently mounted objects and though some of which no man other than him self looked. Leeuwenhoek worked alone with his lenses. He had a passion for looking closely at small. He looked at every thing from tooth scrapings to ditch water. He studied in detail the development of tiny insects and he found parasites living on fleas which no body had noticed and reported till then.

Leeuwenhoek noticed certain tiny moving objects through his microscope and he under stood they are micro organisms and he named them as animalcules. Thus he be became the first to discover the one called animals now called Protozoa.

He was the first to describe Spermatozoa. He wrote voluminously to the Royal Society in Dutch. In all he sent 375 communications about his discoveries but the society did not gave importance to his findings.

Robert Hook built a microscope according to Leeuwenhoek’s specification and he conformed the observations of Leeuwenhoek. Leeuwenhoek found a new tiny structure which was later named as bacteria. No one else was to see bacteria again for over a century.

Hence his life history is an eye opener to all those aspiring success in life.


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