3. Benjamin Franklin was not only instrumental in laying the foundations of the United States but resided at the forefront of science and technology
A polymath who would become one of the most remembered Founding Fathers of the United States, Benjamin Franklin enjoyed an illustrious career ranging from being an author, a scientist, and finally a statesman. Across a life that almost spanned the entirety of the eighteenth century, Franklin served as one of the foremost figures of the American Enlightenment. Responsible for numerous inventions, most prominently the lightning rod, bifocals, and an eponymous stove, Franklin is widely celebrated today for his discoveries and theories relating to electricity as well as founding the University of Pennsylvania.
Earning the title of “The First American“, Franklin was one of the earliest advocates of colonial unity and independence. Serving as the nation’s first ambassador to France, Franklin was instrumental in forging and maintaining the vital Franco-American alliance that proved essential to achieving victory against the British in the Revolutionary War. Laying the foundations as the inaugural Postmaster General for the country’s communications network, Franklin’s interests were wide-ranging and impactful. Like Washington, Franklin – who is also depicted on American currency, appearing on the one hundred dollar bill – similarly deserves the chance to pass judgment on his successors whilst also enjoying the inventions which followed his own.
2. H.G. Wells predicted many of the everyday technologies we depend upon today and it is only fair he be permitted to also enjoy them
A forward-looking social critic, Herbert George Wells is today most remembered for his artistic contributions as an author and the “father of science fiction“. However, during his own lifetime, Wells was known best as a futurist and progressive commentator, envisioning a brighter path ahead for humanity and attempting to encourage mankind to tread said road. Foreseeing the advent of aircraft, mechanized warfare, space travel, nuclear weapons, satellites, and even the Internet, Wells’ imagination bore no limitations. Nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature four times, Wells’ acclaimed works include The Time Machine, The Invisible Man, and The War of the Worlds.
However, Wells was more than simply a visionary author, campaigning also as a committed socialist. Supporting the short-lived League of Nations as a means to potentially unite humanity and end future conflicts, the failure of the organization weighed heavily on Wells. Penning The Rights of Man in 1940, the influential text laid the groundwork for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights eight years later. Sadly, Wells did not live to see his moral vision instituted globally, dying in 1946, and it would be only fair to permit Wells to see the world he could only dream about within the pages of his novels.
1. The father of modern science, Galileo Galilei was persecuted by the Catholic Church despite the veracity of his claims
Considered the father of several disciplines and fields, including observational astronomy, modern physics, the scientific method, and even modern science in general, Galileo Galilei was an Italian polymath who lived during the Renaissance period. Championing the heliocentric interpretation of the universe proposed by Copernicus in 1543 – twenty-one years prior to Galileo’s own birth – in opposition to the prevailing geocentric models of the time, Galileo’s consistent and ardent defense of the theory ultimately attracted unsavory attention. Drawing the ire of the Roman Inquisition, after decades of ill-treatment and abuse Galileo was eventually accused of heresy in 1633.
Found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, Galileo was forced to recant his scientific beliefs, in particular, that the Sun lies at the center and around which the Earth revolves. Sentenced to life imprisonment, commuted to house arrest, for the remainder of his life, Galileo used his final years to condense and publish prior research and ideas on subjects of physics spanning speed and gravity to relativity and motion. One of the foremost scientists in human history, Galileo deserves not only to know his steady conviction in his theories was well-founded but to experience the wonders of the modern age he helped to build.
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