While flicking through the fantastically inane RTE list of Greatest Irish People, I was struck by how the lack of scientists, engineers and the inclusion of minor celebs and flash in the pan types such as Louis Walsh & Colin Farrell. No disrespect to either of them, the have to share a list with Joe Dolan 🙂
Did they round up people to vote based on cluelessness? This list has to be a joke. Can nobody in Montrose see it?
With my Waterfordian chip firmly weighing my shoulder down I also noticed that two obvious omissions from the list are Ireland’s only scientific Nobel Prize Winner, E.T.S. Walton, and Robert Boyle also known as the “Father of Chemistry”.
To that we’ll add John Palliser (a hero in Canada), Thomas Francis Meagher (designer of the Irish flag) and Luke Wadding (who started the St. Patrick’s Day celebrations). You can take your “Greatest Irish Person” list and shove it where the sun doesn’t shine RTE, we’ve got our own! 🙂
In all seriousness, it’s disturbing how little knowledge the list compilers had (apparently the general public) of Irish scientists, economists, engineers or indeed anyone not obvious or tabloid. If they’d been able to Google they could have found this list of famous Irish people on wikipedia. Although, admittedly that list applies the same selection criteria as Jack Charlton, who could have made the list himself. Still, its science list includes Irish born scientists such as John Desmond Bernal (X-Ray Crystollography) and John L Synge (major contribution to Black Hole research).
William Reville has a nice article about our Scientific heritage at his Understanding Science page