Famous European scientists and inventors, by country:

Here’s the puzzle for the week: For each of the following European countries or areas (basically those that now have a population of 4 million or more) — Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Moldova, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine — name at least one really famous (in America) and important scientist or inventor who was born there (that is, within its modern boundaries), who worked most of his life there, or who is culturally identified with the nation (even if he lived in a colony or a place that is no longer in the country). Also, include people for any of the smaller countries, if you can think of them. It’s surprisingly hard for some countries, even some big and formerly prominent ones, notably Spain.

I have my current list hidden below. If you have some names for the countries that are not yet filled in, please e-mail them to me at volokh at law.ucla.edu. Please include a URL of a page that confirms the person’s affiliation with the country. Please do not send me more names for countries for which people are already included (unless the included people are all somewhat iffy, generally because they may equally be claimed by another country). Please also do not send me messages arguing that Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Uzbekistan, or Wales should be included.

The test of a famous person: I must have heard of him. Here I represent the typical American layperson who is not a scientist, but who likes science enough that he pays attention to relatively prominent scientists. (It helps, fairly or not, if the person has something named after him.) Special proviso for people now living or recently dead: There must be good reason to think they’ll be famous a century from now.

The test of an important scientist or inventor: Entirely subjective, though if a scientist or inventor is still famous a century or more after his death, that’s a good sign that he’s important. Note, though: For inventors the invention has to be something pretty novel; for instance, much as I like my Glock, Gaston Glock doesn’t count, even though his name is famous. Likewise for Porsche, or the Belarus-born Sukhoi, whose name is famous among military aircraft buffs (a line of Soviet warplanes are named after him). As I said, lots of arbitrariness here.

(Click here to show list.)

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