Who’s the greatest Russian (scientist)?

Cross-posted from here

There are two clear front runners in Russian state TV’s ‘greatest Russian’ contest. So far Josef Stalin and Tsar Nicholas II are way ahead in the poll, which is being decided by that arbiter of our age: online voting.

But what about Russia’s great scientists? How are they faring? It is quite impressive how many scientists have actually made the voting shortlist.

Cosmonaut and first man in space Yury Alekseyevich Gagarin is currently in tenth place with 96,000 votes. Although far behind the 280,000-odd of the two leaders this still puts him ahead of Boris Yeltsin.

Slightly further down in 14 with 81,000 is Mikhail Lomonosov, scientist and the man who gave his name to that troublesome ridge in the Arctic. Nuclear physicist Andrei Sakharov is in 18th place with 38,000 votes and aeronautics expert Konstantin Tsiolkovsky polls 13,000, putting him in 28th place.

Not so popular is the great chemist Dmitri Mendeleev, inventor of the periodic table. He’s stuck down in 33rd place with a shockingly paltry 8,000 votes. This is possibly because of the hugely unflattering photograph used, which makes him look like a slightly elderly Rasputin or Alan Moore on a bad day.

Come on chemists! Vote him up! With 4,000 votes we can get him above both Tolstoy and Bulgakov…

Daniel Cressey