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European scientist

Posted by GPP on November 07, 2003

In Reply to: European scientist posted by ESC on November 07, 2003

: : : : In the November 2003 issue of Boys' Life, which is the official magazine of the Boy Scouts of America, Ernst Mach is identified only as a "European scientist" who did expmeriments with sound and whom the speed of sound is named after. So I'm left thinking, "Hmm, probably German, but could be Swiss or Austrian." I have a feeling that this specific fact was hidden from me on purpose, but I don't know what the purpose could be.

: : : : Is this a new trend? Is it the next logical step after losing the specific identifiers "Chinese", "Japanese", etc., for Asians? Is it an American thing?

: : : I don't think so. Probably a writer who was too lazy to find out the exact country.

: :
: : Surely everybody knows that Ernst Mach was Irish. I put all this confused thinking down to the poor quality of US University education.

: Excuse me?

Two comments: One, this is Boy's Life we're talking about, which is trying to present some interesting information to a young audience without making it overly complicated. And two, if anyone would bother to look before they speak, they would find that Mach WAS a 'European' scientist. He was born in Brno, studied in Vienna, joined the faculty at Graz, and finally returned to Prague. It has long been common for European scientists to move around from country to country; many studied in Germany, particularly.

I thought Patrick's irony was funny--AND to the point. (Even though Mach was of course not Irish at all.)