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What has Poland accomplished in the science and technology field?


alemonpav 2 | -
5 Sep 2017  #1
What is Poland known for in the science and technology field? Past, present, and future? How have they changed the world, what are they working towards. What are things that all Polish residents would know that represents Poland when they hear it?
Atch 17 | 2,861
5 Sep 2017  #2
If you really want the answers to those questions, for example for a project or research of some kind, you won't find them on a forum like this. However, in a nutshell my own view is that whilst Poland has produced many gifted individuals who have contributed in these areas, as a nation they don't have a signficant history of scientific and technological innovation because of their history. Remember they were partitioned during the era of the industrial revolution and then went through the war and Soviet domination during the age of technology. Also, there are many contributions made which are never heard of by the average person because they are in very specialist areas which don't make an obvious impact on our everyday lives and sometimes, rather than being a single invention or innovation they are part of a chain of events that ultimately leads to such an invention. The names that spring to mind for me as a foreigner would be Copernicus and Marie Curie but here's a very long list of Polish scientists and their achievements:

paccpnw.org/polish-contribution-to-world-science

In the present day Poland doesn't invest much in R&D and has very weak links between universities and business. Also the present government is introducing changes into the curriculum to reduce the amount of time spent on science, technology and maths and increase the number of hours devoted to history so that doesn't bode too well for the future. Also although the Polish authorities pays lip service to the idea of being 'green' they're not really interested in green technologies which is very much an up and coming area in the developed world. The present government looks backwards rather than forwards and that doesn't tend to do much for scientific and technological development.
nothanks - | 640
6 Sep 2017  #3
We introduced the fork to France
Atch 17 | 2,861
6 Sep 2017  #4
I doubt it. The fork is more likely to have arrived in France via its neighbour Italy when Catherine De Medici married Henry II because the Italians were definitely using forks before the French. It was quite common for new customs to be introduced via royal marriages just as Catherine of Braganza introduced tea to the Brits when she married Charles II. The court would adopt the latest fashion of the monarchs and it gradually filtered downwards.
DominicB - | 2,678
6 Sep 2017  #5
The fork is more likely to have arrived in France via its neighbour Italy when Catherine De Medici married Henry II because the Italians were definitely using forks before the French.

Pretty close, but a generation off. It was their son, Henry Valois, who introduced it to France when he left Poland for France, making a stop in Venice on the way, which is where he probably picked up the custom. Henry was at first king of Poland, for about six months, but abandoned the throne to become King of France. He was not of Polish ancestry. In any case, the idea that the fork was introduced to France from Poland is a myth.
Lyzko 23 | 6,535
6 Sep 2017  #6
What has Poland accomplished in the fields of science and technology??!

1) Mikolaj Aleksandr Lobaczewski - mathematics
2)Mme. Marie Curie (nee Manya Sklodowska) - biology, radiology (Nobel Laureate and the first woman to make it!!)
3) Kazimir Funk - pioneer in vitamins
4) Stanislaw Lem - mathematics

Need I continue?
:-)
Atch 17 | 2,861
6 Sep 2017  #7
Pretty close, but a generation off.

Well now Sheridan (did you watch that clip I linked to of The Surgeons from Harry and Paul) we can't know for sure but I would dispute that old chap. The fork was already in use in Italy in Catherine De Medici's time and although she was supposedly somewhat impoverished she was still a noblewoman and I'm betting she had a fork. In those days it was very common for the upper classes to carry their own eating utensils with them when travelling even on a few days journey in their own homeland so I would imagine she brought the whole kit and caboodle when she embarked for France. Perhaps we should engage a medium, have a seance and try to contact her so we can get the definitive answer :D
cms 9 | 1,272
6 Sep 2017  #8
@Lyzko

Yes ! It's not a long list :( I think in 100 years time it will be much longer - Polish innovation will blossom now there is democracy and capitalism and some cash to invest in universities
Lyzko 23 | 6,535
6 Sep 2017  #9
Long enough, cms! Besides, it's not the length of contributors as much as the breadth of their contributions, and all things considered, the Poles have a long history of said accomplishments...need I have forgotten to mention the great Mikolaj Kopernikus himself, without whom Kepler, Leibniz and a host of others never would have been possible??
Atch 17 | 2,861
7 Sep 2017  #10
now there is democracy

Is there?? And for how long? Democracy is far from firmly established in Poland.

cash to invest in universities

Funding of R&D will not improve under the present government. A couple of months ago Kaczyński remarked that the universities require 'deep change' but you can be sure those changes won't include increased spending on promotion of science and technology, especially when those subjects are being sidelined in primary and secondary schools under the new curriculum.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Sep 2017  #11
Mikolaj Aleksandr Lobaczewski - mathematics

Łobaczewski may have had Polish ancestry (which is not a given either) but he identified as Russian
Lyzko 23 | 6,535
7 Sep 2017  #12
Some books also incorrectly identify Marie Curie as French, although you and I know she was a Pole who married Pierre Curie, a Frenchman. The Germans claim Kopernikus aka Copernicus aka Kopernigk for their own, while Torun/Thorn was part of Polish-speaking Poland then....as now:-)

Sorry, gumishu. Won't hold water. The Russians are notorious as crooks and thieves world wide. And then you as a Pole want them to steal yet another piece of your history, a great mathematician??!

How the mighty have fallen.
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Sep 2017  #13
The Russians are notorious as crooks and thieves world wide. And then you as a Pole want them to steal yet another piece of your history, a great mathematician??!

Marku, Łobaczewski spent all his life in Russia. He was a child of Russian speaking parents. if he had any Polish ancestry (of which there is no mention in sources) it must have been a couple generations before
DominicB - | 2,678
7 Sep 2017  #14
Right. The name is Polish, but the man is not, amd he had no real ties with Poland. His grandfather or great grandfather might have been Polish, or a polonified Ruthenian, but at some point, the thread was broken, for whatever reason. Just like with Dostoyevsky or Tschaikovsky.
Lyzko 23 | 6,535
7 Sep 2017  #16
Claudia Wozniak doesn't sound Danish, yet she is:-)
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Sep 2017  #17
Claudia Wozniak

it's Karolina Wozniacki
kaprys 2 | 1,826
7 Sep 2017  #18
Stanisław Lem was a science fiction writer.
I'm not into science but Ignacy Łukasiewicz is worth mentioning. So are Polish Enigma code breakers.
Are we doing someone's homework?
gumishu 11 | 5,012
7 Sep 2017  #19
Are we doing someone's homework?

we are working on one Russian person self-esteem - that was a rhetoric or loaded question and the OP had in mind that Polish people contributed next to nothing
Lyzko 23 | 6,535
7 Sep 2017  #20
..a myth which we are all trying desperately to dispel, within the limiting confines of historical accuracy, of course:-)
CasualObserver
7 Sep 2017  #21
Poalnd and Polish scientists are very well known in the field of ecology and evolutionary biology, thanks to long-term research done in Bialowieza Forest that is a benchmark reference site for forest research around the world. Just a shame that Szyszko is destroying all that with the logging.
Lyzko 23 | 6,535
8 Sep 2017  #22
Hear, hear!


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