Galileo Galilei (1564-1642): The Italian astronomer and physicist was punished by the Roman Catholic Church for promoting the heliocentric model of the solar system, which posited that the Earth revolved around the Sun. This contradicted the geocentric model endorsed by the Church at the time. Galileo was placed under house arrest and forced to recant his views, even though they were scientifically accurate.
Ignaz Semmelweis (1818-1865): Semmelweis, a Hungarian physician, correctly identified the importance of handwashing in preventing the spread of infectious diseases in hospitals, particularly puerperal fever among women in maternity wards. His ideas were met with resistance by the medical community of his time, and he faced professional and personal difficulties.
Alan Turing (1912-1954): Turing, a British mathematician and computer scientist, made significant contributions to cryptography and computer science during World War II. Despite his accomplishments, he was persecuted for his homosexuality, which was criminalized in the United Kingdom at the time. He was subjected to chemical castration and lost his security clearance.
Socrates (469-399 BCE): The ancient Greek philosopher was sentenced to death by drinking poison hemlock for allegedly corrupting the youth and questioning the traditional gods of Athens. Socrates’ commitment to questioning and pursuing knowledge was seen as a threat by the Athenian authorities.
Thomas More (1478-1535): More, a prominent English lawyer and statesman, opposed King Henry VIII’s separation from the Roman Catholic Church. He refused to acknowledge the king’s supremacy in religious matters and was executed for treason. More’s stance was rooted in his religious beliefs and his commitment to the truth as he saw it.