Polymaths: 10 questions

  1. Which architect was also a reputed scientist, and was appointed Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford in 1661?
  2. Which 12th century German saint is primarily known as the composer of works such as Ordo Virtutum, but also wrote several works of philosophy and theology, and was also famed for her botanical and medicinal knowledge?
  3. Which scientist and politician first gained fame at the age of just twelve, when he wrote letters to his local newspaper in the character of a widow called Silence Dogood? The letters were so convincing that several gentlemen proposed marriage?
  4. Which American inventor, architect and scientist is known for inventing the Dymaxion house/car, as well as the discovery of a type of carbon molecule also known as footballene?
  5. Which British philosopher, mathematician and author won the 1950 Nobel Prize for Literature? He also authored some of the most important mathematics books ever written, including the Principia Mathematica with A.N. Whitehead?
  6. C.B. Fry was one of the most accomplished sportsmen of his age; he held the world long jump record, scored a century for England in cricket and played in an F.A. Cup final. He was supposedly offered the throne of which country in the 1920s?
  7. Which 11th century Persian mathematician is best known in the west for his Rubaiyyat, a collection of poems translated by Edward Fitzgerald in the 19th century?
  8. Which Greek philosopher was known simply as “The Master” for his grasp of every field of learning? He is perhaps most famous for his Nicomachean Ethics.
  9. Which neurologist was part of the Beyond the Fringe comedy revue with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and later directed over 50 operas?
  10. Which U.S historian, sociologist, economist and activist was the first black man to graduate from Harvard, and later became president of the NAACP in 1910 and founded its journal, The Crisis.

Answers below (scroll down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Which architect was also a reputed scientist, and was appointed Savilian Professor of Astronomy at Oxford in 1661?
    A: Christopher Wren
  2. Which 12th century German saint is primarily known as the composer of works such as Ordo Virtutum, but also wrote several works of philosophy and theology, and was also famed for her botanical and medicinal knowledge?
    A: Hildegard of Bingen
  3. Which scientist and politician first gained fame at the age of just twelve, when he wrote letters to his local newspaper in the character of a widow called Silence Dogood? The letters were so convincing that several gentlemen proposed marriage.
    A: Benjamin Franklin
  4. Which American inventor, architect and scientist is known for inventing the Dymaxion house/car, and has a type of carbon molecule also known as footballene named after him?
    A: Richard Buckminster-Fuller
  5. Which British philosopher, mathematician and author won the 1950 Nobel Prize for Literature? He also authored some of the most important mathematics books ever written, including the Principia Mathematica with A.N. Whitehead?
    A: Bertrand Russell
  6. C.B. Fry was one of the most accomplished sportsmen of his age; he held the world long jump record, scored a century for England in cricket and played in an F.A. Cup final. He was supposedly offered the throne of which country in the 1920s?
    A: Albania
  7. Which 11th century Persian mathematician is best known in the west for his Rubaiyyat, a collection of poems translated by Edward Fitzgerald in the 19th century?
    A: Omar Khayyam
  8. Which Greek philosopher was known simply as “The Master” for his grasp of every field of learning? He is perhaps most famous for his Nicomachean Ethics.
    A: Aristotle
  9. Which neurologist was part of the Beyond the Fringe comedy revue with Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, and later directed over 50 operas?
    A: Jonathan Miller
  10. Which U.S historian, sociologist, economist and activist was the first black man to graduate from Harvard, and later became president of the NAACP in 1910 and founded its journal, The Crisis.
    A: W.E.B. DuBois

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