Most parents have big dreams for their kids, whether that means they become famous, do something great for the world, become a scientist, or you know, become a good person. And just in case names can influence this, I've created a list of 20
baby names inspired by scientists if your dreams for your baby are for them to be a great scientist. Whether that means they invent the next greatest thing, go into space, or come up with a new scientific theory that will blow everyone's minds and change the way we view the world as we know it.
This list spans centuries of famous men and women scientists, all contributing to different areas: physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, evolution, engineering, radiology, oncology, and more. Some of the people on this list are heroes in their own right for not only being brilliant scientists, but being brilliant and successful while also breaking racial and gender barriers. I don't know how much effect a name can have on your kid's future, but I don't think it would hurt to name them after one of these magnificent, intelligent, and admirable humans in the history of the world. Maybe they'll be the next greatest scientist that kids will read about in history books?
1 Charles (Darwin)
When you think of evolution or the term "
survival of the fittest," Charles Darwin comes to mind. He is known for his contributions to the "scientific theory of evolution," per Biography. Darwin had the idea that all species come from common ancestors and we rise and develop through the natural selection of a being's ability to " compete, survive, and reproduce," Britannica noted. Charles also means " free man," per Nameberry. 2 Marie (Curie) Marie Curie was the first woman to ever win a Nobel Prize, and she won it twice: Once for physics and then chemistry, making her the first person to ever doubly receive the honor. She is best known for her development of the x-ray, per Biography.
Baby Name Wizard also noted that "many believe
Marie means 'sea of bitterness' or 'sea of sorrow.' However, some sources cite the alternative definitions of 'rebellion,' 'wished-for child,' and 'mistress or lady of the sea.'" 3 Albert (Einstein)
Albert Einstein is known for his influence on the "
philosophy of science," as well as being the founder of the theory of relativity, which is one of the two pillars of modern physics, according to Britannica. Ironically, Albert means " noble, bright," according to SheKnows. 4 Rosalind (Franklin)
English chemist and x-ray crystallographer
Rosalind Franklin was a "pioneer molecular biologist," according to DNA From The Beginning, and she deduced the basic dimensions of DNA and was part of a team that discovered the double helix. The name Rosalind has Spanish origins and it means "pretty rose," according to Nameberry. 5 Tiera (Guinn) Jim Bennett/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
Tiera Guinn is a
24-year-old rocket engineer who graduated from MIT in 2017, according to Guideposts. However, she was already working with NASA when she was still attending MIT when she was just 22 years old.
She's currently working for Boeing as a structural analyst building the "Space Launch System for NASA," which is sending people to Mars. Tiera means "earth" and in mythology it's the name of the "
Roman earth goddess," per Think Baby Names. 6 Elizabeth (Blackwell) Elizabeth Blackwell was the first woman to receive a medical degree in America according to womenshistory.org — she also graduated first in her class and championed for women's involvement in the medical field.
My God is abundance" or "God is my Oath" are the meanings of Elizabeth, according to Behind the Name. 7 Isaac (Newton)
Isaac Newton is known for being the physicist and mathematician who developed the
principles of modern physics, as well as the laws of motion, according to Biography. He also designed and constructed a reflecting telescope in 1668, per the website. The name Isaac also means " he laughs, laughter," per SheKnows. 8 Jane (Cook Wright, Goodall)
According to blackdoctor.org,
Jane Cook Wright overcame race and gender barriers and played a "fundamental role" in coming up with chemotherapy as a cancer treatment back in the 1940s. Her work "revolutionized cancer research and how physicians treat cancer," the website noted.
Jane Goodall is known for her "
long-term study of wild chimpanzees in Tanzania," according to Live Science, and it's "the world's longest running continuous wildlife research project."
The sweet name Jane also means "
Jehovah has been gracious," according to SheKnows. 9 George (Washington Carver)
Born into slavery,
George Washington Carver became one of the most prominent scientists and inventors of his time and "actively promoted alternative crops to cotton and methods to prevent soil depletion," according to Biography.
George is "from 'georgos,' meaning tiller of the soil, or farmer." 10 Katherine (Johnson) Smith Collection/Gado/Archive Photos/Getty Images Katherine Johnson was part of the "Hidden Figures" group of African-American women. She was a mathematician whose work helped send the first Americans into space. According to space.com, she is one of the most "celebrated black women in space science."
Katherine means "
pure, clear" (like the galaxy!) according to SheKnows. 11 Galileo (Galilei)
Not only did Galileo
construct a telescope, according to Biography, but he also developed the universal law of acceleration, and supported Copernican theory that the sun is the center of the universe as the Earth and other planets revolve around the sun.
Galileo's Italian origin means "
from Galilee" and honors Jesus, who was also called "the Galilean," according to Baby Name Wizard. 12 Mary (Jackson)
Mary Jackson was also part of the "Hidden Figures" group of women who surpassed racial and gender barriers to help launch the first Americans into space.
Depending on who you ask,
Mary can mean "bitterness" or "beloved lady," according to Baby Name Wizard. 13 Anaximander Anaximander was a Greek philosopher who was "the first to develop a cosmology, or systematic philosophical view of the world," according to Britannica. Plus, your kid will definitely have the most unique name in the class.
Anaximander means "
the king of the strong, the lord of manly," according to Name-Doctor. 14 Dorothy (Vaughan)
Dorothy Vaughan was a "
human computer" who was part of the "Hidden Figures" group of women who helped launch the first Americans into outer space, per Biography.
Dorothy also means "
gift of God," according to SheKnows. 15 Aristotle Aristotle was the first to investigate logic, "invented the field of formal logic," and is called one of the most important philosophers and thinkers in history, according to simplyphilosophy.org. Britannica noted that Aristotle also " identified various scientific disciplines and explored their relationships to each other."
SheKnows says Aristotle means "
superior, best of thinkers." How this meaning came to be seems like a chicken or the egg argument to me, don't you think? 16 Mae (Jemison) Afro Newspaper/Gado/Archive Photos/Getty Images
Mae Jemison was the first black woman to travel to space, and is also an engineer and physician, according to space.com. Additionally, "Dr. Jemison resigned from NASA and founded the Jemison Group, Inc. Among her current projects are several that focus on improving healthcare in Africa and advancing technology in developing countries," per space.com.
Nameberry says Mae means "
bitter or pearl." Let's go with pearl. 17 Alexander (Graham Bell)
Alexander Graham Bell was an inventor and scientist best known for
inventing the original telephone. And according to Biography, he also co-founded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T) in 1885.
Alexander also means "
defender of men," according to SheKnows. 18 Rachel (Carson)
Not only was
Rachel Carson a scientist and marine biologist, but she is most well-known for her writings about environmental pollution, which advanced the global environmental movement in the early 1900s, according to rachelcarson.org.
According to Baby Name Wizard, Rachel means "
ewe, female sheep." 19 Niels (Bohr) Niels Bohr was a Danish physicist who received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922 for his contributions to understanding atomic structure and quantum theory, according to Britannica.
Think Baby Name says Niels means "
champion." 20 Jocelyn (Bell Burnell) Jocelyn Bell Burnell is an astrophysicist and astronomer who provided the "first direct evidence of existence of rapidly spinning neutron stars," according to Biography. She also helped create a giant radio telescope as a research assistant.
The name Jocelyn also means "
member of the Gauts tribe," according to Nameberry.