Top 10 Guys Nobody Believed But Who Were Completely Right

What’s the point of being right on your own? Yeah, I know, we’re not here to do philosophy. But unless you’re a lover of the truth, being right on your own usually only serves to be able to say “I told you so”. And incidentally to go down in history as a classy guy.

1. Kotaku Wamura

Kotaku Wamura, the mayor of the Japanese town of Fudai, was convinced that a tsunami would eventually destroy his city. He therefore invested heavily to build an anti-tsunami wall around the city. Everyone laughed at him. Everybody. In 2011, 15 years after his death, a tsunami took place, the consequences of which are well known. One city escaped unscathed: Fudai.

2. Bartlomiej Brzozowiec

The Polish Bartlomiej Brzozowiec wrote in 2007 a small report about a cookie story generated when connecting the Firefox browser to the Google API key. Those responsible for Google and Firefox sent him to hell.

Later, Snowden’s revelations proved that the cookie in question was used by the NSA to monitor Internet users.

3. Barry Marshall

Barry Marshall, an Australian doctor and microbiologist, published in 1982 the result of work that shed light on the role of a bacterial infection in the development of ulcers. The whole scientific community doesn’t care about him: it’s well known that ulcers come from stress and the consumption of spicy tacos. In addition, a bacterium could never have survived in an environment as acidic as the stomach. Anyway, to prove his point, Barry Marshall swallows bacteria and presto! He develops an ulcer.

In 2005, he won the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine.

4. Harry Markopolos

Harry Markopolis, a financial analyst, realized Bernard Madoff’s little game before anyone else. He wrote three reports to the Securities and Exchange Commission exposing the scam and tried to warn Madoff’s clients of the risk they were running; but everyone pissed him off.

After Madoff’s arrest, he wrote a book: No one would listen.

5. Clair Patterson

This American geochemist led a campaign against lead poisoning. From 1965, he published several books to alert public opinion to the amount of lead found in food. He had to fight against lobbies and was even excluded from a study committee on the subject. Before history proves him right.

6. Raghuram Rajan

From 2005, the Indian economist Raghuram Rajan multiplied the conferences to warn the world against the risk of crisis inherent in the financial system. He is told that he is screwing up and that he is reactionary. And in 2007, BOUM financed it.

7. Ignace Philippe Semmelweis

In the 19th century, Ignace Philippe Semmelweis developed the theory that doctors should disinfect their hands after touching corpses, before helping with childbirth and generally, before any contact with an infectious site.

The other doctors remind him that they are doctors, what, so we’re not going to start saying that they are dirty. He never learned that he was right, because he ended up in the asylum and died from the mistreatment he suffered during his internment.

8. Barbara McClintock

Cytogeneticist Barbara McClintock made numerous discoveries during her career on the functioning of corn chromosomes and learned lessons from them on the functioning of the genome, in particular on transposition (kikoo we are back in organic spec). The geneticists didn’t give a damn. His discoveries did not interest anyone, as McClintock lamented in several letters. Then, 20 years later, his work was rediscovered and formed the heart of modern genetics.

Top 10 guys nobody believed but who were completely right
Photo credits (Public Domain): Smithsonian Institution/Science Service; Restored by Adam Cuerden

9. Descartes

Descartes wrote a treatise on heliocentrism. Then he avoided publishing it. History of continuing to live. We can also cite Galileo and Copernicus, in the same genre.

10. (Bonus) Francois Fillon

Apart from him, who thought he would be the RPR presidential candidate, tell me?

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