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There is really no single answer to this as different writers apply the term father or mother of science to different historical figures. Even more importantly, most serious historians of science are moving away from the type of history that glamorizes the singular individual and instead looking at science more realistically as an incremental process, with many different people contributing to each scientific advance.

Some of the people frequently termed the father or mother of science or of specific scientific fields include:

  • Galileo Galilei: Groundbreaking work in observational astronomy and development the scientific method, and early supporter of the heliocentric theory
  • Thales: Considered founder of the Ionian school of nature philosophy in ancient Greece and thus the first Western scientist.
  • Ada Lovelace: The first computer programmer or mother of programming.
  • Muḥammad ibn Mūsā al-Khwārizmī: He is considered the founder of algebra due to his book Al-Jabr which is the origin of the English word "algebra".
  • Marie Curie: A Franco-Polish physicist who is considered the mother of nuclear science and the study of radioactivity.
  • Isaac Newton (classical mechanics) and Einstein (relativity) are among the fathers of modern physics.
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