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Four really snowed under Belgians .pdf


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Four really snowed-under Belgians
unjustly forgotten or overshadowed by history, outside and (weirdly) inside Belgium

The Web

lled it
a
c
le
g
o
o
G
gine”
n
e
h
c
r
a
e
t s
the “firs

The Mundaneum is now a museum in Mons.
(zeeYouTube channel: goo.gl/5mbExJ)

‘From a distance everyone
will be able to read text,
enlarged and limited to the
desired subject, projected
on an individual screen. In
this way, everyone from his
armchair will be able to
contemplate the whole of
creation, in whole or in
certain parts.’ - Paul Otlet

Visionary. Founded the Mundaneum in
1910, “The Internet by mail”: via a
Brussels complex containing 15.000
drawers with 18 million index cards all
referencing each other via his generalization of Dewey’s System called
Universal Decimal Classification
(UDC is still in use as a common index
by 150.000 libraries in 130 countries).
He worked on a future with a device on
every desk enabling all information in
the world to be accessed at random, at
any time of day.

Co-developed the Worldwide Web
with Tim Berners-Lee by helping
write papers, getting funding, and
many other things, like recruiting.
Berners-Lee: “He did not invent it; it
wasn't his idea [but] one cannot
catalog in one place all the many
many things he has done for the
Web. [...] Without his energy and
passion for it I cannot imagine that it
could have taken off as it did.”

The cradle of the information revolution
Early 20th Century

CERN related

Milestones in physics

Physicist-priest who derived the big bang
theory. Also defended his theory in letters to
the pope, and convinced him that physics
and religion needn’t clash or collide, and
that his theory did not “validate the Catholic
Faith”, as Pius XII had put forth.
“Proposed the theory of the expansion of the
universe, widely misattributed to Edwin
Hubble. He was the first to derive what is
now known as Hubble's law and made the
first estimation of what is now called the
Hubble constant, which he published in
1927, two years before Hubble's article.”

Yep, the big b
ang theory
is actually Be
lgian
goo.gl/JIDwHR

and Robert Brout published a (THE)
theory to explain mass in 1964. The Higgs
field and boson, which were eventually
found in 2012 with the Large Hadron
Collider, were however named after Briton
Peter Higgs, although he only published his
theory the following month. Englert shares
the Nobel prize with Higgs, who
magnanamously accepts the Belgians beat
him to the punch. (Higgs’ paper did explicitly
discuss the boson itself in words; the
Belgians had said the same thing in the
language of the equations ‒ equivalent for
the target audience of the papers..

? Never mind ,
er
t
t
a
m
is
t
ha
W
it out in 19 64
ed
ur
ig
f
s
uy
g
se
the

(These are my personal choices. I venture that nearly every adult Beglians can think of at least one name of unjustly forgotten fellow countrymen and -women, from their own areas of interest. What are yours?)

Sebastian V


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