Pacific Science Center

Bringing science to life.

Calendar Of Science – January

Every month, Pacific Science Center publishes a Calendar of Science, a compendium of science facts to add a little knowledge to your daily routine. Read on and discover a few things you may not have known. If you would like to receive a daily dose of science, subscribe to Calendar of Science on Twitter. Have a comment or question? Please drop us a line. Remember, life’s boring without discovery.


Jan. 1, 1996: The last individual of the snail species Partula turgida (the Polynesian Tree Snail) died at the London Zoo.
Jan. 2, 1936: The first electron tube to enable night vision was described, in Missouri.
Jan. 3, 1999: The U.S. Mars Polar Lander was launched.
Jan. 4, 1809: Birthday: Louis Braille, inventor of braille system of reading and writing for use by the blind or visually impaired.
Jan. 5, 1933: Construction work on San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge began on the Marin County side.
Jan. 6, 1971: The first synthetic production of growth hormones was announced by Berkeley chemists.
Jan. 7, 1913: William Merriam Burton was issued a U.S. patent for the thermal cracking of crude oil.
Jan. 8, 1942: Birthday: Stephen Hawking, a pioneer in theoretical cosmology and quantum gravity.
Jan. 9, 1950: Birthday: Sir Alec Jefferys, who discovered the technique of DNA fingerprinting.
Jan. 10, 1899: U.S. patent issued for an “Electric Device,” invented by David Misell, manufactured as the “Flash Light” by Conrad Hubert.
Jan. 11, 1922: Insulin was first used in humans for the treatment of diabetes.
Jan. 12, 1886: U.S. patent issued for an “Apparatus for Cooling and Disinfecting” to Lewis H. Latimer.
Jan. 13, 1978: NASA selected its first class of U.S. women astronauts.
Jan. 14, 1794: Elizabeth Bennett became the first woman in the U.S. to successfully give birth to a child by a Cesarean section.
Jan. 15, 1907: Dr Lee de Forest was issued a patent for the three-element vacuum tube, a device for amplifying feeble electric currents.
Jan. 16, 1969: Two manned Soviet Soyuz spaceships became the first vehicles to dock in space and transfer personnel.
Jan. 17, 1929: Edwin Hubble communicated the now classic paper that first showed the universe was expanding.
Jan. 18, 1933: Birthday: Ray Dolby, who invented the Dolby Noise Reduction Systems.
Jan. 19, 1875: Thomas A. Edison was issued a patent on a Telegraph Apparatus.
Jan. 20, 1994: A gene test was reported in Nature which could predict the likelihood of osteoporosis in later life at an early age.
Jan. 21, 1799: Edward Jenner’s smallpox vaccination was introduced.
Jan. 22, 1939: The uranium atom was split for the first time using the cyclotron at Columbia University in New York City.
Jan. 23, 1896: Wilhelm Röntgen first made a public lecture-demonstration of his X-ray device, Germany.
Jan. 24, 1950: The original microwave oven patent was issued to Percy Spencer under the title “Method of Treating Foodstuffs”.
Jan. 25, 1955: Scientists at Columbia University developed an atomic clock accurate to within one second in 300 years.
Jan. 26, 1911: Birthday: Polykarp Kusch, who determined that the magnetic moment of the electron is greater than its theoretical value.
Jan. 27, 1950: Science magazine announced the new antibiotic terramycin, made by Charles Pfizer & Co.
Jan. 28, 1613: Galileo may have unknowingly viewed the undiscovered planet of Neptune.
Jan. 29, 1960: An artificial kidney that can operate without human monitoring was announced.
Jan. 30, 1868: Charles Darwin’s book – Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication – was published.
Jan. 31, 1961: The U.S. launched a male chimpanzee named Ham on a Mercury-Redstone 2 rocket into suborbital flight.

X