Isaac Newton was a bit of a nerd. During his younger years he was said to have no hobbies and spend all of his time buried in his studies. He was always a bit of a recluse, never marrying and never having a close friend. Newton's accomplishments and discoveries are beyond counting. He was one of the first men to invent calculus, he pioneered fields in mathematics, physics, astronomy, and philosophy, he was the first to explain gravity in a more complex way, he was the president of the royal society, and built explained planetary motion. That's just a microcosm of all he accomplished. Newton was lucky to live his life during the scientific revolution… or perhaps it’s more accurate to say, Newton caused the scientific revolution as it was his influence on the world of science that define the era in which he lived and not the era in which he lived that defined his work. Isaac Newton is a transcendent figure in almost all fields. Everyone knows his name. Not to disparage the other great leaders on The Path to Newton but most of them aren’t quite as recognizable (save for Plato, Socrates, and some of the other great ancient Greek philosophers). After all, we’re calling the path to Newton because Newton is the central figure of it all. He put everything together and made Scientific discovery important. Perhaps not single-handedly, but he was certainly at the vanguard and he’s the most recognizable figure of the scientific revolution. As president of the royal society he was put at a great advantage. With such an authoritative position, Newton’s influence only grew stronger. From 1703-1727 he served as president and in this time, he published some of his most famous work. Since he was president at the time, few dared to challenge his work. It also made it easier for his works to one day, not too long after, to become commonplace teachings. Some wonder, “how did Newton make so many ground-breaking discoveries?” and “why couldn’t anyone else think of these?” Newton asked questions that no one else was asking. Newton looked at things differently, cliché as it may sounds. Newton made these realizations also in part because of the amount of time he spent studying his passions. He did nothing else with his life, so he had more time on his hands to think about these things. All the time that we spend texting, watching tv, or enjoying our (more normal hobbies), Newton spent in labs, or with pen to paper. Discovering was his life and he is celebrated for it as he should be.
Newton didn’t really have any shortcoming or miss-steps while he was still alive – or if there were, he covered them up well. However, after he died, Einstein question and disproved some of his ideas but the same can be said of any of the most famous scientists so to hold that against him would be absolutely preposterous.