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The original source of this page ( appears to be unavailable temporarily. Until it can be accessed again, a copy is available here. This is a short and very selective list.

Famous Latter-day Saint Scientists

This doesn't pretend to be a complete list of famous LDS Scientists. It does include most of the famous Mormons who happened to be scientists and also famous scientists who happened to be Mormon. I've included a few corrections here along with some notable mathematicians. Please send any more suggestions or corrections to me.

James Talmage Elder Talmage graduated from Lehigh University and studied at Johns Hopkins Univeristy. He received his Ph.D. following correspondence work at Illinois Weslan University. As a geologist he undertook several pioneering studies of the Great Salt Lake area before receiving his call as an apostle in 1911.
John A. Widstoe Elder Widstoe studied biochemistry and Harvard and in 1899 received a Ph.D. in chemistry from Gottingen University in Germany.
Joseph F. Merrill Elder Merrill received a Ph.D. in physics from Johns Hopkins University in 1899. He was a professor of engineering at the University of Utah.
Henry Eyring Henry Eyring pioneered the application of quantum mechanics to chemistry. He also won the National Medal of Science for having developed the Absolute Rate Theory of chemical reactions. He was elected president of the American Chemical Society in 1963 and of the Association for the Advancement of Science in 1965. His son is now one of the Twelve Apostles and is also a scientist with a degree in physics.
Harvey Fletcher As a graduate student Fletcher worked with Millikan and together they were the first to measure the charge on an electron. Millikan won the nobel prize for that work. Harvey Fletcher directed research at Bell Labs. There he played a central role in the development of stereophonic reproduction. He was elected president of the American Physical Society in 1945.
Wilford Gardner Wilford Gardner described the movement of water through unsaturated soils by reference to capillary potential. For this and other work the American Society of Agronomy called him "the father of soil physics." He was a dean at UC Berkeley.
Russell M. Nelson Elder Nelson was a prominent heart surgeon and received a Ph.D. in surgery from the University of Minnesota.
Richard G. Scott Elder Scott was a nuclear engineer who did advanced studies at Oak Ridge National Laboratory for the Department of Energy.
James Fletcher  Had a doctorate in physics for University of Utah and was head of NASA under Nixon in 1972 and then again to deal with the Challenger aftermath in 1986.
William Hall Hall developed the tetrahedron press and was the first to produce synthetic diamonds. After leaving General Electric where they produced synthetic diamonds he went out on his own.
James Cannon Cannon is a professor of mathematics at BYU who played a key role in the classification of simple groups.
Tom Hales Hales is a professor of mathematics at the University of Michigan who proved a long standing conjecture about the optimal stacking method of spheres.
Steve Jones Dr. Jones is a professor of physics at BYU and gained recognition during the cold fusion controversy of the early 90's. His claims were much more modest than those of the U of U and he is still well respected in the field.
Kip Thorn Kip Thorn has done considerable work in theoretical physics. He is the author of the book Black Holes and Time Warps. The book features a story about a robot named "Kolob" that falls into a black hole. Apparently Thorn left the church with his family in the 70's because of the ERA issue. It appears that he wasn't terribly active at that time, however.
Paul Boyer Paul Boyer is a professor at UCLA and won the Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in uncovering the mechanism of ATP synthesis. (He grew up in a devout Latter-day Saint home and went to BYU is the 1930's. Boyer stopped attending church while he was doing postgraduate research at the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He subsequently adopted atheism and is a Life Member of the Freedom From Religion Foundation. See:


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