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The current definition defines a Mad Scientist as a stock character in fiction. This totally excludes all possible real life Mad Scientist, and limits the field of fictional Mad Scientist looked at. I believe it needs to be changed as to define WHAT classifies mad science at its core!
Here is a definition I have come up with. I hope to find out your opinions soon.
To qualify as a Mad scientist, the candidate must be messing around with SCIENCE, in ways that defy logic, safety, consideration in:
Well, I hope THAT clears up some questions over wether some is or not
Corrupt one 03:52, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Would occult wizards and especially alchemists be considered the forerunners of the mad scientist archetype? In popular popular imagination before the advent of scifi (or indeed modern science), alchemists had many peculiar behaviors (most likely from mercury poisoning like Newton). People associated alchemists with obsessive goals like turning lead into gold or making Homunculi out of mandrake roots (Frankenstein prototype?). Should I add this to the article?
"Female mad scientists are very rare" is a sexist POV opinion, not a fact; I have seen many female mad scientists in literature and many female scientists in the real world. --A
Removed from article:
Why is Dr. Seth Brundle listed as a mad scientist? Remember he started out with good intentions for humanity and it was only after an accident, not deliberate, that he became part fly and his insect instincts kicked in trying to protect his maggot offspring.
His experiments got him in the end, just like Dr. Jekyll.
Two points have been raised. Intent and methodology
The intent WAS good, but some people can argue the same about the nazi doctors who advanced medician by experimenting on prisoners, but I think we can throw THAT arguement out of the window since most people would say they are totally different. (Even though I have to admit he did not harm anyone in the experimenting)
He just did not take into any consideration that bad things might happen and thus ignored the rule to always check all possibilities. Imagine what a person can do with a teleportation machine. You could have armies popping up behind enemy lines and much more! In that manner he developed something with dangerous potental and id not warn anyone in a position of power about it.
Now for the methodology. This is the biggie as far as I am concerned.
He self experimented with a technology that he new was potentally unsafe! A normal scientist would had charged MILLIONS in grant money to preform these following test, over a couple of years.
The basic procedure for each level of testing would be to send something through, examine it, send two, examine them, send something else through to see if the machine gets any imprint of them and leaves it on the next thing through, test current level things with stuff from previous levels.
The levels would be this. Mineral, like rock or metal. Dead wood. Dead mean. Live plants. Live meat. People who are investigating you for ripping off the grant money. (They always seem to die). Volunteers.
That is what any thinking scientist would of done, in basics. Corrupt one 04:00, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
scientists are not mad, they are just misunderstood.
Should Dr. Hannibal Lecter be considered a "mad scientist"? ~~
His field of science was psycology. He pushed his patients to the edge, while not trying to make them NOT to kill himself! He had total disregard for his experimenting with the human mind. i say yes! Corrupt one 00:40, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
Fields that are largely untapped by mad scientists include: ... geology
Regarding the origin of the line "They LAUGHED at my theories at the institute! Fools! I'll destroy them all!" – have a listen to the mad scientist rant in the film Andromeda Strain (Dr Ruth Levitt's dream/flashback scene). Waveguy 15:14, 19 Jun 2004 (UTC)
Would this guy, Richard Jan, be subject to inclusion to the real-life examples? He's a biochemist and he's definitely mad, having firebombed people's homes, made over few thousand crank calls, attacked people, and not only concocted an enemies' list, but an enemies' flowchart, titled World War Three.
YoungFreud 20:10, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
No, he is not enough of a famous genius with some small eccentricty like Einstein or Heaviside and not enough of a good scientist with scary concepts like Teller or Kahn or not enough of a total monster like a run of the mill scientific type doing totally horrific monstruous things on a large scale. There are thousands like him around the world. AlainV 20:38, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)
I disagree with AlainV over the part about him being excluded on basis of not being famous enough or skilled enough. I exclude him solely on the grounds that he was NOT using his scientific skills for his prsonal war. If he developed biochemestry and sent some samples into his victems homes to see if they worked, then I might consider him one.
It wuld also of made it harder to find out what was causing their problems, and he might not then of been caught. The doctors may of just thought they had a new sickness on their hands! Oh, how many other biochemists like him ARE doing such things? Corrupt one 03:43, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
How could Dr. Desty Nova to be forgotten? He is a insanely mad scientist from a japanese graphic novel(manga), who uses nanotechnology to try overcome the karma. He is so insanely mad that he gave a killer weapon cyborg body(Berserker Body) to a know serial killer(Zapan). See more at: Battle Angel Alita.
I personally like Manga, and have seen Battle Angel Allita, the movie. However, I have not got hold of the graphic mangas. I would say he was drowned out of view by the while large load of mad scientists that have swamped that field. Also, it has come to be accepted as the norm with Manga that there will be mad scientists, so he probably was not listed as an example, since he was considered just a typical mad scientist, not different enough from the others to be mentioned. Corrupt one 04:01, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
This page seems very complete, with an unexpectedly large amount of detail (e.g. "Untouched fields"). Brilliant picture (which is already a featured picture) with hilarious caption. -- Shibboleth 07:16, 3 Jul 2004 (UTC)
Yes, there are a few lady mad scientists here and there. The latest which came to my attention was Celine Reinshafen in the novel There Will be Dragons by John Ringo And there are also mad scientists of other sexes in alien species. One could sometimes argue that the Borg collective is one huge collection of mad scientists of all possible sexes and species, depending on the directions the scripts take now and then. AlainV 04:03, 13 Jul 2004 (UTC)
He is hard of hearing and a bit abesent-minded but he is the very opposite of a bad and vengeful or innocent and socially irresponsibel individual, such as most typical mad scientists are . When we first meet him he smuggles a pocket submarine aboard Captain Haddock's ship and later on it is with the proceeds of the sale of the sub to the Navy that he buys Marlinspike Hall with Haddock. He invents a nuclear rocket to go do scientific research on the moon. In the Calculus affair when he is captured by Bordurian secret agents and kept in the Bahkine fortress he refuses to cooperate by revealing the plans of his sonic destruction device to the Bordurian military. All his inventions are practical, useful and serve society as well as his friends. His moral and ethics are impeccable. AlainV 02:13, 24 Aug 2004 (UTC)
HAHA, the "untouched field" part is funny. just thought i should say.
Kudos to whoeever's idea that was :)
For both points, I have to state this. Mad Scientists as the protype are not the only types of mad scientsts! Those protypes are just the more easily recognizable. I made a definition for mad Scientists that I think covers the whole range of them, and settles many arguements. See the section labled Definition. That is what I consider a mad scientist to be. This means many mad scientist in real life CAN be accepted!
The only problems I have with the page are as follows. It focuses on the protype, and does not look at how the mad science type of characters have evolved past the sterotypes. Also, it looks for them only in fiction. This will greatly expand the article, but it will be more detailed and have a broader point of view. At the moment it is not neutral, since it is too focused on only ONE percpective!
Also, the unresearched fields section was gone before I got here, but a mad scientist will research any field they want, even ones they make up all on their own! One such case in the basis for the manga Genocyber. Corrupt one 04:03, 2 March 2007 (UTC)
What do you fine fellows think of including Dr. Franklin Hoenikker from Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle in the list? His experiments certainly cause a world of trouble, but I'm not sure he qualifies as "mad". Distracted, yes, and not quite focused—but not entirely mad.
Anville 14:33, 15 Oct 2004 (UTC)
This page is getting a little silly with every "mad scientist" character being included on it. Why don't we create a List of mad scientists or something like that and put the additions there, as would be standard practice? --Fastfission 04:10, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Agreed. Sinistro 08:39, 1 Dec 2004 (UTC)
Okay, I did it. Whew! I left the "prototypes" in the main article, there weren't that many of those (and they didn't seem to be growing as much as the fictionals). I didn't make it "List of fictional mad scientists" because I figure that the term "mad scientist" is by definition only really defensible as a fictional trope (that is, I don't think there are any "true" mad scientists). I think it works fairly well, now. --Fastfission 00:33, 13 Dec 2004 (UTC)
I took the liberty of alphabetising those who were left, did it the cheap way (by first name) just to get them in some kind of order. I kind of like it that way; it keeps Einstein at the top. KillerChihuahua 02:25, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
I notice that villainsupply.com appears to be dead.
jup, seems to have vanished - i'm gonna kill the link
Can someone explain why Philo Farnsworth is in this list: Mad scientist#Real-life prototypes? He's not well-known enough by the general public to be a Real-life prototypes, and not eccentric enough even if he had been well-known. gK ¿? 03:29, 11 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I think that there are several names that need to be weeded out of "Real-life prototypes" section. I can probably do a good job on most of the Americans, but there are a number of British individuals on the list that I know nothing about. Can someone from the UK check those names. I also think that there are a few names that could be added. For example, Professor Julius Sumner Miller, who was involved in children's programs in the US, Canada, and Australia from the 50s through the 80s, probably influenced a large number of baby boomers on what their idea of a scientist was like. The same with Bill Nye the Science Guy for later generations. There is also Don Herbert aka "Mr. Wizard". Perhaps there need to be a special category to these guys. gK ¿? 08:09, 13 Jan 2005 (UTC)
I added him.
I added Gottleib. I think some of these guys should be removed, or at least put into a seperate category. Conscerning Oliver Heviside, for instance:
"In later years his behaviour became quite eccentric, having been at odds with the scientific establishment for most of his life. Though he had been an active cyclist in his youth, his health seriously declined in his sixth decade. During this time Heaviside would sign correspondences with the initials "W.O.R.M." after his name though the letters did not stand for anything. Heaviside also started painting his fingernails pink and had granite blocks moved into his house for furniture."
That's all I seem to have been able to find on him. I think that for a person to fall into the category of "Mad Scientist" they should adhere to at least some of these defining characteristics that were mentioned in the original article. I don't think a physically and psychologically "normal" electric engineer whose work was completely realistic, applicable, and in all aspects conventinal, should be considered a "Mad Scientist" because he painted his fingernails and had some rocks in his living room.
Jeremy Bentham is another example. "He had himself mummified" is all that he seems to have going for him. I don't see anything "mad" about him and mummification isn't all that off the wall. Honestly he barely even seems to fall into the category of "scientist".
I'd like to see them removed. I know I can do it myself, I figured imput would be prudent.
From what I can tell, he may of been idealiastic and naive when to comes to people, but from what I found on popflock.com resource about him, I can't find out much about his science. What I did find about the pigions IS NOT mad science, as he observed and then formed basis, where those who disagreed with his resulting idea did not look purely at the facts and the facts alone, but rather allowed their own opinions to color their judgement. Corrupt one 02:13, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
It's listed under the heading "Fields of Research" and "Untouched Fields." I know the entry is trying to say under the former section that it really only applies to "magical artifacts" but shouldn't this be stated in a way that doesn't include it under both headings? I'm just not sure which one to remove. Quixoto 23:24, 26 December 2006 (UTC)
Was The Mad Gasser of Mattoon a mad scientist? It turns out that the incidents there weren't Mass hysteria after all, but someone attacking local residents with a gas he'd made at home. Totnesmartin 23:38, 3 January 2007 (UTC)
Mad scientist have been portraied as Heroes in the past, but that is mainly overlooked. In modern fiction (expressly webcomics) they are becoming heroes more and more often. Corrupt one 03:28, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
It may surprise many people to realize this, but there ARE mad scientist in real life. They are everywhere. They include Ben Franklin, Issac Newton, Leonardo de Vinci, Every crakpot inventor mentioned in the Ignoble awards and the Darwin awards (Including one who now service on nuclear submarines in the US Navy), and all the nut jobs who create all those weapons of mass destruction for governments (no one else would create bio weaponry that can kill off the entire human race). I would like to hear more about this from others. Corrupt one 03:28, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
In fiction, there has been a growing trend to break convention molds. As such, even Mad scientist have been changed. They are no longer the loners, obscesed with their work, but may be parts of social groups. Examples include the web comics El Goonish Shive and Gunnerkrigg Court. We also can't forget characters who are Mad scientist in addition to other things, like Willow from Buffy
That was me. I put it here as it is something I have noticed, but found no prior research for. If I had found research into it, I would of put it in the article. I figured if I mentioned the idea that other people would start thinking about it and possibly add what they could find out about it. Corrupt one (talk) 00:18, 9 May 2009 (UTC)
I'm thinking about adding a bit mentioning that there is a difference between GOOD mad scientists and those who are evil. It is well summed in in a strip from El Goonish Shive (Newspaper strips 20040921.) I would be showing a picture of it, but I am no good when it comes to added them to popflock.com resource yet, plus I haven't done anything about getting permission to put it up. Check it out.
I've removed it because it's silly looking and adds nothing to the article. I'm going to try and find a good fair use image of the archetypal mad scientist. Pablosecca 21:24, 2 August 2007 (UTC)
In january 2007 the fields of research section was removed, earlier to that the fields NOT researched had been removed. IMHO, these were usefull contributions to the article, and whilst perhaps should have been condensed to prose rather than lists, they have simply been removed and usefull information has been lost. Other thoughts and feelings? --Nemo 11:35, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
Considering that Mad Scientists can reseach EVERYTHING and use strange things to get strange results, up to and including mathamatics, I feel that eith such lists would be redundent. If you list what they do NOT reseach, then people will remove thos things as examples appear. If you list what they DO research, then it would be WAY too long.
I recomend a few examples to demonstrate the range of what they do. One example might be "A single mad scientist may research bioengeering, nuclear physics, lasers, quantium physics psychology, and use them all to throw one hell of a party." Of course, that just popped into my head. Corrupt one 00:04, 6 September 2007 (UTC)
Untill we have home something stating that they DO, we can't add that. Also, it can be noted that they may study different different FIELDS in order to look at different approaches on one SUBJECT, such as Tedd in El Goonish Shive, who knows alien laser technology, programing, biology, and at the moment his transformation causing food additives are all theoretical. All those fields of research are focusing on one subject he enjoys.
If you are talking about specific fields, like giant robots, lasers, earthquake making machines, human animal cross creation (hello DNA research that currently exists) and other such things, then you can look at that. Still, unless there is a referancable mention of it, you can't add it. You can call out for information and referance sources. Corrupt one 23:46, 3 October 2007 (UTC)
In the definition section is a large part about the evil genius overlap. I say this is too long, and we make it its own section in the main part of the article? Any ideas on how to do this, or anyone wanting to do it? Corrupt one 23:45, 23 September 2007 (UTC)
Maybe this is just me, but this article seems to be written, at various points, with a very tongue-in-cheek or mocking tone or style. Am I alone in thinking this? akuyumeTC 02:45, 1 October 2007 (UTC)
Well, DUH! There seem to be two main types of made scientists, as I can see. One is the serious Victor Frankeinstien type who are mad and serious in their madness, and the second is a self parody. How can you make an article about something that has grown to be heavily self mocking EXCEPT as tounge in cheek? I should know, since I ADDED some of those points. Corrupt one 01:12, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
I agree, however, that is not dealing with the tounge in cheek part, but rather a more serious problem about having uncitied and thus UNVERIFIED information, and should be its own segment in this discusion page.
Point out WHICH quotes you want referances for, and maybe look at the archives to see who put them up. You might be able to ask them on their discusion page and have them add the citations that are needed. Otherwise, it will be a large problem to figure out.
For what YOU want to add, have fun, BE tounge in cheek, BUT do as I do, and ALWAYS cite your sources. Other people may remove the citations, but it is harder to stop that. Corrupt one 23:40, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I agree, I'm a consistency Nazi. And as another person noted, many other statements need to be sourced as well. But, that's just my two bits. akuyumeTC 00:01, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
The first thing to remember when using quotations within popflock.com resource is that they must be sourced.
I was interested in something I saw on TV recently, more specifically during the first episode of the Bionic Woman. Talking about test subjects the for project one of the committe of people deciding the matter asked why they had to chose a new subject, and the reply was "Because you had to play House with her." He had saved her life by giving her the technology WITHOUT any authorisation and against the rules, like Dr Gregory House from the show House would of.
This got me to thinking about what other generally accepted TYPES of Mad Scientists are out there. Frankeinstien is another, and Dr Mouribu is a bit like that. Can anyone else mention more and house they are used in common useage, quoting referances, of course. We might even get a new segment out of this ;-> Corrupt one 23:39, 5 October 2007 (UTC)
Can we start Mad scientists usally wear white coats. They also have spikey gray hair. Most of the time they also lauph alot. --Preceding unsigned comment added by 220.127.116.11 (talk) 18:00, 22 December 2007 (UTC)
That is a steriotypical characterisation of them, not listing different types. Anyway, did frankeinstien fit that discrition, did Jekle (or however you spell it) from Jeckle and Hyde dress that way or does Dr Who? The amoral researcher doesn't care about anything other then getting results, and the self experimenters can be very varying in type. Heck, Arnold Swatcheneger (how DO you spell arnies last name?) played a self experimentor in the comiedy Junior. Corrupt one (talk) 22:49, 1 January 2008 (UTC)
I had added a link to www.slightlymadscience.com - a website that focuses on a mad-scientist theme and has various science-related and/or parody videos. However, as I had missed the part of "conflict of interest" and it's a website that I own, I realized that it would not be appropriate for me to add that video myself. I undid the edit.
I still think the site - given its application of the genre, would still be appropriate as a link. If an editor has the opportunity to review the site and come to a similar conclusion, they can add it. If not, thanks for reviewing my comment regardless.
I say it JUST might fit. I say it is worth a shot. I also think the Mythbusters also clasify a bit as mad Scientist due to their love for explosives, creating deadly things for fun, and making even the FBI and Secret Service worry about their work in the past. You may want to try linking to them. About Slightly Mad Science, I think I will say yes. Corrupt one (talk) 04:07, 17 January 2008 (UTC)
Can the Absent-minded Professor be considered a type of Mad Scientist? If not, why not. There seems to be a wide range of mad scientists, and I think the Absent-minded Professors count as one. I would like to see them listed as a type of Mad Scientist. Please tell me what you think. Corrupt one (talk) 23:10, 28 January 2008 (UTC)
I think for a scientist to be mad, he/she has to be insane, now if being forgetful leads to basic safety errors, then yes they would be mad(of course they forget to stop) It would also apply if it is in there job description(see my note below) but if it were the man from the movie, I would think of him more of a genius then mad. That is my ever so humble opinion and I hope you don't mind that I corrected your spelling. --09:33, 2 February 2008 (UTC) (see Sinebot, I remembered)
Thanks. I was thinking about the TYPE of character, not a specific one. It is just that there seems to be no list of what TYPES of Mad scientists are in the Mad Science genre. Corrupt one (talk) 01:09, 3 February 2008 (UTC)
should mad science the company be mentioned on this page or should it have its own? they are a company started in Canada that teaches science to k-6 through out the US. there website is  If this is not to popflock.com resource standards then please go ahead and tell me. --Pewwer42 (talk) 07:41, 1 February 2008 (UTC) (see sinebot I remembered)
Maybe as an example of how people are using the term Mad Science to promote things. I have not checked the site out yet, so I can't really comment on its contents. Seems to me like it is trying to draw attention to itself with its name, though. Corrupt one (talk) 22:46, 1 February 2008 (UTC)
I've never made any comment on any other page before, but I just wanted to give my two cents' worth here. Do scientists who are completely devoid of normal human morals and values count as 'mad' scientists? I look for an example to Caulder in the DS video game Advance Wars: Days of Ruin. Even referred to as a 'demon' by a couple of other characters in the game, he is completely devoid of all morals and ethics whatsoever, and has absolutely no value for human, or any other, life. He exists only for himself, and uses everything and everyone around him in any way he wishes, for no reason but to satisfy his own curiosity. He cloned himself many times over simply for the extra organs and body parts as he grew older, and created weapons capable of effortlessly leveling entire cities (and then used them in just that manner as a simple field test). In addition to this, he dismisses all notions that humans should have morals, or that humans can share common values, as ludicrous and "crazy" (citing his immense scientific progrss after he dismissed his own morals as proof of this). That kind of person isn't listed on the page under what defines a "mad scientist". Does this kind of person count as a mad scientist? Or is he simply a completely moral-less, but otherwise scarily sane, human being? NerdMaster15 (talk) 07:52, 27 May 2008 (UTC)NerdMaster15
Hate to make an ad hominim, but this edit, while at first glance reasonable, is from an IP acct whose other edits are all vandalism. While it might be a sign that the editor is learning, it's also possible that the edit deserves a bit more scrutiny. Search page history for 18.104.22.168 change was to change the URL of
This is going to be controversial, but hear me out. This ties in with the introduction to this article: 'Alternatively, they fail to see the evil that will ensue from the hubris of "playing god"'//'Mad scientists also, whilst definitely being intelligent, usually fail to think things through to their conclusion', plus later in the article, 'heedless of the consequences.'
Other quotes from those involved with the project equally focus on discovery while glossing over any possibility of consequence. The CERN documents themselves contain some leaps of logic that are difficult to overlook. Even in their official report, CERN never denies that there is a risk. It just dismisses it, sometimes even using such techniques as the probability fallacy. For the purposes of this article, I won't judge one way or the other: but the overall LHC canon attitude never questions that these experiment are worth the risk -- perhaps any risk.
However, these attitudes seem to be mostly unquestioned within the modern worldview. They may even represent our modern expectations of science generally. I use the LHC as the example, but similar cases could be made wrt genetic engineering, military research, in fact any technology which is rushed into production.
In parallel, I notice that in this article, any examination of those in real life who might fit partly within the mad scientist template stops with Tesla and Edison: over a hundred years ago. Why? Has the scientific attitude changed, or has our attitude toward it changed? Is it simply the diffusion of individual responsibility which happens naturally as both accomplishment and responsibility shift from an individual to a team? If none of these have changed, then we should be able to find much more recent real life examples of scientists who fit at least partly within the "mad" template. On the other hand, if any of these factors has changed, then we should acknowledge it within this article. - Tenebris --Preceding unsigned comment added by 22.214.171.124 (talk) 23:05, 8 May 2009 (UTC)
Is there a reason why so many characters speak with German accents or have German names? Even Doc Brown from Back to the Future descends from a "von Braun" family. The movie Skycaptain and the World of Tomorrow which is a tribute to this literature has the abducted scientists to be German.
Can someone tell me, or us all, how to actually get to the list of mad scientists, everytime I click on it it sends me to the list of fictional scientists page, and that is not what I am looking for. Griffonclaw -- Preceding unsigned comment added by Griffonclaw (talk o contribs) 22:11, 23 August 2011 (UTC)
Why the German names and accents? How about the influence of Frankenstein, the original "science fiction story" whose protagonist is the clearest original "mad scientist" in the modern sense. Mary Shelley didn't bother to make him speak with a German accent in her original portrayal, but the character is clearly described as a Swiss-German. (And why not, since they were in Switzerland when she wrote he story.) -- Preceding unsigned comment added by 126.96.36.199 (talk) 22:35, 12 February 2014 (UTC)
The recent discovery of a paper mould that causes mild hallucinations may account for the eccentric behaviour of people who spent a lot of time in librarys and the increasing dullness of scientist since the introduction of the computer. -- Preceding unsigned comment added by 188.8.131.52 (talk) 09:09, 14 December 2011 (UTC)