Michael Polanyi, Date of Birth, Place of Birth, Date of Death


Michael Polanyi

Hungarian-British polymath

Date of Birth: 11-Mar-1891

Place of Birth: Budapest, Hungary

Date of Death: 22-Feb-1976

Profession: economist, chemist, philosopher

Nationality: Hungary

Zodiac Sign: Pisces

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About Michael Polanyi

  • Michael Polanyi (; Hungarian: Pollacsek Mihály; 11 March 1891 – 22 February 1976) was a Hungarian-British polymath, who made important theoretical contributions to physical chemistry, economics, and philosophy.
  • He argued that positivism supplies a false account of knowing, which if taken seriously undermines humanity's highest achievements. His wide-ranging research in physical science included chemical kinetics, x-ray diffraction, and adsorption of gases.
  • He pioneered the theory of fibre diffraction analysis in 1921, and the dislocation theory of plastic deformation of ductile metals and other materials in 1934.
  • He emigrated to Germany, in 1926 becoming a chemistry professor at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, and then in 1933 to England, becoming first a chemistry professor, and then a social sciences professor at the University of Manchester.
  • Two of his pupils, and his son John Charles Polanyi won Nobel Prizes in Chemistry.
  • In 1944 Polanyi was elected to the Royal Society. The contributions which Polanyi made to the social sciences, for example his application of the concept of a polycentric spontaneous order to intellectual inquiry, were developed in the context of his opposition to central planning.

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