Famous Scientists from South Africa

List of notable or famous scientists from South Africa, with bios and photos, including the top scientists born in South Africa and even some popular scientists who immigrated to South Africa. If you're trying to find out the names of famous South African scientists then this list is the perfect resource for you. These scientists are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known scientist from South Africa is included when available.

List is made up of people like Lewis Wolpert and Sydney Brenner.

This historic scientists from South Africa list can help answer the questions "Who are some South African scientists of note?" and "Who are the most famous scientists from South Africa?" These prominent scientists of South Africa may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected South African scientists.

Use this list of renowned South African scientists to discover some new scientists that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
Photo: Freebase / CC-BY-2.5

  • Sir Aaron Klug (11 August 1926 – 20 November 2018) was a Lithuanian-born, South African-educated, British biophysicist, and winner of the 1982 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his development of crystallographic electron microscopy and his structural elucidation of biologically important nucleic acid-protein complexes.
    • Age: 96
    • Birthplace: Lithuania
  • Abraham Manie Adelstein
    Photo: user uploaded image

    Abraham Manie Adelstein

    Abraham Manie "Abe" Adelstein (28 March 1916 – 18 October 1992) was a South African born doctor who became the United Kingdom's Chief Medical Statistician.
    • Age: Dec. at 76 (1916-1992)
    • Birthplace: South Africa
  • Anthony Walter Segal FRS FMedSci (born 24 February 1944) is a British physician/scientist.
    • Age: 79
  • Basil S. Yamey, CBE is a South African economist. He was born in Cape Town in South Africa, and educated at the University of Cape Town. For many years he was a Professor at the London School of Economics. He was a part-time member of the Monopolies and Mergers Commission from 1966 to 1978, and author of many books and articles, including one on the economics of underdeveloped countries co-authored with Peter Thomas Bauer. Yamey's interest in rational economic decision-making led him to study historical accounting records. Yamey rejected the claim by Werner Sombart that the double-entry bookkeeping system was a pre-condition, or at least an important stimulating factor, for the emergence of ...more
    • Age: 104
  • Eugène Marais
    Photo: Metaweb (FB) / Public domain
    Eugène Nielen Marais (; 9 January 1871 – 29 March 1936) was a South African lawyer, naturalist, poet and writer. He has been hailed as an intellectual genius and an Afrikaner hero.
    • Age: Dec. at 65 (1871-1936)
    • Birthplace: Gauteng, City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
  • Frank Reginald Nunes Nabarro MBE OMS FRS (7 March 1916 – 20 July 2006) was an English-born South African physicist and one of the pioneers of solid-state physics, which underpins much of 21st-century technology.
    • Age: Dec. at 90 (1916-2006)
    • Birthplace: London, United Kingdom