"The Catholic Church has long had a reputation for being anti-science – most famously when Galileo faced the inquisition and was forced to retract his “heretic” theory that the Earth revolved around the Sun." - From the Independent.
That "anti-science" reputation propagated by silly statements like the above, I guess.
Let's list a few Catholics quite famous in their field, who were also of the Catholic clerical classes:
- Gregor Mendel - monk and major pioneer in Genetics.
- Francesco Grimaldi - priest and discoverer of the diffraction of light.
- Gabriele Falloppio - priest and researcher into reproduction, has the tubes named after him.
- Georges Lemaître - priest, physics professor, the man who conceived of (but didn't name) the Big Bang.
A few lay-people (there's lots more, obviously):
- Amedeo Avagadro - famous for his faith being constant, like his mole.
- Henri Becquerel - glowed in the bath with righteousness.
- John Eccles - neurophysiologist and saved pusson
- Blaise Pascal - Mathematician and philosopher.