See also: 1958 in science, other events in 1959, 1960 in science, and the list of years in science.
Astronomy and space exploration
August 7 - The United States launches Explorer 6 from the Atlantic Missile Range in Cape Canaveral, Florida.
September 15 - Russian probe Luna 2 sends back first photos of the far side of Earth's Moon.
September 19 - Giuseppe Cocconi and Philip Morrison publish in Nature their seminal paper Searching for Interstellar Communications, establishing the scientific rationale for SETI.
Physicist Freeman Dyson first proposes the hypothetical Dyson sphere.
Little Joe 2, a mission in the Mercury program, carried Sam the monkey into space.
IBM shipped the transistor-based IBM 1401 mainframe.
The neutrino is first experimentally detected, by Clyde Cowan and Fred Reines.
Yakir Aharonov and David Bohm predict the Aharonov-Bohm effect.
Agfa introduces the first fully automatic camera, the Optima.
Pilkington Brothers patent the float glass process.
Physics - Emilio Gino Segrč, - Owen Chamberlain
Chemistry - Jaroslav Heyrovsky
Medicine - Severo Ochoa, Arthur Kornberg