Dictionary of Scientific Biography
Linda Hall Library Collection Table of Contents
AGRICOLA, GEORGIUS, also known as Georg
Bauer b. Glauchau, Germany, 24 March 1494; d.
Chemnitz, Germany [now Karl-Marx-Stadt, German
Democratic Republic], 21 November 1555), mining,
BALDI, BERNARDINO( b. Urbino, Italy, 5 June
1553; d. Urbino, 10 October 1617), mechanics.
BORELLI, GIOVANNI ALFONSO( b. Naples, Italy,
January 1608; d. Rome, Italy, 31 December 1679),
astronomy, epidemiology, mathematics, physiology
( iatromechanics), physics, volcanology.
BRUNO, GIORDANO ( b. Nola, Italy, 1548; d. Rome,
Italy, 17 February 1600), philosophy.
BUCKLAND, WILLIAM ( b. Axminster, England, 12
March 1784; d. Islip, England, 14 August 1856),
BUFFON, GEORGES-LOUIS LECLERC, COMTE
DE ( b. Montbard, France, 7 September 1707; d. Paris,
France, 16 April 1788); natural history.
BURNET, THOMAS ( b. Croft, Yorkshire, England,
ca. 1635; d. London, England, 27 September 1715),
CARDANO, GIROLAMO ( b. Pavia, Italy, 24 September
1501; d. Rome, Italy, 21 September 1576),
medicine, mathematics, physics, philosophy.
CHAMBERS, ROBERT ( b. Peebles, Scotland, 10 July
1802; d. St. Andrews, Scotland, 17 March 1871), biology,
COMMANDINO, FEDERICO ( b. Urbino, Italy,
1509; d. Urbino, 3 September 1575), mathematics.
CONYBEARE, WILLIAM DANIEL ( b. London,
England, June 1787; d. Llandaff, Wales, 12 August
CUVIER, GEORGES ( b. Montbéliard,
23 August 1769; d. Paris, France, 13 May 1832),
zoology, paleontology, history of science.
DESCARTES, RENÉ DU PERRON ( b. La Haye,
Touraine, France, 31 March 1596; d. Stockholm,
Sweden, 11 February 1650), natural philosophy, scientific
method, mathematics, optics, mechanics, physiology.
NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY DESCARTES: Mathematics and Physics. NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY DESCARTES: Physiology. BIBLIOGRAPHY
GALILEI, GALILEO ( b. Pisa, Italy, 15 February
1564; d. Arcetri, Italy, 8 January 1642), physics,
Early Years. Professorship at Pisa. Professorship at Padua. Early Work on Free Fall. The Telescope. Controversies at Florence. Dialogue on the World Systems. The Trial of Galileo. Two New Sciences. Last Years. Sources of Galileo's Physics. Experiment and Mathematics. The Influence of Galileo. Personal Traits. BIBLIOGRAPHY
GASSENDI (GASSEND), PIERRE ( b. Champtercier,
France, 22 January 1592; d. Paris, France, 24 October
1655), philosophy, astronomy, scholarship.
GESNER, KONRAD ( b. Zurich, Switzerland, 26
March 1516; d. Zurich, 13 March 1565), natural sciences,
GOMPERTZ, BENJAMIN ( b. London, England, 5
March 1779; d. London, 14 July 1865), mathematics.
GOODRICH, EDWIN STEPHEN ( b. Weston-super-Mare,
England, 21 June 1868; d. Oxford, England,
6 January 1946), comparative anatomy, embryology,
GOULD, JOHN ( b. Lyme Regis, England, 14 September
1804; d. London, England, 3 February 1881),
HITCHCOCK, EDWARD ( b. Deerfield, Massachusetts,
24 May 1793; d. Amherst, Massachusetts, 27
February 1864), geology.
HARRIS, JOHN ( b. Shropshire [?], England, ca.
1666; d. Norton Court, Kent, England, 7 September
1719), natural philosophy, dissemination of knowledge.
HOBBES, THOMAS ( b. Malmesbury, England, 5
April 1588; d. Hardwick, Derbyshire, England, 4 December
1679), political philosophy, moral philosophy,
HOOKE, ROBERT ( b. Freshwater, Isle of Wight,
England, 18 July 1635; d. London, England, 3 March
HUTTON, JAMES ( b. Edinburgh, Scotland, 3 June
1726; d. Edinburgh, 26 March 1797), geology, agriculture,
physical sciences, philosophy.
Geology. The Theory of the Earth. Reception of the Theory. Agriculture and Evolution. Physical Sciences. Philosophy. NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY
JORDANUS DE NEMORE ( fl. ca. 1220), mechanics,
NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY KEILL, JOHN BIBLIOGRAPHY
LAMARCK, JEAN BAPTISTE PIERRE ANTOINE
DE MONET DE ( b. Bazentin-le-Petit, Picardy,
France, 1 August 1744; d. Paris, France, 28 December
1829), botany, invertebrate zoology and paleontology,
Botany. Institutional Affiliations. Chemistry. Meteorology. Invertebrate Zoology and Paleontology. Geology. Theory of Evolution. Origins of Lamarck's Theory. Lamarck's Reputation. BIBLIOGRAPHY
LEA, ISAAC ( b. Wilmington, Delaware, 4 March
1792; d. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 8 December
LEIBNIZ, GOTTFRIED WILHELM ( b. Leipzig,
Germany, 1 July 1646; d. Hannover, Germany,
14 November 1716), mathematics, philosophy, metaphysics.
LEIBNIZ: Physics, Logic, Metaphysics NOTES LEIBNIZ: Mathematics BIBLIOGRAPHY
LISTER, MARTIN (christened Radclive, Buckinghamshire,
England, 11 April 1639; d. Epsom, England,
2 February 1712), zoology, geology.
LYELL, CHARLES ( b. Kinnordy, Kirriemuir, Angus,
Scotland, 14 November 1797; d. London, England,
22 February 1875), geology, evolutionary biology.
MANTELL, GIDEON ALGERNON ( b. Lewes, Sussex,
England, 3 February 1790; d. London, England,
10 November 1852), geology.
MILLER, HUGH ( b. Cromarty, Scotland, 10 October
1802; d. Portobello, Scotland, 24 December 1856),
MONTE, GUIDOBALDO, MARCHESE DEL ( b.
Pesaro, Italy, 11 January 1545; d. Montebaroccio,
6 January 1607), mechanics, mathematics, astronomy.
MURCHISON, RODERICK IMPEY ( b. Tarradale,
Ross and Cromarty, Scotland, 19 February 1792;
d. London, England, 22 October 1871), geology.
BIBLIOGRAPHY NEWTON, ISAAC ( b. Woolsthorpe, England,
25 December 1642; d. London, England, 20 March
1727), mathematics, dynamics, celestial mechanics,
astronomy, optics, natural philosophy.
Lucasian Professor. On 1 October 1667, some two
years after his graduation, Newton was elected minor
fellow of Trinity, and on 16 March 1668 he was
admitted major fellow. He was created M.A. on
7 July 1668 and on 29 October 1669, at the age of
twenty-six, he was appointed Lucasian professor. He
succeeded Isaac Barrow, first incumbent of the chair,
and it is generally believed that Barrow resigned his
professorship so that Newton might have it.10
Mathematics. Any summary of Newton's contributions
to mathematics must take account not only
of his fundamental work in the calculus and other
aspects of analysis--including infinite series (and most
notably the general binomial expansion)--but also his
activity in algebra and number theory, classical and
analytic geometry, finite differences, the classification
of curves, methods of computation and approximation,
and even probability. Optics. Dynamics, Astronomy, and the Birth of the
“Principia.” Mathematics in the “Principia.” The “Principia”: General Plan. The “Principia”: Definitions and Axioms. Book I of the “Principia.” Book II of the “Principia.” Book III, “The System of the World.” Revision of the “Opticks” (the Later Queries);
Chemistry and Theory of Matter. Alchemy, Prophecy, and Theology. Chronology and
History. The London Years: the Mint, the Royal Society,
Quarrels with Flamsteed and with Leibniz. Newton's Philosophy: The Rules of Philosophizing,
the General Scholium, the Queries of the “Opticks.” NOTES BIBLIOGRAPHY
OWEN, RICHARD ( b. Lancaster, England, 20 July
1804; d. Richmond Park, London, England,
18 December 1892), comparative anatomy, vertebrate
PACIOLI, LUCA ( b. Sansepolcro, Italy, ca. 1445;
d. Sansepolcro, 1517), mathematics, bookkeeping.
PLAYFAIR, JOHN ( b. Benvie, near Dundee,
Scotland, 10 March 1748; d. Edinburgh, Scotland,
20 July 1819), mathematics, physics, geology.
PLAYFAIR, LYON ( b. Chunar, India, 21 May 1818;
d. London, England, 29 May 1898), chemistry.
PLOT, ROBERT ( b. Borden, Kent, England,
13 December 1640; d. Borden, 30 April 1696), natural
history, archaeology, chemistry.
SCHEUCHZER, JOHANN JAKOB ( b. Zurich,
Switzerland, 2 August 1672; d. Zurich, 23 June
1733), medicine, natural history, mathematics,
SCHOTT, GASPAR ( b. Königshofen, near Würzburg,
Germany, 5 February 1608; d. Würzburg,
22 May 1666), mathematics, physics, technology.
SCROPE, GEORGE JULIUS POULETT ( b. London,
England, 10 March 1797; d. Fairlawn [near
Cobham], Surrey, England, 19 January 1876), geology.
SEDGWICK, ADAM ( b. Dent, Yorkshire, England,
22 March 1785; d. Cambridge, England, 27
January 1873), geology.
SMITH, WILLIAM ( b. Churchill, Oxfordshire,
England, 23 March 1769; d. Northampton, England,
28 August 1839), geology.
STENSEN, NIELS, also known as Nicolaus Steno
( b. Copenhagen, Denmark, 1%6111 January 1638; d.
Schwerin, Germany, 25 November/5 December
1686), anatomy, geology, mineralogy.
STERNBERG, KASPAR MARIA VON ( b. Prague,
Bohemia [now in Czechoslovakia], 6 January 1761;
d. Březina castle, Radnice, 20 December 1838),
botany, geology, paleontology.
WOODWARD, JOHN ( b. Derbyshire, England, 1
May 1665; d. London, England, 25 April 1728),
geology, mineralogy, botany.
Electronic edition published by Cultural Heritage Langauge Technologies (with permission from Charles Scribners and Sons) and funded by the National Science Foundation International Digital Libraries Program. This text has been proofread to a low degree of accuracy. It was converted to electronic form using data entry.
PLAYFAIR, LYON ( b. Chunar, India, 21 May 1818;
d. London, England, 29 May 1898), chemistry.
Table of Contents Page 281 of 314
from this office, and in 1892 he was raised to the
peerage as Baron Playfair of St. Andrews.
Short in stature and with more than his share of
Victorian pomposity and wordiness, Playfair openly
sought the company of the exalted and successful, and
was consequently disliked by many. He played an
important role, however, as one of the first government
scientists in Britain.
BIBLIOGRAPHY I. ORIGINAL WORKS.
A part from the usual scientific
papers, of which the two most important are “Report
on the Gases Evolved from Iron Furnaces,” in
Association Report for 1845, 142-186, written with R. W.
Bunsen, and “On the Nitroprussides, a New Class of
Salts,” in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society,
139 (1849), 477-578, Playfair's publications are mainly
in the form of government reports, of which Report on the
State of Large Towns in Lancashire (London, 1845)
is the most important. II. SECONDARY LITERATURE.
Shortly after Playfair's
death, Wemyss Reid published
Memoirs and Correspondence
of Lyon Playfair (London, 1899), consisting
largely of extracts from his journal and letters. There is
a chapter on Playfair in J. G. Crowther, Statesmen of
Science (London, 1965), 105-174. There is a notice on him
in supp. III of Dictionary of National Biography (1900),
1142-1144. His obituary notices were very numerous,
and only that by H. E. Roscoe need be mentioned:
Nature, 58 (1898), 128-129. See also R. G. W. Norrish,
in Journal of the Royal Society of Arts, 99 (1951),
W. V. FARRAR
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