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.
Table of Contents Page 36 of 314
BURNET, THOMAS ( b. Croft, Yorkshire, England,
ca. 1635; d. London, England, 27 September 1715),
Little is known of Burnet's family or early childhood
other than that his father was John Burnet and
that he attended the Freeschool of Northallerton,
where he attracted the attention of his teacher,
Thomas Smelt. In 1651 he was admitted as pensioner
at Clare Hall, Cambridge. Although he was officially
a student of William Owtram's and closely associated
with John Tillotson, he was most influenced by Ralph
Cudworth. Sometime after receiving his bachelor's
degree in 1655, Burnet followed Cudworth to Christ's
College, became a fellow of the college in 1657, and
received his M.A. in 1658. He became proctor of the
college in 1667 and remained listed as a fellow until
1678, even though he was not in residence all of that
time. While at Cambridge, Burnet worked closely
with the Cambridge Platonists, especially Cudworth
and Henry More. In 1671 he went abroad as governor
to the young earl of Wiltshire and later made a second
tour of Europe with the grandson of the duke of
Ormonde, the earl of Orrery. During his travels he
started writing his theory of the earth, the first two
parts of which he completed soon after his return to
Burnet published these two parts, the books concerning
the Deluge and Paradise, under the title
Telluris theoria sacra in Latin in 1681 and produced
an English version in 1684. The immediate reaction
to the book was favorable. Many praised the style
and thought; a few questioned the theory. In 1685
Burnet, who had been ordained in the Anglican
Church, was made Master of the Charterhouse at the
recommendation of the duke of Ormonde. In 1686,
when the king tried to have Andrew Popham, a
Roman Catholic, admitted as a pensioner at the
Charterhouse, Burnet effectively opposed the appointment.
Shortly after William III ascended the
throne, Burnet became chaplain in ordinary to the
king and clerk of the closet.
During this time
The Sacred Theory of the Earth
had become a subject of controversy. Christianus
Wagner, Herbert Crofts, bishop of Hereford, and
Erasmus Warren attacked it. For a time Burnet ignored
the criticisms, then answered by expanding his
theory. In 1689 he published a new Latin edition
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