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Anton Von Leeuwenhoek

inventor of the microscope — "Father of Microbiology."

Baruch Spinoza

~Jewish philosopher born in the Netherlands who was excommunicated from the Hebrew community for his questioning of ideas of faith
~ Known as the FATHER OF SKEPTICISM: the idea that one should question everything
~Spinoza believed that God and nature are one and the same

Benjamin Franklin

Printer, author, inventor, diplomat, statesman, and Founding Father. One of the few Americans who was highly respected in Europe, primarily due to his discoveries in the field of electricity.

Blaise Pascal

French philospher/scientist/mathematician who invented the calculator and worked with probability, conic sections. Famous in math texbooks for his "triangle" of numbers.

Empirical method

Philosophical view developed by Bacon and Locke, asserting that all knowledge is based on observation and experimentation and that general principles should be derived from particular facts.

Francis Bacon

English politician and writer, advocated that new knowledge was acquired through an inductive reasoning process (using specific examples to prove or draw conclusion from a general point) called empiricism; rejected Medieval view of knowledge based on tradition, believed it's necessary to collect data, observe, and draw conclusions. This was the foundation of the scientific method

Galileo Galilei

Created modern experimental method. Formulated the law of inertia. Tried for heresy and forced to recant. Saw Jupiter's moons. Wrote "Dialogue on the Two Chief Systems of the World".

Gottfried Kirch

Married to Maria Winkleman, official astronomer of the Berlin Academy of Sciences, worked on completing observations necessary to create an accurate calendar, but died before it was completed.

Henry Cavendish

British chemist and physicist who established that water is a compound of hydrogen and oxygen and who calculated the density of the earth (1731-1810)

Isaac Newton

English mathematician and scientist who invented differential calculus and formulated the theory of universal gravitation, a theory about the nature of light, and three laws of motion. His treatise on gravitation, presented in Principia Mathematica (1687), was supposedly inspired by the sight of a falling apple.

Johannes Kepler

Assistant to Brahe; used Brahe's data to prove that the earth moved in an elliptical, not circular, orbit; Wrote 3 laws of planetary motion based on mechanical relationships and accurately predicted movements of planets in a sun-centered universe; Demolished old systems of Aristotle and Ptolemy

John Bunyan

English preacher and author of an allegorical novel, Pilgrim's Progress (1628-1688)

John Locke

English philosopher who advocated the idea of a "social contract" in which government powers are derived from the consent of the governed and in which the government serves the people; also said people have natural rights to life, liberty and property.

John Milton

An English poet who made a crucial contribution to the resistance theory, when, in 1649, he wrote The Tenure of Kings and Magistrates.

Margaret Cavendish

composed a "Description of a New World, Called the Blazing World" in 1666 to introduce women to the new science

Maia Cunitz

German female astronomer who published a book on astronomy that may people believed that her husband had written until he added a preface supporting her sole authorship.

Maria Winkleman

Married to Gottfried Kirch, worked jointly with her husband in astronomy. She wasn't allowed to continue their work after the death of her husband.

Nicolaus Copernicus

Polish astronomer who produced a workable model of the solar system with the sun in the center (1473-1543)


Discriminatory name in England that described presented science as an enterprise, and advertised their own ideas to wealthy patrons.

Ptolemic System

The genocentric model of the of the universe that prevailed in the Middle Ages ; named after the astronmer Ptolemy who lived in Alexandria during the second century

Queen Christina of Sweden

brought Descartes to Stockholm to give regulations for new science academy

René Descartes

17t century French philosopher. Famously known for writing "cogito ergo sum" ("I think, therefore I am"). Wrote about concept of dualism.

Robert Hooke

English scientist who formulated the law of elasticity and proposed a wave theory of light and formulated a theory of planetary motion and proposed the inverse square law of gravitational attraction and discovered the cellular structure of cork and introd

Scientific Revolution

The intellectual movement in Europe, initially associated with planetary motion and other aspects of physics, that by the seventeenth century had laid the groundwork for modern science. (p. 466)

Tycho Brahe

Influenced by Copernicus; Built observatory and collected data on the locations of stars and planets for over 20 years; His limited knowledge of mathematics prevented him from making much sense out of the data.

Royal Society of London

the leading English scientific organization, made up of leading merchants, planters and even theologians, all devoted to the discoveries of scientific ideas.

Thomas Hobbes

wrote "Leviathan" and believed people were naturally cruel, greedy, and selfish; he also believed only a powerful governemnt could keep an orderly society

William Shakespeare

Leading literary figure (English) of the time, he also transformed well-known stories into dramatic masterpieces and wrote plays that focused on human emotions.

Witch Panics

a witch hunt involving five to ten victims and it sometimes grew into a much larger hunt

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