Francis Bacon

“Knowledge itself is power.” – Francis Bacon

If there is one person who could be credited with establishing the principles of science and ushering in the era of the Scientific Revolution it would be Francis Bacon.  Bacon argued for a new way of learning and collecting knowledge, one of forming observations, formulating hypothesis to explain the observations, then testing the hypothesis by rigorous experimentation.

Francis Bacon was born in London in the winter of 1561, home-schooled in his early youth and entered Trinity College at the age of 12.  Although he excelled in the traditional medieval curriculum, he came to the conclusion that the methods were flawed.  After his schooling he spent much of his life working in the British government before publishing his great philosophical work, Novum Organum (new instrument), where he laid out his method of inductive reasoning and the scientific method.

Bacon had an enormous impact on a generation of scientists and he was also an influential proponent in the concept of establishing scientific organizations, where information could be shared and ideas debated.  It was in the Baconian spirit that the British Royal Society was formed in November 1660, possibly the oldest scientific society in existence today.

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