Scientific Method

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The scientific method was first used during the Scientific Revolution (1500-1700). The method combined theoretical knowledge such as mathematics with practical experimentation using scientific instruments, results analysis and comparisons, and finally peer reviews, all to better determine how the world around us works. In this way, hypotheses were rigorously tested, and laws could be formulated which explained observable phenomena. The goal of this scientific method was to not only increase human knowledge but to do so in a way that practically benefitted everyone and improved the human condition.

More about: Scientific Method


  • 1543
    Andreas Vesalius publishes his influential work on human anatomy, Of the Fabric of the Human Body.
  • 1597
    Johannes Kepler publishes his Mysterium Cosmographicum (The Cosmographical Mystery), which endorses the heliocentric model of Copernicus.
  • 1600
    William Gilbert published his findings from experiments using magnets, On the Magnet.
  • 1605
    Francis Bacon publishes The Advancement of Learning, the first in a series of works expounding his scientific method.
  • 1608
    Galileo Galilei develops a powerful new telescope.
  • 1620
    Francis Bacon publishes Novum Organum, outlining the fundamentals of his scientific method.
  • 1623
    Francis Bacon publishes his De Dignitate et Augmentis Scientiarum, which further outlines his new scientific method.
  • 1626
    New Atlantis by Francis Bacon is published. It describes a utopian state where Bacon's scientific method is employed.
  • 1643 - 1648
    An international effort by scientists develops the barometer.
  • 1657
    Christiaan Huygens makes the first working example of a pendulum clock.
  • 1660
    Robert Boyle publishes the New Experiments Physico-Mechanical Touching the Spring of the Air, and Its Effects.
  • 1662
    Robert Hooke is appointed the Curator of Experiments at the Royal Society in London.
  • 1664
    Robert Boyle publishes Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours.
  • 1665 - 1666
    Isaac Newton's 'year of wonder' when he makes many new scientific discoveries.
  • 1666 - 1668
    Isaac Newton conducts optical experiments leading to the discovery that white light is composed of a spectrum of coloured light.
  • 1673
    Marcello Malpighi publishes his 'On the Formation of the Chick in the Egg ', the first work in embryology.
  • 1674 - 1677
    Antonie van Leeuwenhoek observes single-celled organisms, baceria and sperm through a microscope.
  • 1675
    The first use in English of the term “experimental method”.
  • 23 Jan 1675
    Christiaan Huygens creates the first working example of a chronometer using balance spring.
  • 1677
    Edmond Halley takes astronomical readings from an observatory he establishes on the island of St. Helena.
  • 1679
    Edmond Halley compares astronomical data with Johannes Hevelius in Danzig.
  • 1687
    Isaac Newton publishes his laws of motion and universal law of gravity in Principia.
  • 1698 - 1700
    Edmond Halley makes three voyages across the Atlantic gathering data on magnetism.