Scientific Revolution


The Scientific Revolution (1500-1700), which occurred first in Europe before spreading worldwide, witnessed a new approach to knowledge gathering – the scientific method – which utilised new technologies like the telescope to observe, measure, and test things never seen before. Thanks to the development of dedicated institutions, scientists conducted yet more experiments and shared their knowledge, making it ever more accurate. By the end of this 'revolution', science had replaced philosophy as the dominant method of acquiring new knowledge and improving the human condition.

More about: Scientific Revolution


  • 1543
    Andreas Vesalius publishes his influential work on human anatomy, Of the Fabric of the Human Body.
  • 1564 - 1641
    Life of the scientist Galileo Galilei.
  • 11 Nov 1572
    Tycho Brahe first observes the new star or supernova in the Cassiopeia constellation.
  • 1573
    Tycho Brahe publishes his research on the 1572 supernova in his De Nova Stella (1573).
  • 1588
    The Danish astonomer Tycho Brahe publishes his Tychonic model of the comsos in his book Of More Recent Phenomena of the Ethereal World.
  • 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.
  • 1604
    Johannes Kepler presents his theory of light being focused by the lens onto the retina in his Supplement to Witelo.
  • 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.
  • 1609
    Johannes Kepler publishes his Astronomia Nova (The New Astronomy).
  • 1610
    Galileo publishes his Sidereus Nuncius (The Starry Messenger).
  • 1611
    Johannes Kepler writes the treatise Dioptrics on the best optics for an astronomical telescope.
  • 1619
    Johanees Kepler publishes his De Harmonices Mundi (Harmonies of the World).
  • 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.
  • 1623 - 1662
    Life of the scientist, mathematician, and philosopher Blaise Pascal.
  • 1626
    New Atlantis by Francis Bacon is published. It describes a utopian state where Bacon's scientific method is employed.
  • 1638
    Galileo's Discourse on Two New Sciences is published.
  • 1641
    Johannes Hevelius builds his Stellaeburg observatory in Danzig, Poland.
  • 1642
    Blaise Pascal invents a calculating machine.
  • 1643 - 1648
    An international effort by scientists develops the barometer.
  • 1647
    Johannes Hevelius' Selenographia containing his map of the Moon is published.
  • 1648
    Blaise Pascal conducts pratical tests of a barometer at varying altitudes.
  • 1654
    Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat work on a theory of probability.
  • 1657
    Christiaan Huygens makes the first working example of a pendulum clock.
  • 1658
    Christiaan Huygens presents his disocvery of Saturn's rings and the moon of Titan.
  • 1659
    Robert Hooke develops a new type of air pump.
  • 1660
    Robert Boyle publishes the New Experiments Physico-Mechanical Touching the Spring of the Air, and Its Effects.
  • 1661
    Marcello Malpighi publishes 'On the Lungs', in which he reveals his discovery of capillaries in the human circulatory system.
  • 1664
    Robert Boyle publishes Experiments and Considerations Touching Colours.
  • 1665 - 1666
    Isaac Newton's 'year of wonder' when he makes many new scientific discoveries.
  • 1665
    Robert Hooke's Micrographia presents flora and fauna as seen under maginfication using a microscope.
  • 1666 - 1668
    Isaac Newton conducts optical experiments leading to the discovery that white light is composed of a spectrum of coloured light.
  • 1668
    Isaac Newton designs and builds a reflective telescope, the first of its kind, for the Royal Society in England.
  • 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.
  • 1686
    Chrsitiaan Huygens builds an aerial telescope.
  • 1687
    Isaac Newton publishes his laws of motion and universal law of gravity in Principia.
  • 1690
    Johannes Hevelius' Prodromus Astronomiae, which contains his star map, is published.
  • 1698 - 1700
    Edmond Halley makes three voyages across the Atlantic gathering data on magnetism.
  • 1700
    Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz is appointed the first president of the Berlin Academy of Science.
  • 1704
    Isaac Newton publishes his discoveries on light in his Optics.
  • 1705
    Edmond Halley predicts in Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets the reutrn of the comet that will be named after him.