Saturday, March 31, 2012

Francis Bacon and the Scientific Method

Francis Bacon (1561–1626) was a leading figure in the fields of natural philosophy and scientific methodology. He was a lawyer and member of Parliament and rose to the rank of Queen's Counsel under Elizabeth I and Lord Chancellor under James I. His political career ended in disgrace (and brief imprisonment in the Tower of London) when he was found guilty of accepting bribes.

He wrote on questions of law, state and religion, and contemporary politics. However, today he is best remembered for his work on systemising the gathering of scientific knowledge. He emphasised the importance of inductive reasoning and in doing so developed the scientific method as we know it today. Although the Royal Society (the world's first scientific institution) was not founded until 1660, after his death, he is widely credited as its inspiration.

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