Guess the Chemist (1)

  • Author: ChemViews
  • Published Date: 24 December 2011
  • Copyright: Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim
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Can you guess the famous chemist from the description below?


This chemist was active in the middle of the 17th century. He was born in Ireland and was the 14th child of the Earl of Cork. He was educated at Eton College, UK, from the age of eight to eleven. In his early teens, he spent three years traveling with a private tutor in Continental Europe, where he met Galileo Galiliei. He returned to England in 1644 and took up scientific research. He became a prolific writer and a prominent member of the “Invisible College”, a group of likeminded people interested in scientific issues, which later became the Royal Society of London, UK.


In 1652, he moved to Ireland, but found the difficulty of procuring chemical instruments impeded his research. He returned to England in 1654, taking up residence in Oxford. Here, he performed some of his best-know work, such as the invention of the air-pump that allowed him to experiment on the properties of air.

He is often regarded as the first modern chemist and his writings are seen as early examples of the modern experimental scientific method.


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