This person was born in Stockholm, Sweden, and attended school in Westervik and Karlskrona before entering Uppsala University, Sweden, in 1784. This person graduated from there in 1788, having written his thesis on oils extracted from seeds. He spent two years travelling in Germany before returning to Uppsala where he took up a teaching position at the university in 1794. He remained at Uppsala University for the rest of his career and, in 1799, he was elected a member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.
This person suffered from ill health for most of his life: A severe cold in childhood left him partially deaf and an explosion during an experiment with an oxygen-hydrogen gas mixture destroyed the sight in one eye. Despite this, he was able to discover a new mineral and isolate a new element from it in 1802, the year after the accident.