Francis Bacon, English philosopher, c 1600s.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by R W Fry made in 1817, after a drawing by R W Satchwell, of the English statesman, esayist and philosopher Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626). Bacon is perhaps best known for stresing the importance of scientific experiment in interpreting nature, and for demanding factual evidence rather than rely on deductive logic. His writings had a profound influence on later scientific thought.