Francis Bacon, English esayist and philosopher, early 17th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Portrait made in 1763 of 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. Illustration from 'Histoire des philosophes modernes' (History of modern philosophers), by Alexandre Saverien (1720-1805), published in Paris in 1763.