Francis Bacon, British statesman and esayist, late 16th-early 17th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Portrait by P Vansomer of Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), statesman, esayist and natural philosopher. Bacon was revered by scientists for the so-called Baconian method; this argued that the great scientific problem is to analyse experience by mechanical means so as to arrive at true conclusions. Bacon was the instigator of the concept of a society of scientists and philosophers in the New Atlantis.