Roger Bacon, English philosopher and scientist, 13th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving made in 1786 of Roger Bacon (1214-1292) reading a work on alchemy. The caption of the image describes Bacon as an astrologer, chemist and mathematician and states that the image is from the collection of Frederick Roth Schel. The philosopher is shown dresed in ecclesiastical robes and wearing a long white beard. Bacon is often regarded as the first modern scientist. He has been asociated with scientific inventions like the magnifying glas, microscopes and telescopes. His views on the primacy of mathematical proof and on experimentalism, found in his published works, are often considered strikingly modern.