Top 13 Important Thinkers in The Scientific Revolution

13. Andreas Vesalius (1514–1564)

Ernest Wolfe
Sep 24, 2016 · 3 min read
  • Spent years dissecting corpses and drawing detailed illustrations of the human body
  • Contributed a lot to the study of human anatomy, but eventually got grossed out by all the dead bodies and just became the personal doctor to Charles V, king of the Holy Roman Empire

12. Giordano Bruno (1548–1600)

  • An Italian Monk who spread Copernicus’ beliefs about a heliocentric universe governed by science
  • He was burned at the stake by Catholic authorities for spreading heresy

11. Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723)

  • “Father of Microbiology” who discovers bacteria because he loves playing with microscopes
  • Observes bacteria as “little animals or animalcules…This was for me, among all marvels that I have discovered in nature, the most marvelous of all”

10. William Harvey (1578–1657)

  • Dissected a bunch of animal bodies and obsesses over the heart as an important physical and spiritual centerpiece of the body
  • Discovers how the heart works like a pump, sending blood throughout the body with valves and heartbeats

9. Robert Boyle (1627–1691)

  • Called the “Father of Modern Chemistry” due to his advanced experiments and use of experimental method
  • Discovers Boyle’s Gas Law about gas pressures and volumes and believes in the existence of atoms

8. Paracelsus (1493–1541)

  • A doctor who has the crazy idea not to treat people’s “imbalance in the humors” with leeches and traditional remedies, he instead looks at the chemical causes behind sicknesses to treat patients
  • Big supporter of Hermetic Doctrine, and also studies stuff like alchemy and other ways of getting closer to God through science

7. Tycho Brahe (1546–1601)

  • Was the one major Scientific Revolution physicist who believed in a geocentric universe, rejecting Copernicus’ idea that the Earth revolved around the Sun
  • Had the king of Denmark build him a really sick laboratory that he used to make 20 years of detailed observations, proving that the stars in the sky were not fixed

6. Johannes Kepler (1571–1630)

  • Tycho Brahe’s assistant, who used his master’s data to confirm that the earth revolved around the sun
  • Used his master’s data to develop the 3 Laws of Planetary Motion
  • 1. planets rotate in ellipses, not perfectly divine circles, around the sun
  • 2. how fast the planets are moving depends on how far they are from the sun
  • 3. proved that the orbits of planets can be calculated mathematically (more info here)

5. Nicolaus Copernicus (1473–1543)

  • The first guy to prove that the earth was not stationary in space and revolved around the sun
  • Was a member of the church and waited until the year of his death to publish his findings, which started the so-called Copernican Revolution

4. Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

  • An English Politician who had an influential philosophy that rejected reliance on authority in favor of developing one’s world view based on one’s own concrete observations
  • Bacon became a supporter of the empirical method and inductive reasoning where people piece together truths from their own experience

3. Galileo Galilei (1564–1642)

  • Promoted experimental physics and observational astronomy by discovering more about inertia and discovering new moons and planetary laws with his mad telescope skills
  • Galileo challenged the church by promoting a heliocentric universe where the sun and moon had blemished surfaces
  • Even though he had his book approved by the church, Galileo was ultimately forced to renounce his scientific discoveries in the Roman Inquisition

2. René Descartes (1596–1650)

  • Mathematician and Philosopher who wrote Discourse on Method (in French, rather than Latin so that more people could read it), where he promoted the practice of deductive reasoning
  • Descartes thought we shouldn’t assume anything unless it could be proven through a chain of reasoning and the scientific method
  • Famously said, “I think, therefore I am” which meant that because Descartes was able to think, he knew he existed, but he was hesitant to assume anything else

1. Isaac Newton (1642–1726)

  • Maybe the smartest British dude of all time
  • Discovered calculus and 3 Laws of Physics
  • 1. Inertia (An object in motion will stay in motion unless acted upon by an unbalanced, outside force)
  • 2. Force = mass x acceleration
  • 3. Action & Reaction: Every action has an equal and opposite reaction
  • His vast discoveries in physics, mathematics, and astronomy led to the view of the Newtonian Universe, where the infinite universe could be described through mathematics that analyze matter in motion

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