Nicholas Copernicus - Polish astronomer; regarded the founder of modern astronomy. He studied mathematics and optics at Cracow, then canon law at Bologna, before becoming canon of Frombork.Copernicus discovered the mathematically yet unproven heliocentric solar system.He studied with followers of Plato and Democritus before opening his school in Athens.The school, later called the Garden, accepted women and slaves. Fragments from his most important work, Peri physeos (On Nature), were recovered from the charred papyri of Herculaneum, buried by an eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79.The impact of printing was enormous - it led to an almost instant mass production of books and truly initiated the information age.The Reformation, the Renaissance, and the scientific period of the 17th century can hardly be contemplated without printed books.In the 1600' Galileo and Kepler began to develop the physics that would prove Copernicus right.
Issac Newton - English mathematician and scientist; developed theory of matter; first to demonstrate the color components of white light with a prism and the reconstruction of these colors into white light with a second prism; researched the optical characteristics of chemical substances; studied gravitation and motion; developed the law of gravitation.Agricola also wrote a number of works on medicine, geology, mineralogy, politics, and economics.William Gilbert - Some say (1544-1603) - English physician; known for his early studies on electricity and magnetism.He cured a plague at the Sicilian city of Selinus and claimed he was a god.One legend, which forms the basis of Matthew Arnold's poem Empedocles on Etna, held the Empedocles, tired of life and wanting people to believe that the gods had taken him with them, committed suicide by leaping into the crater of Mt. Socrates - Greek philosopher; emphasized the study of human nature in relationship to society; influence the growth of science through standards for clear definitions and classifications, for logic and order, and for prudent skepticism.