EXHIBITS: Method Man

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Science  04 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5749, pp. 753e
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5749.753e

While living through civil war and revolution, the British scientist Robert Boyle (1627-91) managed to forge the modern experimental method by investigating a broad array of topics, including human circulation and the nature of air. Learn more about Boyle's contributions and check out some of his writings at this site from the University of London.

Although he began as a nonscientific writer, Boyle proved himself a whiz in the lab. In one set of experiments, he used a vacuum pump to remove the air from a vessel containing a candle. The flame went out, and he deduced that air contained something necessary to sustain fire. At the site, you can peruse selections from 11 volumes of Boyle's papers (including pages from his treatise on blood). A timeline puts Boyle's life and accomplishments in context with British history and intellectual developments. Boyle was one of the first scientists to publish experimental details. At a linked site, you can page through 44 years of his work diaries.


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