William Whiston, English mathematician

William Whiston, English mathematician

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Credit: ROYAL ASTRONOMICAL SOCIETY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: William Whiston (1667-1752), English mathematician, historian and theologian. Whiston was educated at Cambridge University, where he studied mathematics. He was elected a fellow of Clare College in 1691, and ordained in the Church of England in 1693. He wrote on catastrophic geology in 'A New Theory of the Earth' (1696). From 1702 he was Lucasian Professor of Mathematics, but it was his heretical writings on theology that led to him being expelled from the university in 1710. His later work included helping to establish the Board of Longitude in 1714, and predicting the end of the world by comet impact in 1736.

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