Joseph Priestley, British chemist

Joseph Priestley, British chemist

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Credit: SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Joseph Priestley (1733-1804), British chemist and Christian minister. Best known as the discoverer of oxygen, Priestley carried out research into the composition and nature of air. He was the first to suggest a connection between blood and air, although he did so using phlogiston theory. He was also the first person to recognise that respiration in animals produces carbon dioxide, whereas in plants it produces oxygen. In his work on carbon dioxide, Priestley invented soda water, the precursor to all carbonated drinks.

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