Nicolas de Condorcet, French politician

Nicolas de Condorcet, French politician

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Credit: LIBRARY OF CONGRESS/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Nicolas de Condorcet (1743-1794), French politician, mathematician and philosopher. Marie Jean Antoine Nicolas de Caritat, Marquis de Condorcet, worked on integrals and probability theory, and his work won him a seat in the Academy of Sciences. He wrote five volumes of biographies on famous scientists and worked on Diderot's Encyclopedie, a summary of the science and technology of the time. He became president of the French Legislative Assembly in 1792 and implemented an educational system which formed the basis of the one still in use over 200 years later. During the French Revolution he went into hiding but was discovered. He died in prison, probably by poisoning. This engraving, by Ludwig Portman, dates from between 1789 and 1834.

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