SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Roger Bacon, (c. 1214-1292), English philosopher and alchemist, coloured historical portrait. He studied at Oxford and in Paris, and joined the Franciscan Order (c.1247) as a monk. Bacon resembles Galileo in that his bold ideas attracted persecution: his Order had him imprisoned for 15 years. Bacon was an early proponent of the experimental method. He foresaw man controlling nature, predicted mechanical land, air and undersea transport, suggested that man could circumnavigate the earth, and mentioned gunpowder. Bacon foreshadowed Paracelsus when he claimed that alchemy was essential to medicine.
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