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SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Charles Francois de Cisternay DuFay, French scientist. At the age of 25 Dufay left the army. In 1723 he became a chemist at the Academie des Sciences becoming a full member of the Academy in 1731. In 1732 he was appointed Superintendent of the Jardins du Roi, Paris. During his seven years in this position the Gardens became one of the most important research centres in Europe. He made early experiments in electricity and discovered that an electrical charge had both positive and negative values. He noted the difference between conductors and insulators and experimented with the use of a human body as an electrical conductor. Dufay's observations on electricity were reported in a paper written in December of 1733 and printed in Volume 38 of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society in 1734.
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