Robert Boyle

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Robert Boyle is considered both the founder of modern chemistry and the greatest English scientist to live during the first thirty years of the existence of the Royal Society. He was not only a chemist and a physicist as we know him to be, but also an avid theologian, a philanthropist, an essayist, and a beginner in medicine. Born in Lismore, Ireland to Richard Boyle, first earl of Cork, and Katherine Fenton, his second wife, Boyle was the youngest son in a family of fourteen. However he was not shortchanged of anything. After private tutoring at home for eight years, Robert Boyle was sent to Eton College where he studied for four years. At the age of twelve, Boyle traveled to the Continent, as it was referred to at the time. There he found a private tutor by the name of Marcombes in Geneva.

While traveling between Italy, France, and England, Boyle was being tutored in the polite arts, philosophy, theology, mathematics, and science.

As the years went by, Boyle became more and more interested in medicine. His curiosity in this field led him to chemistry. At first Boyle was mainly interested in the facet of chemistry that dealt with the preparation of drugs, but soon he became genuinely interested in the subject and started to study it in great detail. His studies led him to Oxford where he joined such scientists as John Wilkins and John Wallis, and together in 1660, they founded the Royal Society of London for the Advancement of Science.

From this point onwards, Boyle seriously undertook the reformation of science. For centuries scientists had been explaining the unknown with the simple explanation that god made it that way. Though Boyle did not argue with this, he did...