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Scientific Centenaries in 1940

Nature volume 145, pages 911 (06 January 1940) | Download Citation



IN looking back once again for the names of men who were born or who died, one, two, three or more centuries ago, to whom the world is indebted for some discovery, or contribution of note to the progress of modern science, the first name which stands out clearly is that of William Gilbert, the physician of Elizabethan days. He was born in 1540. When sixty years of age he published his famous book “De Magnete, magnetisque corporibus et de magno magnete tellure”. This was the first great work on physical science published in England. A century or so after Gilbert died, Dryden wrote the lines“Gilbert shall live till loadstones cease to draw Or British fleets the boundless ocean awe.”

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