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Scientific Revolution Lesson for Kids: Causes & Timeline

Instructor: Rebecca Gillaspy

Dr. Gillaspy has taught health science at University of Phoenix and Ashford University and has a degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic.

When did science become important? Many would say it was during the 16th and 17th centuries, which is when the Scientific Revolution took place. Learn about the events and scientists of the Scientific Revolution.

The Scientific Revolution

When you think of a revolution, you might picture soldiers fearlessly charging into battle. But not all revolutions take place on noisy battlefields. Some, like the Scientific Revolution, happen in quiet rooms and simple laboratories. The Scientific Revolution was a period of great advancements in science that changed the way people looked at the world around them. It took place in Europe during the 1500s and 1600s.

Timeline and Notable Figures

1543

An astronomer named Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) published a famous paper, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, in which he stated that the Sun was the center of the universe.

The work of Copernicus started the Scientific Revolution.
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That might not sound like a very impressive idea to you, but at the time, it was mind-blowing and is thought to have caused or sparked the revolution! Before Copernicus, everyone assumed that the Earth was the center of the universe and that everything revolved around it.

In the same year, Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) published a seven-volume, beautifully illustrated book on human anatomy, which, for the first time, accurately detailed the structures of the human body. Now, the Scientific Revolution was off and running.

1609 and 1618

Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) confirmed that Copernicus was right about the Sun being the center of the universe and further built upon those ideas. In the years 1609 and 1618 (some sources say 1619), he shared three laws that described how the planets move around the Sun.

1610

Galileo (1564-1642) used the newly invented telescope to write a paper about his astronomical observations called the Sidereal Messenger, which has also been translated to The Starry Messenger. The early telescope used by Galileo allowed him to get a close look at the moon and planets and watch how they moved. His observations helped to support the idea that the planets revolve around the Sun.

1620

Did you know that scientists love Bacon? Francis Bacon that is. Francis Bacon (1561-1626) was an important figure in the Scientific Revolution because he pushed forth the idea of the scientific method.

Bacon introduced the scientific method.
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The scientific method is an investigative method that involves a series of steps to include observing something, asking questions, coming up with a theory (i.e. educated guess), and then testing that theory. You can think of it as the recipe for scientific investigation, and even though Bacon introduced the scientific method centuries ago, it's still used by scientists today!

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