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. 2012;95(Pt 3):238-54.
doi: 10.3184/003685012X13454653990042.

Robert Hooke, 1635-1703

Robert Hooke, 1635-1703

Robin Rowbury. Sci Prog. .


Robert Hooke was a polymath whose expertise during the 17th century spanned many different scientific areas. As a schoolboy on the Isle of Wight he was obsessed with the possibility of human flight and later became equally absorbed in cosmology and planetary motion. His skills as an artist were put to good use both as an architect following the Great Fire of London and before that in Micrographia. Although that book is best known for demonstrating the power of Hooke's microscope, Micrographia describes distant planetary bodies, the wave theory of light, the organic origin of fossils, and various other philosophical and scientific interests of its author The following thumbnail sketches of Hooke reveal him to be a man of enormous energy and imagination whose ideas were often pirated or under-rated.

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