Francis Bacon (1561–1626)

English civil servant, politician, statesman, scientist, and philosopher. Trained as a lawyer, Bacon served as a member of Parliament during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. After her death, he found favor with King James I and advanced in government service to the position of lord chancellor. His career was cut short in 1621 when he was convicted of accepting bribes. Retired, he married and devoted the rest of his life to study and to writing philosophical works; in his Novum Organum (1620) he describes a systematic procedure for investigating natural phenomena that is considered the basis of the modern scientific method. Bacon’s other books include The Advancement of Learning (1605) and Essays (1597, rev. 1612 and 1625). See also plato.stanford.edu/entries/francis-bacon.