(July 28, 1635 – March 3, 1703)

About one-and-a-half centuries before Michael Faraday served Humphry Davy, Robert Hooke served another great chemist named Robert Boyle. It was Hooke that assembled the instruments and readied the laboratory in which Boyle conducted his famous gas law experiments. And prior to serving Boyle, Hooke had served Thomas Willis in similar capacity. He learned well, and was able to make his mark on various scientific fields. His tensile investigations enabled him formulate his law of elasticity, which is fundamental to metallurgy and engineering. He would later become the 9th Gresham Professor of Geometry at London. And based on his cells and tissues studies in 1665, he was recognized as the discoverer of cell: long before Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann developed their Cell Theory in 1839. Alongside Cornelis Drebbel, Giovanni Faber, Galileo Galilei and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, Robert Hooke was at the forefront of 17th century microscopy. His pictorial treatise titled Micrographia was the first publication which illustrated how distinct various parts of plant and animals appeared under the microscope. It is as well, the first book in which the term “cell” was first used to denote the basic unit of a living entity. Apart from arousing interests in microscopy, Micrographia showcased Hooke’s versatility through its discourses on optics, astronomy, cytology, entomology and paleontology. Its insinuation of Wave Theory of Light succeeded René Descartes’ and preceded Christaan Huygens’. In appreciation of his scientific contributions, a lunar impact crater, a Martian impact crater, and an asteroid were named Hooke in his honor.

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