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Benjamin Franklin: The First Scientific American

Collage of Benjamin Franklin related images

The images of the Franklin stove, carriage odometer and lightning rod are courtesy of

Joyce Chaplin
History Department
Harvard University

Famous, fascinating Benjamin Franklin—he would be neither without his accomplishments in science. Franklin was the first person born in the Americas who became internationally celebrated for work in physical science. Although he has been most celebrated for his electrical experiments, he did far more, eventually making major contributions to no fewer than three areas of science, which we would now recognize as the fields of physics, oceanography, and demography. In all three fields, Franklin drew upon his American environment and experiences, though in significantly different ways in each case.

Copies of "Benjamin Franklin: In Pursuit of Genius" will be available for review and purchase at the talk.

Anyone outside NIST wishing to attend must be sponsored by a NIST employee and receive a visitor badge. For more information, call Kum J. Ham at 301-975-4203.

Colloquia are videotaped and available in the NIST Research Library.

Created October 26, 2009, Updated November 15, 2019