The collective term "natural sciences" refers to the individual empirical sciences as a whole. These sciences focus on animate and inanimate nature and attempt to describe and define it. The natural sciences are still divided into the largely mathematically-formulated exact natural sciences such as physics, chemistry, astronomy and geology, and the biological natural sciences such as biology and its subcategories such as anthropology, physiology, genetics and ecology.
The applied natural sciences refers to the discoveries made via experimentation and described by natural science theories, which are used by mankind (e.g technology and medicine). The invention of book printing in the mid-1500s (Johannes Gutenberg (1400 – 68)) allowed natural science observations and research results to be conveyed quickly in printed form to other academics. Book printing also helped the natural sciences to develop very quickly over the following centuries.
Certain books gained great significance. Nikolaus Kopernikus‘ Werk "De Revolutionibus Orbium Coelestium" (Eng: "On the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres" 1543) describes a mathematical-natural philosphical model, which turned the existing world view on its head. Andreas Vesalius‘ (1514 – 64) work, "On the Workings of the Human Body" (published in 1543) is a milestone, which marked the beginning of modern anatomy. Galileo Galilei’s "Sidericus Nuncius" (Venice 1610) was the basis for modern, observation-based astronomy. In his book, the author describes the newly invented telescope and its use in astronomy. Sir Isaac Newton’s work, "Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica" (London 1687) has become the most important book in the history of the exact natural sciences.
Related authors: Apian, Peter | Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc comte de | Fludd, Robert | Gesner, Conrad | Goethe, Johann Wolfgang von | Hevelius, Johannes | Kepler, Johannes | Kircher, Athanasius | Newton, Isaac | Oken, Lorenz | Penther, Johann Friedrich | Redi, Francesco | Scheele, Carl Wilhelm