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Historical Development of Scientific Method



Spans from 2.5 million years ago, to 3000 BC

Spans around 3000 BC, to the 5th century


The first humans developed skills and knowledge to survive in a hostile environment.


Origin of the scientific method

Main discoveries

During Antiquity, civilizations such as the Egyptians, the Greeks and the Romans, developed great advances in mathematics, astronomy, medicine and arquitecture

That time also witnessed

  • The invention of the crossbow
  • The discovery of humoral theory of medicine
  • The construction of impressive buildings; such as
- The Parthenon- The Colosseum

Historical Development of Scientific Method


Spans from the 5th century AD to the 15th century

Major discoveries and characters


Main Characters

Main advances and discoveries



Arab world


(618 - 907)

5th century

8th - 13th centuries

Avicenna: Persian physician and philosopher who made important contributions to the medical knowledge and philosophy. Zhang Heng: Chinese inventor who created the first seismograph.

During the Tang dynasty (618 - 907) major advances in medicine were made, especially in acupuncture. Techniques for making paper, porcelain, and silk were also developed.

The physician Avicenna (Ibn Sina), wrote important treatises on medicine and philosophy, which had a great influence on the European Middle Ages. Persians also excelled in astronomy and mathematics.

The mathematician Aryabhata developed a system for representing numbers using symbols and notations. He also made advances in astronomy, geometry, and algebra

During the Middle Ages, Europe experienced a time where science and technology were not a priority.

Historical Development of Scientific Method


Spans form the 15th century to the 18th century


Main discoveries

The Renaissance

Important changes

Key scientists


Spans form the 18th century to the present day

Science and technology have advanced at a grownly faster pace

19th century

Important discoveries

Cell Theory

In 1838


In 1859

  • Copernicus' heliocentric theory
  • Newton's law of universal gravitation
  • Linnaeus' classification of species
  • The germinal theory of medicine
  • The invention of the telescope and microscope
  • The creation of the Royal Society of London

The Renaissance was a crucial period for the development of the modern scientific method. With the advent of the Renaissance, the curious minds of scientists began to search for new ways to understand the world around them.

One of the important changes was the focus on the empirical observation and experimentation rather than relying solely on the authority of ancient texts. Scientists began to develop hypotheses and test them through controlled experiments and a rigorous observation.

Matthias Schleiden and Theodor Schwann proposed the cell theory. Which stated that all living things are made up of cells.

Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species, where he proposed the theory of evolution through natural selection. This theory was a revolution in the field of biology and changed the way we understand the diversity of life.

Historical Development of Scientific Method

Important scientists

Laws of Thermodynamics

In the second half of 19th century

Electricity and Magnetism

In 1820


In 1896

Louis Pasteur

(1822 - 1895)

Robert Koch

(1843 - 1910)

Michael Faraday

(1791 - 1867)

Thomas Edison

(1847 - 1931)

  • These laws were established to describe the relations between energy, heat and work.
  • They are fundamental to understanding many physical and chemical processes, and have had important applications in technology.

Hans Christian Orsted discovered that an electric current produces magnetic field.

Henri Becquerel discovered radioactivity, which is the spontaneous emission of particles or radiation from certain elements. This discovery had a great impact on physics and chemistry.

Historical Development of Scientific Method







The 21st century has seen many advances that have been fundamental to the improvement of life of people.

During Antiquity important advances were made in fields such as mathematics, philosophy, astronomy, medicine and architecture


Made important contributions to physics and chemistry. He discovered the phenomenon of electromagnetic induction, which led to the development of electric motors and generators of electric energy. He established the Faraday's law of electrolysis.

Michael Faraday

  • Stone tools
  • The control of fire
  • Hunting and gathering
  • The domestication of animals and plants

Advances in understanding the environment and survival

Major Discoveries of Prehistory

Discoveries of the 20th century

  • Made importat contributions to electrical technology.
  • He invented the electric light bulb, which made electric lightning possible at home and in industry.
  • He developed the direct current electrical distribution system, which permitted the electrification of cities and urban areas.

Thomas Edison

Main scientific and technological advances and discoveries of the Middle Age

  • Geometry
  • The heliocentric theory of Aristarchus of Samos
  • The classification of plants and animals of Aristotle

The main discoveries of Antiquity

In the 20th century science and technology experienced unprecedented advances.


  • Quantum physiscs
  • Relativity
  • Einsten's theory of general relativity transformed our understanding of the universe

There were also important advances:

  • In biology, with the identification of the DNA structure by Watson and Crick
  • In medicine, with the development of penicillin and other antibiotics

  • Francis Bacon: Promoted empirical observation and experimentation, and emphasized the importance of induction in scientific research.
  • Galileo Galilei: Was one of the first to use empirical observation and experimentation to change preconceptions about physics and astronomy

Key scientists in the development of the scientific method during the Renaissance

Discoveries of the 21st century

The scientific method

The origin of the scientific method is located in Ancient Greece, where the first systematic observations of nature were carried out and the first hypothesis were raised.Aristotle established observations as the first step for the acquision of knowledge and was the precusor of the scientific method.

A french microbiologist who made important contributions to the field of microbiology and chemistry. He proved that microorganisms are the cause of fermentation; developed the pasteurization process to kill harmful bacteria in food and beverages, as well as the rabies vaccine.

Louis Pasteur

Important advances where made in fields such as:


  • Astronomy
  • Physics
  • Chemistry
  • Biology
  • Medicine

Science began to evolve increasingly fast pace.Leonardo Da Vinci was one of the greatest exponents of the time.

Major discoveries and characters:

During the time of the Abbasid dynasty, there were major advances in philosophy, literature, medicine, and science.

  • Al-Khwarizmi: Developed algebra and algorithms
  • Al-Razi: Made important advances in medicine and pharmacology.

Although it is often considered a time of obscurantism, major advances were made in fields such as:


  • Philosophy
  • Theology
  • Medicine
  • Astronomy

The century was marked by important advances in physics and chemistry.Including:

  • The Law of conservation of energy by Hermann ven Helmholtz
  • The identification of chemical elements by Dmitri Mendeleev

He discovered the tuberculosis bacillus, which led to the identification of the disease and the development of a vaccine against it. He also discovered the cholera bacillus, which helped explain the cause of the cholera epidemic of 1883.

Robert Koch

However, in other parts of the world, such as Islamic world and China, there were major advances in:

  • Mathematics
  • Astronomy
  • Medicine