Robert Hooke, one of the most important scientists of the 17th century, was born on the Isle of Wight, a contemporary of Sir Isaac Newton, Samuel Pepys and Sir Christopher Wren, who was his lifelong friend. In the course of his career at the Royal Society and as Professor of Geometry at Gresham College, he carried out the earliest research with the microscope, described and named the cell, was a founder of the science of geology, and discovered the law of springs/elasticity, the achievement for which he is most remembered today. He was also a City Surveyor, organising the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Overshadowed by Newton and Wren, he faded into relative obscurity and now there is not even a portrait of him.
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