Roger Joseph Boscovich

Ruggero Giuseppe Boscovich;Ruđer Josip Bošković

1711 (Ragusa, now Dubrovnik, Croatia) – 1787 (Milan)

Boscovich, not as well known as he might be, held strikingly advanced ideas about space/time relativity and the nature of atoms, among much else. His wide-ranging correspondents included Euler, Jacobi, Bernoulli, Lagrange, Priestley, Spallanzani, Méchain, Metastasio and Voltaire. Old friends in France included Nollet, Lacaille, Lalande (struck by his extreme spirituality and profundity) and especially Clairaut, who admired his vast culture and personal dynamism. He met Buffon and Franklin, impressed Burney, discussed Newton with Johnson (in French and Latin), was initiated into the mysteries of Guy Fawkes’ Night by Maskelyne, and was resented by d’Alembert.