Comte de Buffon

Georges-Louis Leclerc;Buffon

1707 (Montbard, France) – 1788 (Paris)

Buffon prepared natural history for its modernisation. Maupertuis acted as his mentor. D’Alembert called him “the great phrasemonger.” Daubenton collaborated with him for eight years before being unceremoniously ditched. Helvétius and Rousseau stayed with him, Hume and Jefferson were correspondents, Châtelet consulted him on Newton, and Lamarck took his teenage son around Europe. Smellie translated his Histoire Naturelle, Buffon trying to impress him with his important Scottish contacts. Buffon mocked Voltaire’s ideas about fossils, and got Winsløw and Lacépède posts in the royal gardens, realigned by him as a research centre.