Looking back through history, people have always wanted to explain how the world works, but they haven't always used scientific theories. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle didn't carry out experiments, but he did try to describe and explain the natural world. After alchemy in the Dark Ages, a more reason-based approach to empirical knowledge was taken by natural philosophers such as Boyle, Newton and Galileo. William Whewell coined the word 'scientist' relatively recently in 1833.

BBC Focus Magazine Subscription

Who really discovered Halley's Comet?

Edmund Halley wasn’t the first person to spot the celestial object bearing his name, but he proved that what were thought to be several different comets were actually all the same one.