Let me introduce you to Robert Boyle.
Robert Boyle, FRS, (25 January 1627 – 31 December 1691) was an Anglo-Irish natural philosopher, chemist, physicist, and inventor. Born in
Lismore, County Waterford, Ireland, he was also noted for his writings in theology. Although his research clearly has its roots in the alchemical
tradition, Boyle is largely regarded today as the first modern chemist, and therefore one of the founders of modern chemistry, and one of the pioneers
of modern experimental scientific method. He is best known for Boyle's law, which describes the inversely proportional relationship between the
absolute pressure and volume of a gas, if the temperature is kept constant within a closed system. Among his works, The Sceptical Chymist is
seen as a cornerstone book in the field of chemistry.
Have you ever wished you could swim underwater for extended periods without scuba-gear? Wanted to be taller? Wished you could put a halt to the ageing
process? As it happens, you’re not alone. Over three hundred years ago, Robert Boyle FRS wrote a list of things that he hoped could be achieved
through science. Beginning with ‘The Prolongation of Life’, the list includes items such as ‘emulating fish … by custom and education only’,
‘attaining gigantick dimensions’, and ‘recovery of youth, or at least the signs of it’.
Boyle’s list of scientific projects:
The Prolongation of Life.
The Recovery of Youth, or at least some of the Marks of it, as new Teeth, new Hair colour’d as in youth.
The Art of Flying.
The Art of Continuing long under water, and exercising functions freely there.
The Cure of Wounds at a Distance.
The Cure of Diseases at a distance or at least by Transplantation.
The Attaining Gigantick Dimensions.
The Emulating of Fish without Engines by Custome and Education only.
The Acceleration of the Production of things out of Seed.
The Transmutation of Metalls.
The makeing of Glass Malleable.
The Transmutation of Species in Mineralls, Animals, and Vegetables.
The Liquid Alkaest and Other dissolving Menstruums.
The making of Parabolicall and Hyperbolicall Glasses.
The making Armor light and extremely hard.
The practicable and certain way of finding Longitudes.
The use of Pendulums at Sea and in Journeys, and the Application of it to watches.
Potent Druggs to alter or Exalt Imagination, Waking, Memory, and other functions, and appease pain, procure innocent sleep, harmless dreams, etc.
A Ship to saile with All Winds, and A Ship not to be Sunk.
Freedom from Necessity of much Sleeping exemplify’d by the Operations of Tea and what happens in Mad-Men.
Pleasing Dreams and physicall Exercises exemplify’d by the Egyptian Electuary and by the Fungus mentioned by the French Author.
Great Strength and Agility of Body exemplify’d by that of Frantick Epileptick and Hystericall persons.
A perpetuall Light.
Varnishes perfumable by Rubbing.
Some strange predictions there.