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The year 1731 in science and technology involved some significant events.

Agriculture

Jethro Tull publishes The New Horse-Houghing Husbandry; or, an essay on the principles of tillage and vegetation in England.

Astronomy

The octant is developed by John Hadley (it will eventually be replaced as an essential tool of navigation by the sextant).
The orrery (or planetarium model) is developed as an apparatus showing the relative positions of heavenly bodies in the solar system by using balls moved by wheelwork.

Exploration

English Captain Charles Gough rediscovers Gough Island in the South Atlantic.[1]

Geology

The modern seismograph is developed by Italian scientist Nicholas Cerillo using a pendulum.

Medicine

Laura Bassi becomes the first official female university teacher on being appointed professor of anatomy at the University of Bologna at the age of 21.[2]
The Society for the Improvement of Medical Knowledge in Edinburgh begins publication of the peer reviewed Medical Essays and Observations.[3]

Technology

The harpoon gun is developed and used for the purpose of throwing the harpoon into the body of whales.

Publications

Publication begins in Augsburg and Ulm of Johann Jakob Scheuchzer's Physica Sacra which attempts to provide a scientific explanation of Biblical history.

Awards

Copley Medal: The first Copley Medal is awarded to Stephen Gray.

Births

26 September 1731 Birth of Gian Francesco Malfatti

October 10 - Henry Cavendish, English scientist (d. 1810)
9 November 1731 Birth of Benjamin Banneker Baltimore County, Maryland, USA, African-American astronomer and surveyor (d. 1806)
December 12 - Erasmus Darwin, English physician and botanist (d. 1802)

Deaths

January 6 - Étienne François Geoffroy, French chemist (b. 1672)
December 29 - Brook Taylor, English mathematician (b. 1685)

References

^ Heaney, J. B.; Holdgate, M. W. (1957). "The Gough Island Scientific Survey". The Geographical Journal 123: 20–31. JSTOR 1790718.
^ "The 18th Century Women Scientists of Bologna". ScienceWeek. 2004. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
^ Benos, Dale J. et al. (2007). "The ups and downs of per review". Advances in Physiology Education 31 (2): 145–152. doi:10.1152/advan.00104.2006. PMID 17562902. Retrieved 2011-08-30.

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Chronology

1730 - 1731 - 1732

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