The year 1761 in science and technology involved some significant events, listed below.


June 6 - The first transit of Venus since Edmond Halley suggested that its observation could determine the distance from the Earth to the Sun. Joseph-Nicolas Delisle set up a 62-station network for observing the transit. Those taking part included:
Nathaniel Bliss at the Royal Greenwich Observatory
César Cassini de Thury in Vienna
Jean-Baptiste Chappe d'Auteroche in Tobolsk, Siberia
Jeremiah Dixon and Charles Mason in Cape Town, South Africa (they had originally planned to go to Bengkulu, Sumatra)
Maximilian Hell in Vardø, Norway
Joseph de Lalande in Paris
Tobias Mayer in Göttingen
Nevil Maskelyne in St Helena
Alexandre Pingré on Rodrigues Island
John Winthrop in St. John's, Newfoundland
Mikhail Lomonosov, who finds the first evidence that the planet has an atmosphere

Guillaume Le Gentil, who had hoped to observe from Pondicherry in India, was prevented from doing so due to the Seven Years' War and Ruđer Bošković arrives late in Constantinople.

Louis Gérard publishes Flora Gallo-Provincialis, the first flora arranged according to natural classification.[1]


Johan Gottschalk Wallerius publishes his pioneering work in agricultural chemistry, Agriculturae fundamenta chemica (Åkerbrukets chemiska grunder).


Samuel-Auguste Tissot publishes Avis au peuple sur sa santé, a popular text of the century.[2]


Opening of Matthew Boulton's Soho Manufactory.


Copley Medal: not awarded


January 17 - James Hall (d. 1832), Scottish geologist and physicist.
February 1 - Christiaan Hendrik Persoon (d. 1836), South African-born Pomeranian/Dutch mycologist.
June 7 - John Rennie (d. 1821), Scottish-born civil engineer.
October 27 - Matthew Baillie (d. 1823), Scottish-born pathologist
November 30 - Smithson Tennant (d. 1815), English chemist.
December 21 - Jean-Louis Pons (d. 1831), French astronomer.
December 25 - William Gregor (d. 1817), Cornish mineralogist.


March 22 - Pierre Fauchard, French physician and "father of modern dentistry" (born 1678)
April 7 - Thomas Bayes, English mathematician (born c. 1702)
May 14 - Thomas Simpson, British mathematician (born 1710)
30 November 1761 Death of John Dollond in London, England, English optician (born 1706)


^ Williams, Roger L. (1988). "Gerard and Jaume: Two Neglected Figures in the History of Jussiaean Classification". Taxon 37: 2–34. JSTOR 1220932.
^ Singy, Patrick (2010). "The Popularization of Medicine in the Eighteenth Century: Writing, Reading, and Rewriting Samuel Auguste Tissot's Avis au peuple sur sa santé". The Journal of Modern History 82: 769–800. doi:10.1086/656073. JSTOR 656073.

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