Francesco Redi was an Italian scientist, physician, academician and poet. He was the first person to prove that spontaneous generation did not cause the growth of maggots in decaying meat, but they appeared from eggs deposited by flies.
Early Life and Education:
Born in Arezzo, Central Italy in 1626, Francesco Redi received a Jesuit education. He acquired a degree in medicine and philosophy from the University of Pisa in 1647.
Contributions and Achievements:
After staying in Naples, Venice, and Rome for a while, Francesco Redi visited Florence in 1654, where he succeeded his father as a court physician to Ferdinando II, the Grand Duke of Tuscany. He became a member of the Accademia della Crusca in 1655. He was appointed the administrator of the famous Accademia del Cimento, a fraternity of the finest Italian scientists who upheld the scientific tradition of Galileo.
Redi soon gained a reputation throughout Europe as one of the most reputed biologists after he published “Esperienze intorno alla generazione degl’insetti” in 1668 (English: Experiments on the Generation of Insects). The work still remains highly influential in history for effectively rejecting the widely popular belief of spontaneous generation.
Later Life and Death:
Francesco Redi died in his sleep on March 1, 1697. He was 71 years old.