Francis Bacon, 1st and Only Viscount of St. Alban, KC (22 January 1561 – 9 April 1626) was an English philosopher, statesman, scientist, lawyer, jurist and author. He served both as Attorney General and Lord Chancellor of England. Although his political career ended in disgrace, he remained extremely influential through his works, especially as philosophical advocate and practitioner of the scientific revolution. His dedication brought him into a rare historical group of scientists who were killed by their own experiments.
Before entering into the service of the Cavendish family, Thomas Hobbes was Francis Bacon's private secretary. Hobbes ruefully remembered Bacon's last experiment, which was designed to test whether cold air would delay the decomposition of the flesh. He bought a chicken, stuffed it with snow, and ate it. Bacon developed pneumonia shortly after and died.
After Bacon's death, Hobbes concluded that experimentation is a "last resort, to be adopted when one cannot reach a conclusion by pure reason. It is better to proceed, wherever possible, by geometrical constructions." He shared this wisdom with William Cavendish, 3rd Earl of Devonshire. Hobbes further underlined the "lesson" with the example of Galileo Galilei's running afoul of the Catholic Church.