Bacon was an English Franciscan friar, philosopher, scientist and scholar of the 13th century.
Roger Bacon's date and place of birth are unknown, but he is thought to have come from a relatively wealthy family. He studied and later taught at Oxford University and also taught the University of Paris.
Bacon has a wide range of interests. He investigated optics and the refraction of light through lenses, leading to the development of spectacles. He sought reform of the calendar and was interested in astronomy. In 1266, at the request of Pope Clement IV, he collected many of his observations in his 'Opus Maius', an encyclopaedia of all science.
Bacon had a reputation as an unconventional scholar, pursuing learning in alchemy and magic - interests which earned him the soubriquet 'Doctor Mirabilis'. This led to his rejection from the Franciscans and eventual imprisonment. He died in Oxford not long after his release.