On 17 August the Accademia dei Lincei is founded in Rome on the initiative of Prince Federico Cesi, in association with Johannes von Heeck, Francesco Stelluti, and Anastasio de Filiis.
The Sidereus Nuncius is published on March 12 by Stamperia Tommaso Baglioni in Venice. Galileo Galilei presents the discoveries he made with the telescope, including the morphology of the Moon; the Milky Way as a cluster of stars; the satellites of Jupiter.
Galilei informs Federico Cesi by letter that he has developed an occhialino (a handy eyepiece) "for viewing the tiniest things up close." The microscope is born.
Benedetto Castelli, a disciple of Galilei, publishes Della misura delle acque correnti (On the Measure of Running Waters), a text that marks the beginning of modern hydrodynamics. Here Castelli is first to consider the phenomena of hydrodynamics from the outlook of geometry and mechanics.
Dialogo sui massimi sistemi del mondo. (Dialogue on the Greatest Systems of the World.) Galileo supports Copernicus's heliocentric theory, also dismantling the Ptolemaic geocentric model supported by the authority of Aristotle and the philosophy of the Scholastics.
Santorio Santorio dies in Venice. Physician, physiologist, and follower of the experimental method, he intuited the existence of the metabolism.
Evangelista Torricelli demonstrates atmospheric pressure and the existence of a vacuum. His experimentation leads to the development of the mercury barometer and initiates the development of thermometry.
Marco Aurelio Severino publishes Zootomia Democritaea, idest anatome generalis totius animantium opificii, considered the first general treatise on comparative anatomy.
A group of scientists and philosophers called I Moderni Seguaci di Cartesio e Galileo (The Modern Followers of Descartes and Galileo) founds the Accademia degli Investiganti (Academy of Investigators) in Naples. It is suppressed in 1668.
On 19 June, the Accademia del Cimento, Europe's first scientific society, is founded in Florence by Prince Leopoldo de' Medici, remaining active until 1667.
In his De pulmonibus observationes anatomicae, Marcello Malpighi systematically describes, through use of the microscope, the structure of the lungs, the pulmonary alveoli, the pulmonary capillaries.
Gian Domenico Cassini discovers the polar caps of Mars and determines that the planet's period is 24 hours, 40 minutes.
Marcello Malpighi publishes his Dissertatio epistolica de bombyce, the first study on insect bodily structure.
Elena Cornaro Piscopia is the first woman in the world to receive a Ph.D. degree: she graduates in philosophy at the Università di Padova (University of Padua) on 25 June 1678. On 9 July of the same year she joined the Collegio dei Filosofi e Medici dell'Università (College of Philosophers and Physicians of the University).
Mathematician and physicist Giovanni Alfonso Borelli publishes De motu animalium. The text is considered the starting point of modern articular physiology.
Doctor and writer Bernardino Ramazzini publishes De morbis artificum diatriba, a treaty describing some causes of death at work, a basis of studies on occupational diseases.