1786 in science
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|List of years in science (table)|
|... 1776 . 1777 . 1778 . 1779 . 1780 . 1781 . 1782 ...
1783 1784 1785 -1786- 1787 1788 1789
... 1790 . 1791 . 1792 . 1793 . 1794 . 1795 . 1796 ...
|Art . Archaeology . Architecture . Literature . Music . Philosophy . Science +...|
- January 17 – Pierre Méchain first observes Comet Encke, from Paris.
- August 1 – Caroline Herschel becomes the first woman to discover a comet.
- February 2 – In a speech before The Asiatic Society in Calcutta, Sir William Jones notes the formal resemblances between Latin, Greek, and Sanskrit, laying the foundation for comparative linguistics and Indo-European studies.
- Erland Samuel Bring publishes Meletemata quaedam mathematematica c. transformationem aequationum algebraicarum, proposing algebraic solutions to quintic functions.
- Lagrange moves from Prussia to Paris under the patronage of Louis XVI of France.
- William Playfair produces the first line and bar charts.
- August – James Rumsey tests his first steamboat in the Potomac river at Shepherdstown, Virginia.
- Ignaz von Born introduces a method of extracting metals using the patio process in his Ueber des Anquicken der gold- und silberhältigen Erze, published in Vienna.
- Copley Medal: Not awarded
- January 5 – Thomas Nuttall, English naturalist (died 1859)
- February 26 – François Arago, French mathematician, physicist, and astronomer (died 1853)
- Ernst Friedrich Germar, German entomologist (died 1853)