1865 in science
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- John Lubbock publishes Pre-historic Times, as Illustrated by Ancient Remains, and the Manners and Customs of Modern Savages, including his coinage of the term Palæolithic.
- February – Only month in recorded in history with no full moon.
- Vassar College Observatory opens at Poughkeepsie, New York, with Maria Mitchell as its first director.
- Friedrich Kekulé proposes a ring structure for benzene.
- Adolf von Baeyer begins work on indigo dye, a milestone in modern industrial organic chemistry which revolutionizes the dye industry.
- Johann Josef Loschmidt determines the exact number of molecules in a mole, later named Avogadro's number.
- Louis Pasteur shows that the air is full of bacteria.
- Joseph Lister begins to experiment with antiseptic surgery in Glasgow using carbolic acid.
- Max Schultze gives the first known description of the platelet.
- Claude Bernard publishes Principes de Médecine experimentale.
- February 8 & March 8 – Gregor Mendel reads his paper, Versuche über Pflanzenhybriden (Experiments on Plant Hybridization), at two meetings of the Natural History Society of Brünn in Moravia.
- May 17 – Father Armand David first observes Père David's Deer in China.
- June–August – Francis Galton formulates eugenics.
- September – John Henry Walsh (writing as 'Stonehenge' in the magazine The Field) gives the first definition of a dog breed standard (for the pointer) based on physical form.
- September 28 – Elizabeth Garrett Anderson obtains a licence from the Society of Apothecaries in London to practice medicine, the first woman to qualify as a doctor in the United Kingdom, and sets up in her own practice.
- Rudolf Clausius gives the first mathematical version of the concept of entropy, and also names it.
- James Clerk Maxwell publishes A Dynamical Theory of the Electromagnetic Field.
- Aveling and Porter produce the world's first steam roller at Rochester in England.
- Hermann Sprengel produces the Sprengel pump which is capable of creating a significant vacuum.
- January 22 – Friedrich Paschen (died 1947), German physicist.
- February 1 – Henry Luke Bolley (died 1956), American plant pathologist.
- March 19 – William Morton Wheeler (died 1937), American entomologist.
- March 31 – Anandi Gopal Joshi (died 1887), Indian physician.
- April 28 – Charles W. Woodworth (died 1940), American entomologist.
- June 27 – John Monash (died 1931), Australian civil engineer and General.
- August 10 – Charles Close (died 1952), Jersey-born cartographer.
- January 14 – Marie-Anne Libert (born 1782), Belgian botanist.
- January 31 – Hugh Falconer (born 1808), British geologist, botanist, paleontologist and paleoanthropologist.
- April 23 – Diego de Argumosa (born 1792), Spanish surgeon.
- April 30 – Robert FitzRoy (born 1805), English admiral and meteorologist, suicide.
- May 27 – Charles Waterton (born 1782), English naturalist and explorer.
- July 25 – Dr. James Barry (born 1789-1799), Irish-born military surgeon.
- August 12 – Sir William Jackson Hooker (born 1785), English botanist.
- August 26 – Johann Franz Encke (born 1791), German astronomer.
- August 29 – Robert Remak (born 1815), Polish/Prussian Jewish embryologist.
- September 2 – Sir William Rowan Hamilton (born 1805), Irish mathematician, physicist and astronomer.
- October 17 – Joseph-François Malgaigne (born 1806), French surgeon.
- "Palaeolithic, adj. and n.". Oxford English Dictionary online version (3rd ed.). Oxford University Press. December 2011. Archived from the original on 2012-02-26. Retrieved 2012-02-24. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Kekulé, F. A. (1865). "Sur la constitution des substances aromatiques". Bulletin de la Société Chimique de Paris. 3: 98–110.
- "Adolf von Baeyer: The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1905". Nobel Lectures, Chemistry 1901–1921. Elsevier Publishing Company. 1966. Retrieved 2007-02-28.
- Lienhard, John H. (2003). "Johann Josef Loschmidt". The Engines of Our Ingenuity. Episode 1858. Johann Josef Loschmidt. NPR. KUHF-FM Houston.
- Everett, Jason M., ed. (2006). "1865". The People's Chronology. Thomson Gale.
- Schultze, M. (1865). "Ein heizbarer Objecttisch und seine Verwendung bei Untersuchungen des Blutes". Archiv für Mikroskopische Anatomie. 1: 1–42. doi:10.1007/bf02961404.
- Moore, Randy (May 2001). "The "Rediscovery" of Mendel's Work" (PDF). Bioscene. 27. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-02-02. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
- "Elaphurus davidianus". Ultimate Ungulate. 2004. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 2011-05-05.
- Galton, Francis (1865). "Hereditary talent and character" (PDF). Macmillan's Magazine. 12: 157–166, 318–327. Retrieved 2016-12-06.
- "First modern dog discovered". University of Manchester. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-03-07.
- Apart from the woman passing herself off as Dr James Barry. Penguin Pocket On This Day. Penguin Reference Library. 2006. ISBN 0-14-102715-0.
- Clausius, R. (1865). "Über die Wärmeleitung gasförmiger Körper". Annalen der Physik. 125: 353–400. Bibcode:1865AnP...201..353C. doi:10.1002/andp.18652010702. Archived from the original on 5 June 2011. Retrieved 26 April 2011.
- Clausius, R. (1867). The Mechanical Theory of Heat – with its Applications to the Steam Engine and to Physical Properties of Bodies. London: John van Voorst.
- "Aveling and Porter". Grace's Guide. Retrieved 2011-05-25.
- Thompson, Silvanus P. (1888). The Development of the Mercurial Air-pump. London: E. & F. N. Spon. pp. 14–15.