Who Is the Father of Chemistry?

It depends on whom you ask

Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier
Antoine-Laurent Lavoisier is known as the Father of Modern Chemistry. SHEILA TERRY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / Getty Images

Who is the father of chemistry? Here is a look at the best answers to this question and the reasons why each of these people may be considered to be the father of chemistry, depending on whom you ask.

Several "Fathers of Chemistry"

If you are asked to identify the father of chemistry, your best answer probably is Antoine Lavoisier. Lavoisier wrote the book "Elements of Chemistry" (1787). He compiled the first complete (at that time) list of elements, discovered and named oxygen and hydrogen, helped develop the metric system, helped revise and standardize chemical nomenclature, and discovered that matter retains its mass even when it changes forms.

Another popular choice for the title of father of chemistry is Jabir ibn Hayyan, a Persian alchemist living around 800 who applied scientific principles to his studies.

Other people sometimes known as the father of modern chemistry are Robert Boyle, Jöns Berzelius, and John Dalton.