Lire la Bible, explorer la nature. Bernard Palissy et le geste expérimental

Bernard Palissy developed a scientific practice reflective of his Protestantism. In this article we analyze his texts to identify the specific modalities of an experimental science that was still in the process of formation. The way in which Palissy imagined his botanical garden met the demands of science, the concern to protect Protestants, and the economic interests. However, these three levels were kept rigidly separated from each other. It was in the same way that Palissy viewed the secrecy in his practice of chemistry a purely commercial necessity. Distancing himself from the codes of alchemy, Palissy advocated open knowledge. His experimental science, detached as it was from the divine plan and at odds with the authorities, initiated a vast movement of emancipation.