38. Maupertuis (1698–1759) was the eminent and controversial French mathematician, astronomer, and Newtonian physicist selected by Frederick II of Prussia to be the president of his Royal Academy of Sciences, a choice that was commended by d’Alembert, who was once his protegé, in the article “Royal Academy of Science,” Encyclopédie, I, 55. The Prussian king on a number of occasions offered the succession to this honor to his friend d’Alembert, both before and after the death of Maupertuis. D’Alembert cites the work of Maupertuis throughout the scientific articles of the Encyclopedia.


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