De RÌ©aumur constructing his thermometer scale. RenÌ© Antoine Ferchault de RÌ©aumur (February 28, 1683 - October 17, 1757) was a French scientist who contributed to many different fields, especially the study of insects. In 1699 he studied civil law and mathematics. In 1703 he went to Paris, where he continued the study of mathematics and physics, and in 1708 was elected, at the age of 24, a member of the AcadÌ©mie des Sciences. In 1731 he became interested in meteorology, and invented the thermometer scale which bears his name: the RÌ©aumur. His scientific papers deal with many branches of science. His first, in 1708, was on a general problem in geometry, and his last, in 1756, on the forms of birds' nests. He examined and reported on the auriferous (gold-bearing) rivers, the turquoise mines, the forests and the fossil beds of France. He devised the method of tinning iron that is still employed, and investigated the differences between iron and steel. He studied the relationship between the growth of insects and temperature. One of his greatest works is the MÌ©moires pour servir ÌÊ l'histoire des insectes, (6 volumes, 1734-42). It describes the appearance, habits and locality of all the known insects except the beetles. He died in 1757 at the age of 74 after a serious fall from a horse. Engraving from "Vies des savants illustres" by Louis Figuier. This image has been color enhanced.