Rene-Theophile-Hyacinthe Laennec (1781-1826) was a French physician. He invented the stethoscope in 1816, while working at the Hopital Necker and pioneered its use in diagnosing various chest conditions. He developed the understanding of peritonitis and cirrhosis. He originated the term melanoma and described metastases of melanoma to the lungs. Laennec advocated objective scientific observation.