Buffon, Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de (1707–1788), a French naturalist. His 44-volume Histoire Naturelle was intended to popularize the natural sciences. He became interested in natural science at the College of Jesuits at Dijon, and traveled to increase his knowledge in the field.
An inheritance made Buffon wealthy at 25 and he began writing on scientific subjects. In 1739 he was elected to the Academy of Science at Paris and appointed director of the royal gardens (Jardin du Roi, now Jardin des Plantes). Shortly afterward, he began his history of the sciences. He was made Comte de Buffon about 1754 by Louis XV.