1661 in science
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- Marcello Malpighi is the first to observe and correctly describe capillaries when he discovers them in a frog's lung.
- Abraham Cowley's pamphlet The Advancement of Experimental Philosophy.
- Johann Sperling's handbook Zoologia physica (posthumous).
- May 3 – Antonio Vallisneri, Italian physician and natural scientist (died 1730)
- December 18 – Christopher Polhem, Swedish scientist and inventor (died 1751)
- Guillaume François Antoine, Marquis de l'Hôpital, French mathematician (died 1704)
- approx. date – Alida Withoos, Dutch botanical artist (died 1730)
- Isaac Newton is admitted to Trinity College, Cambridge, as a sizar (June)