1676 in science
- Summer – The Royal Greenwich Observatory, designed by Christopher Wren, is completed.
- December 7 – Danish astronomer Ole Rømer measures the speed of light by observing the eclipses of Jupiter's moons, obtaining a speed of 140,000 miles per second (approximately 25% too slow).
- Antony Van Leeuwenhoek discovers bacteria, observed with the microscope.
- Francis Willughby's Ornithologiae is published by John Ray, the foundation of scientific ornithology.
- William Briggs publishes an anatomy of the eye (the first in England), Ophthalmographia, at Cambridge.
- The first fossilised bone of what is now known to be a dinosaur is discovered in England by Robert Plot, the femur of a Megalosaurus from a limestone quarry at Cornwell near Chipping Norton, Oxfordshire.
- July 7 – The first clocks using a form of deadbeat escapement, constructed by Thomas Tompion to a design by Richard Towneley, are installed at the Royal Greenwich Observatory.
- May 28 – Jacopo Riccati, Italian mathematician (died 1754)
- Caleb Threlkeld, Irish botanist (died 1728)
- Maria Clara Eimmart, German astronomer, engraver and designer (died 1707)
- May 25 – Johann Rahn, Swiss mathematician (born 1622)
- September 4 – John Ogilby, English cartographer (born 1600)
- Chambers, R. (1878). The Book of Days.
- Egerton, Frank N. (October 2005). "A History of the Ecological Sciences, Part 18: John Ray and His Associates Francis Willughby and William Derham" (PDF). Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. 86 (4): 301–313. doi:10.1890/0012-9623(2005)86[301:ahotes]2.0.co;2. Retrieved 2011-04-26.
- Keynes, Sir Geoffrey (1976). John Ray, 1627–1705: a bibliography 1660–1970. Amsterdam: Van Heusden. p. 52.
- Raven, Charles E. (1942). John Ray, naturalist: his life and works. Cambridge University Press.
- Newton, Alfred (1893). Dictionary of Birds. London: Black.
- Kaplan, Barbara Beigun (2004). "Briggs, William (c.1650–1704)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/3413. Retrieved 2011-10-10. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
- Sarjeant, William A.S. (1997). "The earliest discoveries". In Farlow, James O.; Brett-Surman, Michael K. The Complete Dinosaur. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. pp. 3–11. ISBN 0-253-33349-0.