1540 in science
- Georg Joachim Rheticus publishes De libris revolutionum Copernici narratio prima in Danzig, an abstract of Copernicus' as yet unpublished De revolutionibus orbium coelestium and the first printed publication of Copernican heliocentrism.
- Peter Apian publishes Astronomicon Caesareum. The tails of comets always point away from the sun.
- Alessandro Piccolomini De Le Stelle Fisse is the first star atlas in which stars are labelled with letters.
Physiology and medicineEdit
- January 28 – Ludolph van Ceulen, German mathematician (died 1610).
- c. February or March – Francis Drake, English explorer (died 1596).
- Roch Le Baillif, French physician (died 1598).
- François Viète, French mathematician (died 1603).
- possible date – Pieter Dirkszoon Keyser, Frisian navigator (died 1596).
- Fitzharris, Lindsey. The butchering art : Joseph Lister's quest to transform the grisly world of Victorian medicine. Penguin Random House. p. 7. ISBN 9780141983387.
- The Pirotechnia of Vanoccio Biringuccio. Dover. 1990. ISBN 978-0-486-26134-8.
- Ballantyne, J. W. (October 1906). "The Byrth of Mankynde (Its Author and Editions)". The Journal of Obstetrics and Gynæcology of the British Empire. 10 (4): 297–325. doi:10.1111/j.1471-0528.1906.tb12722.x. PMC 5413625. PMID 29612085.