1847 in science
- July 1 – German amateur astronomer Karl Ludwig Hencke discovers asteroid 6 Hebe from Driesen.
- August 13 – English astronomer John Russell Hind discovers asteroid 7 Iris from London.
- October 18 – J. R. Hind discovers asteroid 8 Flora from London.
- October 1 – American astronomer Maria Mitchell discovers comet C/1847 T1; it is independently discovered two days later by Francesco de Vico from Rome.
- A new edition of the astrometric star catalogue Histoire Céleste Française is published, from which the Lalande star reference numbers which continue in use are derived.
- January 1 – Britain's first Medical Officer of Health is appointed, Dr. William Henry Duncan in Liverpool.
- November 4–8 – James Young Simpson discovers the anesthetic properties of chloroform and first uses it, successfully, on a patient, in an obstetric case in Edinburgh.
- Émile Küss and Charles-Emmanuel Sédillot perform the first recorded biopsies on neoplasms.
- Ignaz Semmelweis studies and prevents the transmission of puerperal fever.
- The journal Archiv für pathologische Anatomie und Physiologie und für klinische Medicin is founded by Rudolf Virchow and Benno Reinhardt.
- Joseph-François Malgaigne publishes Traité des fractures et des luxations in Paris.
- January 27 – Institution of Mechanical Engineers founded in the Queen's Hotel next to Curzon Street railway station in Birmingham, England, by George Stephenson and others.
- May 24 – The Dee bridge disaster: a cast iron girder bridge across the river Dee at Chester, England, designed by Robert Stephenson for the Chester and Holyhead Railway, collapses under a Shrewsbury and Chester Railway train with five fatalities.
- July 24 – Richard March Hoe patents a rotary printing press in the United States.
- Squire Whipple publishes A Work on Bridge Building in the United States.
- January 21 – Joseph Le Bel, French stereochemist (died 1930)
- February 11 – Thomas Edison, American inventor (died 1931)
- March 3 – Alexander Graham Bell, Scottish-born inventor (died 1922)
- March 25 – Fernand Lataste, French zoologist (died 1934)
- May 1 – Hildegard Björck, Swedish-born pioneer of women's medical education (died 1920)
- September 8 – Abraham Groves, Canadian surgeon (died 1935)
- Sydney Mary Thompson, Irish-born geologist and botanist (died 1923)
- March 9 – Mary Anning, English paleontologist (born 1799)
- April 9 – Filip Neriusz Walter, Polish organic chemist (born 1810)
- June 7 – David Mushet, Scottish-born metallurgist (born 1772)
- September 3 – Simon Goodrich, English-born mechanical engineer (born 1773)
- October 3 – Charles Hatchett, English chemist (born 1765)
- November 11 – Johann Friedrich Dieffenbach, German plastic surgeon (born 1792)
- December 7 – Robert Liston, Scottish-born surgeon (born 1794)
- Baily, F. (1847), A catalogue of those stars in the Histoire Celeste Francaise of J. De Lalande for which tables of reduction to the session define format EPOCH1 = 1800 have been published by Professor Schumacher, London: British Association for the Advancement of Science
- "Kolbe, Adolph Wilhelm Hermann". 100 Distinguished European Chemists. European Association for Chemical and Molecular Sciences. 2005. Archived from the original on 2008-10-11. Retrieved 2007-03-12.
- O'Connor, John J.; Robertson, Edmund F. (2000). "Johann Benedict Listing". MacTutor History of Mathematics archive. University of St Andrews. Retrieved 2011-10-15.
- Halliday, S. (2003). "Duncan of Liverpool: Britain's first Medical Officer". Journal of Medical Biography. 11 (3): 142–149. doi:10.1177/096777200301100307. PMID 12870037.
- First communicated to the Medico-Chirurgical Society of Edinburgh, November 10, and published in a pamphlet, Notice of a New Anæsthetic Agent, in Edinburgh, November 12.
- Gordon, H. Laing (2002). Sir James Young Simpson and Chloroform (1811–1870). Minerva Group, Inc. ISBN 978-1-4102-0291-8. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
- Cragg, Roger (1997). Civil Engineering Heritage: Wales and West Central England (2nd ed.). London: Thomas Telford. p. 194. ISBN 0-7277-2576-9.
- Lewis, Peter R. (2007). Disaster on the Dee: Robert Stephenson's Nemesis of 1847. Stroud: Tempus Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7524-4266-2.
- #5199. "Improvement in Rotary Printing-Presses".
- Savage, Thomas S. (1847). "Communication describing the external character and habits of a new species of Troglodytes (T. gorilla, Savage)". Proceedings of the Boston Society of Natural History. 2: 245–247. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
- Savage, Thomas S.; Wyman, Jeffries (1847). "Notice of the external characters and habits of Troglodytes gorilla, a new species of orang from the Gaboon River; Osteology of the same". Boston Journal of Natural History. 5 (4): 417–443. Retrieved 2015-11-07.
- Conniff, Richard (2009). "Discovering gorilla". Evolutionary Anthropology. 18 (2): 55–61. doi:10.1002/evan.20203.
- "Copley Medal | British scientific award". Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved 23 July 2020.