What do Benjamin Franklin, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, and Francis Bacon have in common? All were amateur scientists. Franklin invented the lightning rod, Goethe discovered the incisive bone and was moderately successful as an art theorist and Bacon can be considered as nothing less than the father of empiricism (or can he?). Either way, the three shared a passion for discovering things in their spare time. None of them earned their pennies as professional scientists, if that profession even existed back then.