- Annie Scott Dill Maunder photographs the sun's outer corona during a solar eclipse in India.
- 433 Eros, the first near-Earth object, is discovered.
- George Darwin proposes that the Earth and Moon had once been one body.
- March 26 – The Sabi Game Reserve in South Africa, the first officially designated game reserve, is created.
- William Ramsay and Morris Travers discover the noble gases krypton (May 30), neon (June 7) and xenon (July 12) at University College London.
- July 28 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce (at the French Academy of Sciences) discovery of a substance they call Polonium.
- December 26 – Marie and Pierre Curie announce discovery of a substance they call radium. It is the only moment where 5 elements are discovered the same year.
- Emil Fischer synthesizes purine.
- Richard Willstätter analyzes the structure of the cocaine molecule in a synthesis derived from tropinone.
- Polycarbonates are first discovered by German chemist Alfred Einhorn.
- Polyethylene is first synthesized by German chemist Hans von Pechmann.
- January 30–February 13 – The Belgian Antarctic Expedition led by Adrien de Gerlache on the Belgica discovers the Gerlache Strait (originally named the Belgica Strait) and Lemaire Channel off the west coast of Graham Land on the Antarctic Peninsula. The expedition then becomes the first to winter in Antarctica.
- Ladislaus Bortkiewicz publishes a book about the Poisson distribution, The Law of Small Numbers, first noting that events with low frequency in a large population follow a Poisson distribution even when the probabilities of the events vary.
Physiology and medicine
- June 23 – Royal Army Medical Corps formed within the British Army.
- October 28 – French serial killer Joseph Vacher is convicted, based largely on forensic evidence presented by Alexandre Lacassagne.
- Paul Flechsig divides the cytoarchitecture of the human brain into 40 areas.
- Peter Borovsky, a Russian military surgeon working in Tashkent, publishes the first accurate description of the causative parasite for "Sart sore" (later known as leishmaniasis).
- Patrick Manson publishes Tropical Diseases: a manual of the diseases of warm climates in London, a pioneering English language textbook in tropical medicine.
- January 10 – Katharine Burr Blodgett (died 1979), American physicist and chemist.
- February 11 – Leó Szilárd (died 1964), Hungarian-American physicist.
- February 25 – William Astbury (died 1961), English physicist and molecular biologist.
- March 3 – Emil Artin (died 1962), Austrian-born mathematician.
- June 26 – Willy Messerschmitt (died 1978), German aeronautical engineer.
- July 29 – Isidor Isaac Rabi (died 1988), Galician-born American physicist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1944 for invention of the atomic beam magnetic resonance method of measuring magnetic properties of atoms and molecules.
- August 1 – Mildred Creak (died 1993), English child psychologist.
- August 3 – Karl Kehrle (Brother Adam, died 1996), German-born Benedictine monk and beekeeper.
- August 28 – Albert Claude (died 1983), Belgian engineer, scientist, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1974 for discoveries concerning the structures and functional organization of the cell.
- September 10 – Waldo Semon (died 1999), American inventor.
- November 16 – Warren Sturgis McCulloch (died 1969), American neurophysiologist and cybernetician.
- January 7 – Joseph O'Dwyer (born 1841), American physician.
- March 12 – Johann Balmer (born 1825), Swiss mathematician.
- March 15 – Henry Bessemer (born 1813), English inventor of the Bessemer process for steelmaking.
- May 29 – Lyon Playfair, 1st Baron Playfair (born 1818), Scottish chemist.
- August 27 – John Hopkinson (born 1849), English electrical engineer (killed in climbing accident).
- September 14 – William Seward Burroughs (born 1855), American inventor of the adding machine.
- November 20 – Sir John Fowler, 1st Baronet (born 1817), English civil engineer.
- "Ten Thousandth Near-Earth Object Unearthed in Space". NASA JPL. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 28 June 2013.
- "Near Earth Asteroids (NEAs), A Chronology of Milestones". Retrieved 14 August 2013.
- Binder, A. B. (1974). "On the origin of the Moon by rotational fission". The Moon. 11 (2): 53–76. Bibcode:1974Moon...11...53B. doi:10.1007/BF01877794.
- Ramsay, William; Travers, Morris W. (1898). "On the Companions of Argon". Proceedings of the Royal Society. London. 63 (1): 437–440. doi:10.1098/rspl.1898.0057.
- Emsley, John (2001). Nature's Building Blocks: an A–Z Guide to the Elements. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-850340-7.
- Humphrey, A. J.; O'Hagan, D. (2001). "Tropane alkaloid biosynthesis: a century old problem unresolved". Natural Product Reports. 18 (5): 494–502. doi:10.1039/b001713m. PMID 11699882.
- Yelverton, David E. (2004). "The Belgian Antarctic Expedition 1897–1899". Quest for a Phantom Strait: the Saga of the Pioneer Antarctic Peninsula Expeditions 1897–1905. Burpham: Polar Publishing. ISBN 0-9548003-0-3.
- von Bortkiewicz, Ladislaus (1898). Das Gesetz der kleinen Zahlen. Leipzig, Germany: B.G. Teubner. On page 1, Bortkiewicz presents the Poisson distribution. On pages 23-25, Bortkiewicz presents his famous analysis of "4. Beispiel: Die durch Schlag eines Pferdes im preussischen Heere Getöteten." (4. Example: Those killed in the Prussian army by a horse's kick.). On pages 17–20 Bortkiewicz presents his analysis of "1. Beispiel: Die Selbstmorde von Kindern in Preussen." (1. Example: Suicides of children in Prussia.). Bortkiewicz's book is reviewed in: L. v. Bortkewitsch (1898) "Das Gesetz der kleinen Zahlen," Monatshefte für Mathematik, vol. 9, pages 39-41.
- Blair, John S.G. (2001). In Arduis Fidelis: Centenary History of the Royal Army Medical Corps (2nd ed.). [Burntisland]: iynx Publishing. ISBN 0-9540583-2-1.
- Flechsig, P. (1898). "Neue Untersuchungen über die Markbildung in den menschlichen Grosshirnlappen". Neurologisches Centralblatt. 17: 977–996.
- Hoare, C. A. (1938). "Early discoveries regarding the parasite of oriental sore". Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 32 (1): 67–92. doi:10.1016/S0035-9203(38)90097-5.