Born: 1705
Died: 1759

Louis Godin was born in France and demonstrated academic ability early, publishing his Astronomical Tables in 1724 at the age of 19, and gaining admittance to the Academie Française.

His success as a scientist led to his selection as leader of the Geodesic Expedition to Peru, but he proved to be a poor leader, simultaneously becoming thirsty for power, and squandering expedition money on a prostitute from La Dame en Rose with whom he fell in love while the expedition was stranded in Saint-Domingue in 1732.

The Geodesic Mission to the Equator was a joint expedition to Peru by a team of French and Spanish scientists. Its purpose was to measure the circumference of the Earth.

Godin’s expedition was only a partial success, its results ultimately overshadowed by those of a simultaneous mission to the North Pole. But its data did allow scientists to confirm the oblate shape of the Earth, which allowed sailors like Adéwalé to plan their travels more accurately, thus reducing costs and risks.

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