The Renaissance marks the beginning of modern science in Europe. Some of the most significant contributions to science at the time were made by the scientist Leonardo da Vinci (who, by the way, considered himself a scientist, not an artist). Leonardo da Vinci is considered one of history's most fascinating characters to study. Most of da Vinci's works were produced around 1500. Da Vinci's notebooks included everything from plans for flying machines to weapons to human anatomy to botanical drawings. He wrote everything in his notebooks backwards, out of paranoia that someone would steal his notebook and ideas.