JF Ptak Science Books Post 2175
I always thought that the word "scientist" came to us from William Whewell in his Philosophy of the Inductive Sciences (volume 1, page 113) in 1840, the group of people dedicated intrepid seekers of standards and anomalies finally receiving a short and concise (if three-syllable) name for what it is they are (for even in death a scientist is still a scientist, no past tense there, like a Marine): once one, always one.
"We need very much a name to describe a cultivator of science in general. I should incline to call him a Scientist."
But I notice that an anonymous note in the Quarterly Review peeks its head under the tent, using the word six years earlier in 1834, though not favorably:
"Science..loses all traces of unity. A curious illustration of this result may be observed in the want of any name by which we can designate the students of the knowledge of the material world collectively. We are informed that this difficulty was felt very oppressively by the members of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, at their meetings..in the last three summers... Philosophers was felt to be too wide and too lofty a term,..; savans was rather assuming,..; some ingenious gentleman proposed that, by analogy with artist, they might form scientist, and added that there could be no scruple in making free with this termination when we have such words as sciolist, economist, and atheist—but this was not generally palatable."--Quarterly Review, volume 51, page 59, via the Oxford English Dictionary
Nature images via Google Books here.