Amateur scientist, inventor of a device for ruling music paper, and corresponding member of the Académie des sciences (1753-73). Believed that his 1774 paper on squaring the circle entitled him to the 150,000 l.t. being offered by the Académie as a prize for a paper relating to longitude at sea; became openly antagonistic to the institution after its decision not to consider papers dealing with that topic (1775). Sued the Académie, meanwhile publishing his findings in an Essai physico- géométrique (Paris, 1778). Astronomer Joseph-Jérôme Français de Lalande was driven to defend the Académie’s decision in the Journal de Paris (1779).
Resided in Rouen until c. 1773, then in Paris.