Copernicus was the first person do document his findings, however, he never published his findings.
Galileo was the man who spreaded the idea that the earth revolved around the sun. Later in his life he was put on house arrest. He was never able to published his theories.
Science vs The Church
Isaac Newton created "Newton's Laws of Gravity". He also built the first reflective telescope.
Francis Bacon developed what is now known as the scientific method.
As one could guess, the people did not really like the idea that the scientists were proving everything they knew wrong. So many of them were abolished from the church, and some like Galileo were subject to even worse.
Today, many countries adopted Limited Government, meaning people can vote, people have choices, and scientists don't have to deal with punishments for discussing their discoveries.