Official website: https://royalsociety.org
History of the Royal Society
The story of the Royal Society is the story of modern science.
Royal Society's origins lie in a 1660 ‘invisible college’ of natural philosophers and physicians. Today the Royal Society are the UK’s national science academy and a Fellowship of some 1,600 of the world’s most eminent scientists.
Nullius in verba
The very first ‘learned society’ meeting on 28 November 1660 followed a lecture at Gresham College by Christopher Wren. Joined by other leading polymaths including Robert Boyle and John Wilkins, the group soon received royal approval, and from 1663 it would be known as 'The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge'.
The Royal Society's motto 'Nullius in verba' is taken to mean 'take nobody's word for it'. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.
Advancements and adventure
The early years of the Society saw revolutionary advancements in the conduct and communication of science. Hooke’s Micrographia and the first issue of Philosophical Transactions were published in 1665 alone. Philosophical Transactions, which established the important concepts of scientific priority and peer review, is now the oldest continuously-published science journal in the world.
Royal Society published Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica, and Benjamin Franklin’s kite experiment demonstrating the electrical nature of lightning. the Royal Society backed James Cook’s journey to Tahiti, reaching Australia and New Zealand, to track the Transit of Venus. the Royal Society published the first report in English of inoculation against disease, approved Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine, documented the eruption of Krakatoa and published Chadwick’s detection of the neutron that would lead to the unleashing of the atom.
The leading scientific lights of the past four centuries can all be found among the 8,000 Fellows elected to the Society to date. From Newton to Darwin to Einstein, Hawking and beyond, pioneers and paragons in their fields are elected by their peers. Current Fellows include Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Sophie Wilson and Tim Berners-Lee.
History of the Royal Society - royalsociety.org
Posted in Society on Feb 01, 2020