The scientific revolution and the royal society

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  • Created on: 02-06-20 09:40
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  • The Scientific Revolution and the Royal Society
    • The Scientific Revolution
      • The Renaissance focued on rediscovering the achievements of the ancient world.
        • by 1600, there was a more scientific approach to knowledge.
          • Additionally, the wors of Copernicus (astronomer) and vesalius (anatomist) sparked a new period called the Scientific Revolution.
      • These individuals were important in the new scientific approach:
        • Galileo
        • William Harvey
        • Robert Boyle
        • Robert Hooke
          • His 'micrographia'(which contained pictures and instructions on how to use a mircoscope) encouraged more people to buy one.
        • Isaac Newton
          • Mathematician and physicist who is still regarded as one of the most influential scientists of all time.
      • The basic idea of the Scientific Revolution was that scientific knowledge build upon itself.
        • Thus, knowledge and scientific understanding advances steadily to make possible new laws and inventions.
          • From this, scientists like Francis Bacon argued that 'knowledge is power'
    • Francis Bacon and the experimental method
      • Francis Bacon is viewed as the founder of empiricism as he argued tha knowledge should be based on observation.
        • (eg, to know something you have to test it).
      • He influenced leading scientists of the 1650's, eg Thomas Browne and the founders of the Royal Society through his experimental method.
    • The significance of the Royal Society
      • Historians point out how important the 1640s and 1650s were in the history of science and its acceptance by intellectual society.
        • Eg, there was a lot of overlap between the informal meetings of scientists in the 1650s and the formal royal charter given to the Royal Society in 1662.
      • The Royal Society's membership derived from the elite and perofessional class.
        • This indicates its acceptance by the political class.
        • In order to attract members and funding, the meetings of the Society became a place for demonstarion of exciting science.
      • 'Philosophical Transactions' (the Societies journal) started in 1665 as the worlds first scientific journal.
        • It was owned by Henry Oldenburg.
        • It was designed to publicise discoveries and build support among the elite.
          • It recorded new ideas and demonstraions, and included letters from scientists around the world.
      • The importance that was attached to science in the years 1660-88 can be seen in the prominence of the key scientists of the time. (Newton, Hooke and Boyle)
        • Charles II's amateur interest in science and his support for the Royal Society made an impression on fashionable society, even if they did not understand many of the new descoveries.
          • The fact that Newton is so well known today reflects the scale of his achievements at the time.


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