Scientists and Amateurs: A History of the Royal Society

Scientists and Amateurs: A History of the Royal Society

Scientists and Amateurs: A History of the Royal Society

Scientists and Amateurs: A History of the Royal Society

Excerpt

The story of a man's life has great interest especially if that man has been connected with important affairs, whether in philosophy or statesmanship, discovery or invention. Similarly, the story of an organization or institution which is the product of ideas and labors of many men for generations can hardly fail to be of interest as well as of importance. For this reason the writer presents this account of the origins and development through the centuries of the leading scientific society in the English-speaking world today. Those who have the time and the opportunity to look through the Royal Society's own Record or to refer to its treasurer's recent careful study of its administration for nearly three centuries may not need this book. But copies of neither book are readily available to an American public because of cost or scarcity, nor is either one planned for the general reader who knows little or nothing of the Royal Society at the outset. It is hoped, therefore, that this history may not only interest the general reader in the life-story of a great and influential institution, but that it may also indicate to him many possibilities for further reading and exploration in the field of the history of science and of scientific ideas.

The book itself is the outgrowth of various studies in the history of scientific activity in seventeenth century England pursued by the writer since 1930. These studies were made possible in the first instance by the beneficence of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation of . . .

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