Scientific Societies

  • Marie Boas Hall
Part of the The Documentary History of Western Civilization book series (DHWC)


The natural result of the success of the experimental method was the conviction that it would be even more effective if undertaken by cooperative groups, something in the manner so picturesquely described by Bacon in The New Atlantis. In any case, the seventeenth century was a gregarious age, and societies for the advancement of learning—especially for the study of literature and philology—had long been in existence when the first formal scientific societies took shape. The scientific societies were very much a feature of the middle of the century, languishing rather as the decades proceeded, to be revived again at the beginning of the next century.


Royal Society Scientific Society Seventeenth Century Philosophical Transaction Rough Path 
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  1. SOURCE: Saggi di Naturali Esperienze fatte nell’ Academia del Cimento (Florence, 1667); in the English translation by Richard Waller, Essayes of Natural Experiments made in the Academie del Cimento (London, 1684), sig. a4–b4.Google Scholar
  2. SOURCE: John Wallis, A Defence of the Royal Society (London, 1678).Google Scholar
  3. SOURCE: Christiaan Huygens, Memorandum for Colbert, translated by the editor from Joseph Bertrand, L’Academie royale des sciences de 1666 à 1793 (Paris, 1869), pp. 8–10.Google Scholar

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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 1970

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  • Marie Boas Hall

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