Francis Bacon, Thomas Sprat, and Sir Isaac Newton are three of the most influential people that helped mold the Royal Society into what it is today. The Royal Society, on their History website, demonstrates how indebted they are for Newton’s work without failing to credit themselves. They eulogize Newton and their history by including his name in the list of things they have published, “We published Isaac Newton’s Principia Mathematica.”
Of course, things have changed. One major difference is the role they play in policy making and society. Policy makers, though choose what science they want to use and not, do use scientific findings to pass laws that will “benefit” society. Another difference worth mentioning is the amount of funding the scientific enterprise receives. Before, Charles II might have been the largest contributor, today, I think they have much more financial support from private donations.