The lasting impacts of the Royal society

The ideals espoused by Francis Bacon, Thomas Sprat, and Sir Isaac Newton has immensely impacted the 21st century learned society by establishing the significance of science and how it can be possible even with religion as well as emphasizing the importance of proper communication and conduct in Science, boosting the competitiveness and qualifications to become a member. In Bacons The New Atlantis (1626), Bacon intends to not just illuminate the importance of essentially what is now called the scientific method, but also draw attention to the importance of fiction in the understanding of complicated matters like science. Through fiction  he is attempting to restore faith by creating a new understanding between man and God and where the understanding of God can now be facilitated through science, reestablishing a divine relationship that has been absent since Adams fall, as he mentions. By emphasizing the hand and hand relationship between what we would call church and state it offered an opportunity to finally truly study science in all of its forms. Newton and Sprat were even able to draw attention to the study of nature by emphasizing that key roles in the bible such as Adam, Noah, Abraham, and Moses, were all able to learn more about God by learning about nature. The reason that this connection of Science and Religion is so important is that this is still a time where it was more uncommon for somone to not be religious than it was to be religious. If in the past science was questioned the Church would shut it down for fear of questioning God. The difference we now face in todays society is that we have a literal separation of church and state for politics but in Science we have the scientific method as well as other codes of ethics or guidelines to ensure that science has little to no biases in regards to religion or other prejudices. In Bacons The New Atlantis, the king states “The end of our foundation is the knowledge of causes, and secret motion of all things: and the enlarging bounds of human empire, to the effecting of all things possible.”, to reemphasize that knowledge is the key to success. After he states this he begins to list off all the highlights of the city he lives in which would not have been possible if it were not for observation and advancing scientific understanding. At the time of the Royal society, there was an emphasis also on humanism which has subtly changed over time. Modern science today still covers a lot of the same research done from back then but in todays world we also focus on thing such as environmental science, animal science, and more that just weren’t as important just yet unless related to the human cause. The impacts made from this time are still highly important today for example Newton in his Principia articulated what is now known as calculus and the laws of motion that are still taught today. The importance being that without this kind of breakthrough in science society may not have been able to advance as far as it has in technology which is vital to our economic success. When thinking of the importance of the Royal Society and modern times I think of Darwins famous quote ” I stand on the shoulders of giants”, in that we today use all the information that was provided then to make further research today. The idea of the scientific method, calculus, scientific journals (The royal society is the oldest one), all of this is still used to advance other research. This also could have been seen as the firs big time science and their beliefs stepped away from the government policy meaning that aspiring scientist, physicist, matmaticians, etc., could now regulate and uphold higher ideals of research and data that wasn’t suppressed. With the individualism of the royal society it paved the path for the type of research and science ethics that we still hold globally today. No matter which government you belong to each individual sector of science has its own criteria for credibility that is recognized wherever you travel to so that everyone can be held up to the same standards of credibility.Even in Todays time the idea of a royal society is still impactful  such as most college campuses have Greek life which in their own ways are like the royal society in that they all encourage high ideals of ethics and education. According to The Royal Society’s website they are the first “learned Society”, meaning that they are there to promote academic discipline or profession. The importance  here being that The Royal Society may have not only encouraged research and science but also a social emphasis on education in exclusive memberships such as fraternities and sororities. Lastly, at the origins of the Royal society the focus was primarily on language and the promotion of science advancement whereas today if you visit their website their main focus seems to be primarily on their history. This is a dramatic difference of the royal society from then and until now.


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