What it’s like now.


The Royal Society was pioneered from Sir Francis Bacon’s book “The New Atlantis”. Secluded with only the greatest minds in all of history it deserves the title given, The Royal Society. But why “Royal”? Besides the fact that it is composed of mainly world renowned scientist, mathematicians, and philosophers so on, why does it hold a “Royal” status? That’s because realization of how important the sciences are, came during the Restoration period (approved by King Charles II).

Inventions and experiments done by people like Isaac Newton were recorded in The Royal Society by writers like Thomas Sprat. The goal was to inform the public through medical and scientific breakthroughs, it still is, but before, the concept was intermingled with religion and politics, which I believe isn’t a heavy basis of The Royal Society today. Another major difference that’s in the Royal Society, compared to the seventeenth century, is the inclusion of women. Today’s Royal Society has 130 female fellows of the 1616 total.

Royal Society

And though there are these changes I want to point out a distinct similarity I noticed between the works of the Royal Society to the commencement depicted in the Frontispiece. As discussed in class, if you closely you can notice the angel behind William Brockner is  coronating King Charles’ bust with a Laurel wreath which symbolize the Roman empire. As stated by Sprat on creative writing,“….natural way of speaking; positive expressions; clear senses; a native easiness; bringing all things as near the mathematical plainness as they can and preferring the language of artisans, countrymen, and merchants before that of wits or scholars” he explains that scientific writing has a goal and is considered valid. But where does scientific writing root from? Its formats are based from Roman and Latin literature. This idea of Roman and Latin politics parallels with Roman and Latin literature used in the experiments of the Royal Society, verifying how these roots are still prevalent today.

-Ravneet Dhillon


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