From what I understand, not much has changed from Samuel Johnson to Macaulay and the status of the English language. Johnson and Macaulay still hold English as this imperialist language that should rule over other cultures, other “savages.” As we already know, Samuel Johnson’s goal was to create records of the English vocabulary, STANDARDIZING it; before this, the English language was influenced by other languages; Jutes, Anglo, and Saxons, being the origin of this complex language, following many other languages as talked about in this week’s blog post from my fellow classmates. Whatever Johnson’s intentions with standardizing English, it opened up new opportunities to record the ever evolutionizing language, yet it also created limits, that could be manipulated by people in power such as Macaulay that prevented English from expansion. Macaulay argued against the government “which have hitherto been spent in encouraging the study of Arabic and Sanscrit” which he disagrees and calls it useless, calling it “downright spoliation” (Macaulay 5). I would disagree with Macaulay and say that learning from other languages such as Arabic and Sanscrit would not ruin or destroy the English language, but it would be able to learn other perspectives such as in the sciences, language offers perspectives, if we look back to the Royal Society, their society was built off the Greek and Roman perspectives they did not hinder the language, but was able to expand the studies in other fields such as science. What is spoliation though is the fact that people would be comfortable with a stagnant language, because of the lack of courage to learn other languages for pride on being THE most powerful language.
This offers the perspective that English could be and in fact is the bridging tool to connecting to others cultures and beliefs. Yet, it is being time and time delayed by these elites and/or imperialist beliefs that linger in politicians such as Macaulay. Today in the twenty first century, many people recognize that English is a powerful language and it has been because it has taken from other cultures, other tongues. But it has taken and not really reciprocated and the proof is in media and entertainment, such as music. There are artist, groups or bands for example that are Spanish, Japanese, or Korean etc, and use the English language to write lyrics; but you’ll rarely see a pop song that that includes lyrics of other languages. Why is that? English, you got some more learning to do…
To help students revise their blog posts for this week, I’ve included below pictures of our in-class collaborative idea map:
The royal society has always held the same core values of knowledge and science. In early years, some of the first publications focused on methods of inductive reasoning, scientific methods and even about proving the existence of God and souls. These publications all were created and experimented and for the most part proven before they could be published and were meant to educate the people of the country. When science was early, a lot of of the experiments were performed in the name of God attempting to prove his existence and tying him with the phenomenon of nature. Over the years the society’s focus has remained to further scientific advancement by conducting research and providing information for the benefit of the country. The values of the society are to promote science and science education. If we look at some of the original publications from the Royal society, a lot of them focus on the relationship between God and science and how science can be used to prove the existence of God. In modern times, we know now that religion and science are usually contradictory and conflicting and by looking at the Royal Society’s modern mission its clear that they have updated and refined their core missions to leave the things directly relating to science and science education. b
The royal societies situation and transformation got me thinking a lot about old institutions and the changes that must take place. I believe that it’s safe to say that if the royal society was still trying to search for God in science, it would not have been respected as the great science institution its known as today. I began to connect the institution to the US government, more specifically the constitution. The US constitution was a written some time after the founding of the royal society but nonetheless they have both managed to endure the years. However the difference comes when we look how each has adapted to modern changes through time. The royal society over time has been able to adjust its core values and focus strictly on science and science education. The united states was founded on a number of core foundations and ideals like basic right to vote, property and religious freedom. Throughout the years we have upheld the constitution in court and congress but more often than not these ideals are abused or ignored. Often times people refer to the constitution when arguing for gun rights using the second amendment as their reasoning. The constitution contains a to of ambiguous language, rules and policies that are not fitting with the times at all anymore. So many years have gone by since it was written and society has advanced so much since then. While i understand its a bit ubsurbd to compare the constitution to the values of the royal society, the contrast is interesting between an institution that changes its viewpoints to adjust to the times as opposed to one that stands so firmly grounded to their core values.
The Royal Society is defined by the way in which they uphold the prestige and honor of science while continually bolstering and pushing for its advancements as they benefit the world. They describe their history and mission as the history and mission of modern science. The Royal society places all trust in science over even authority. The fellowship of these scientists believes and trusts in only true science to explain and advance the world.
So much of these ideals, which create a foundation for this fellowship seem inspired and even spurred by many of history’s greatest natural philosophers and physicians. Specifically, the ideas of the renowned Sir Isaac Newton can be traced into the Royal Society. Newton, who was a master in many fields and schools, is most famous for his theories on the laws of motion and universal gravitation. This was one of many theories which would aid our understanding for centuries and even today. The impact this man had on the entire world reaches what seems for The Royal Society to be the aim and mission of science. What Newton has done, seems to be what they aim to do. His strides, bold and against odds, trust science alone and push our society further into knowledge and understanding the world around us.
English- associated with eloquence, grace, and precision. Why did it get shorthanded? Poetry had no use and little respect from Locke Newton, and Bacon was given. With the restoration came along many changes. One of the changes for example came with the reintroduction of the theatre. This took focus off of literature and had people starting to gravitate towards visually-stimulated matter. With this new platform of thinking, the Royal Society was formed which allowed for the deep focus and participation in Science. What I do find interesting is that Bacon still has relation to poetic and fictional ties. “The New Atlantis” is a very luscious construct that is meant to be visualized as oozing with ideas in optimal support of science. These ideas in a way have influenced the 21st century by having people think aside from religion and literature. Having shorter, simpler, lazy language made it easier for more to be literate and understand how to read. That could have been a factor for more people being able to read. Another thing that can be indirectly credited is that “The New Atlantis” in a way sounds like an environment of our modern universities. STEM programs I’m sure derived from founders as Bacon.
Countless things have changed since the early days. For one, we now have extremely sophisticated machines that can save our lives, we can help stop massive diseases, and so much more. Antoni van Leeuwenhoek saw little animals under the microscope. This was in 1665. Antoni had a first sighting of micro-organisms. Microbiology was now born (Royalsociety.org). That is just 3 years after the Royal Society was established.
With Bacon’s “The New Atlantis”, it is said that there are 4 languages that are spoken on this fictional island. If only Bacon knew that there are now dozens, if not hundreds of languages talking to one another globally now. Doctors, mathematicians, researchers , etc.around the world are communicating on the best and most effective strategies, theories, and solutions. This can be done so with common languages in their fields. Have you ever heard an engineer speaking to another engineer? I have no clue what they are speaking of, but it’s special terminology that has allowed them to effectively communicate and make the world a better place*.
This new focus allowed for new ideas to come about previously restricted with religion and mundane emphasis in the sciences. Now, with monumental figures leading the pack on such thought process, it has become a focal point and incubator for ideas that will be shaping and questioning the future. Bacon fueled the future generations’ stomachs with a rich, greasy base for us to feed off.
Many today can agree with some of the statements made by Francis Bacon because he was both and English philosopher and scientist. As stated by Francis Bacon in Of Truth
“And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them as was in those of the ancients” (1258).
In this quote Francis Bacon emphasizes the importance that literature still had even at the prime of the Royal Society (founded in 1662). Bacon was seen as a “guiding spirit” of the Royal Society, unfortunately not many believed that. The method of inductive reasoning that Bacon presented is in definition is “used in applications that involve prediction, forecasting, or behavior” which is still common in most of the social sciences therefore it is still common today. Newton argued that poetry “was a kind of ingenious nonsense; at best it was a pleasing cheat, supplying pleasant pictures and agreeable visions” (lecture notes #3). Unfortunately, these thoughts are still common among many people today. This has shaped the understanding of today because many scientists are awarded for their discoveries but those who produce literature are often turned away or must work harder in order to be acknowledged. This situation has also served to shape the way in which the natural and social sciences are seen in the eyes of many people. There are many who do not value the English Literature or any of the SSHA majors this might have been cause by the praise the Royal Society has received as shown in the picture that depicts then in a royal scene, especially Charles II.
Although the Royal Society shifted some of the attention from poetry to the sciences it was extremely necessary for them to create a base for the technology that exists today. Their curiosity for that expansion of technology was the commence of the great technology we currently have now.
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.
Trapped in a state of modernity, Charles II and many others found themselves in despair that the entire construct of government began to flow with indecency, adultery, mistresses, the basic lusts of man. For the time, it must have felt much worse to feel like the world that once felt carefully crafted was slowly beginning to unravel. People were scared, intimidated, lost by a world that seemed to lose regulation for a moment. What could a king do then? The beauty of language and human conscience, is giving definition and establishing rules that technically do not exist. The universe, unbound by labels or true laws, does at least seem to follow a certain schematic of physics, and science seemed to be the way to analyze the one comforting aspect of existence. The Royal Society was born to find this comfort, to establish order in a dreadfully random world.
This lust for knowledge, more towards definition, is perfectly described in Sir Bacon’s tale of “The New Atlantis”. It is important to note how despite being a utopian paradise, this is not a place of complete bliss. Though beautiful, the description of the island lacks other things that would provide aesthetic or materialistic fulfillment. In the lack of said detail, Bacon has thus made clear what is important. Yes, the island has bountiful harvest and beauty, but gold and silver does not line every road, people cannot simply relax and are not merely blessed with knowledge. No, no, it was the fact that the people had the motivation and energy to experiment and test, to theorize and create. “The New Atlantis” is not merely a paradise, rather an intellectual’s dream. All the gold and all of the pleasures in the world will not fill a void where the universe is not defined. Instead what is essentially comes down to, is those blessed mentally will flourish and find their minds in constant pleasure at both the freedom and access to tools to expand their knowledge. Scholars are in pleasure of having definition in their life. Intelligence, knowledge, these are the key treasures to Bacon, and though religion has been an element that has sharply decreased its influence on the Royal Society, one can see that the main point of the organization is to bring greater understanding, to provide laws in a place where things seem to be unruly and lost. Science, in this case, illuminates a bleak world, just as long as you are willing to be in pursuit of more and more.
In The Royal Society of London for the Improving of Natural Knowledge told the tales of scientists and their scientific breakthrough accomplishments. Many of the research in the society focused on research that was bringing the idea of God to life. That science can prove that God is real. The society believed that “their research was not only in the service of the newly restored monarchy and economic trade, but was making available new forms of knowledge about the omnipotent Creator and his perfectly ordered universe” (lecture note #3).
Francis Bacon’s The New Atlantis, stated how science plays into religious and political views. Science must continue to be explored because “We have also parks and enclosures of all sorts of beasts and birds, which we use not only for view or rareness, but likewise for dissections and trials” (Bacon, 1278). Without any scientific discoveries or research, we would not have the knowledge and things that we have today. But Bacon also states that “We have certain hymns and services, which we say daily, of laud and thanks to God for his marvelous works; and forms of prayer, imploring his aid and blessing for the illumination of our labors” (Bacon, 1280). Bacon’s statement led to Sprat and Newton creating scientific research to explain the Creator. But there is controversy between science and religion. There are facts and evidence to support scientific discoveries while religion cannot prove itself other than what a person believes to be true.
On the Royal Society’s website, they state that they “are the independent scientific academy of the UK and the Commonwealth, dedicated to promoting excellence in science”. They seem to no longer base their ideologies on God and more on scientific studies and discoveries.
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.
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.