Royal Society puts 60 seminal scientific papers online

The Royal Society of London for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge (aka The Royal Society) is celebrating is 350th birthday next year. Spun out in part of the fantastically cool Invisible College, the Royal Society's members have included Isaac Newton, Robert Hooke, Charles Darwin, Tim Berners-Lee, Lise Meitner, Stephen Hawking, Marie Curie, Francis Crick, and countless other smart folks. The organization kicks off its big anniversary year with Trailblazing, a new interactive timeline that includes 60 choice articles from the journal Philosophical Transactions. From the Royal Society's announcement :
 Wikipedia Commons 9 9D Sprat Leading scientists and historians have chosen 60 articles from amongst the 60,000 published since the journal first began in 1665. Trailblazing will make the original manuscripts available online for the first time alongside fascinating insights from modern-day experts who are continuing the work of scientific giants such as Newton, Hooke, Faraday and Franklin and making vital new breakthroughs of their own in areas such as genetics, physics, climate change and medicine.

Highlights include:

• The gruesome account of an early blood transfusion (1666)

• Captain James Cook's explanation of how he protected his crew from scurvy aboard HMS Resolution (1776)

• Stephen Hawking's early writing on black holes (1970)

• Benjamin Franklin's account of flying a kite in a storm to identify the electrical nature of lightning - the Philadelphia Experiment (1752)

• Sir Isaac Newton's landmark paper on the nature of light and colour (1672)

• A scientific study of a young Mozart confirming him as a musical child genius (1770)

• The Yorkshire cave discovery of the fossilized remains of elephant, tiger, bear and hyena heralding the study of deep time (1822)

Royal Society's Trailblazing (Thanks, Bob Pescovitz!)

Image: "Frontispeice to Thomas Sprat's A History of the Royal Society (1667)"


  1. I’d love to read these, but they’re all coming up damaged/unreadable so far. If anyone has copies, how about sharing elsewhere?

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