Blazers of the Trail

The Royal Society was founded in 1650, and has been a vital hub of scientific research and exchange ever since.

In fact, as Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer have shown, the Society was a crucial link between the 17th century's new culture of experimentation and its political traditions--transforming political methods of resolving disputes into methods that science still uses to allow different opinions to compete. Modern science wasn't just performed there; in a sense, it was invented there.

You can see for yourself, thanks to the Society's new website, Trailblazing, which was launched this week as part of next year's 350th anniversary celebration. Here you can see a timeline of work performed under the Society's auspices and read the original papers themselves, from Newton on the spectrum to a report on an 8-year-old prodigy named Mozart to Watson and Crick on DNA. Definitely safe for work, and also, very likely, a lot more interesting.

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