Royal Society publishes 350 years of scientific discoveries online


Blackleaf
#1
In 1660, after 11 years of a republic, the monarchy was restored in England with the start of King Charles II's reign.

Just as few months after the Restoration, the Royal Society was founded. It is the world's oldest scientific institution, and is a fitting organisation for a country which has given the world's some of its greatest scientists, including the likes of Isaac Newton (who discovered gravity and invented the world's first reflecting telescope), Charles Darwin (who came up with the Theory of Evolution), Michael Faraday (who contributed to the field of electromagnetism and electrochemistry), and Robert Hooke (the father of microscopy and who coined the term "cell" to describe the the basic unit of life).

Now, to mark its 350th birthday, which occurs next year, the Royal Society has put some of its oldest original manuscripts on the internet and made available to the public.

Amongst those included are Sir Isaac Newton's landmark research on white light being made up by a rainbow of colours, Benjamin Franklin's famous kite-flying experiment to identify the electrical nature of lightning in 1752 and a 1770 study confirming the young Mozart as a musical child genius.

Blood transfusions to black holes: Royal Society publishes 350 years of scientific discoveries online

By Daily Mail Reporter
01st December 2009
Daily Mail


Landmark moments in the history of science, from a grisly early blood transfusion to Stephen Hawking's theories about black holes, have been celebrated online today to mark the 350th birthday of the Royal Society.

For the first time, original manuscripts of papers published by the world's oldest scientific institution have been made available to the public via the internet.

Among the highlights from the interactive 'Trailblazing' site are Sir Isaac Newton's landmark research on white light being made up by a rainbow of colours and Benjamin Franklin's famous kite-flying experiment to identify the electrical nature of lightning in 1752.

Enlarge
The world's first reflecting telescope, made by Isaac Newton (left) and an image showing a blood transfusion from lamb to man. Newton's theory on light and an account of an early transfusion have both been released

Also included is a 1770 study confirming the young Mozart as a musical child genius, and Professor Stephen Hawking's early writings on black holes.

They are among 60 articles chosen from among 60,000 that have appeared in the Royal Society's journals. The publications include Philosophical Transactions (Phil. Trans.), the oldest continuously published scientific journal in the world.

Also featured on "Trailblazing" are insights from modern-day experts carrying on the work of giants in science such as Newton, Hooke, Faraday and Franklin.

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A Nasa image shows two black holes on a collision course. The early writings of Professor Stephen Hawkings on the stellar anomalies have been released to mark the Royal Society anniversary

Origins of the Royal Society

The Royal Society started out as an 'invisible college' of thinkers who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the ideas of the influential philosopher and pioneer scientist Sir Francis Bacon.
Its official foundation date is November 28 1660, when 12 members met at Gresham College.

Prominent members included architect Sir Christopher Wren and scientist Robert Boyle.

Thereafter the Society met weekly to witness experiments and discuss scientific topics. The name 'Royal Society' first appeared in print in 1661.

The Society has had more than 60 Nobel laureates among its 1,400 fellows. It names 44 scientists as fellows each year to recognise outstanding work.

Lord Rees, president of the Royal Society, said: 'The scientific papers on Trailblazing represent a ceaseless quest by scientists over the centuries, many of them Fellows of the Royal Society, to test and build on our knowledge of humankind and the universe.

'Individually they represent those thrilling moments when science allows us to understand better and to see further.



Charles Darwin, with his son William, photographed in 1842. On 24th January 1839, Darwin was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, the world's oldest scientific institution

'As it begins its 350th anniversary year, the Royal Society will not only be celebrating its proud history but looking to the future of science in the UK and in the rest of the world, as the great scientific questions that tested our predecessors are rapidly replaced by new and urgent scientific challenges.

'Throughout the year, the Royal Society will be running an exciting nationwide programme of events and activities, many in conjunction with other scientific and cultural institutions, to inspire scientists, families, young people and interested members of the public alike to see further into science.'

The Royal Society's anniversary is being celebrated between November 2009 and November 2010.
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Mozart (left) was confirmed as a musical prodigy by the Royal Society, who also published a letter describing the invention of the voltaic pile - the first electric battery (right)

Planned events include a nine-day science and arts festival next summer, a series of public lectures, debates and discussion meetings at the Society's London headquarters, and programmes in partnership with museums and galleries to explore the impact of science and the achievements of scientific "heroes".

Trailblazing can be accessed at http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org

dailymail.co.uk
Last edited by Blackleaf; Dec 2nd, 2009 at 12:18 PM..
 
SirJosephPorter
#2
Blackleaf, this reminded me that I had published a paper in Proceedings of Royal Society in 1984, when I worked in Britain. Royal Society doesn’t just accept paper form any scientist, the paper must be communicated by a member of the Royal Society. Which means that if you do not personally know a member of the Royal Society, you cannot publish in their journals.

Anyway, I went to their website and searched for my paper and found it without any trouble. What surprised me is that they give you access to the whole paper (not just abstract) free of charge. Many journals would give you only the abstract, you have to pay for the full paper. Apparently not so with the Royal Society.
 
Mowich
#3
What did you write about, SirJP?
 
SirJosephPorter
#4
I don’t want to give the title, Mowich, that will reveal my name (it will be easy enough to Google for it). But I did research into polymer Physics. This particular paper I published, I did the work at University of Strathclyde in Glasgow.

It was about stress – strain behavior of end linked elastomers (rubbers in the ordinary language). In an ordinary cross linked rubber, the ends of the polymer chains constitute irregularities; they simply flop around and they are responsible for energy loss etc.

If you have reactive groups at the end of the chain, you can cross link the end of the polymer chain by a simple chemical reaction. This gets rid of the ends of the polymer molecule and as such, the cross linked polymer has very few irregularities. We wanted to see how the properties of this ‘prefect’ polymer compare with elastomers cross linked by ordinary method (radiation).

Anyway, this has nothing to do with what I am doing these days. These days I am into IT, have been for the past 20 years.
 
SirJosephPorter
#5
I remember something rather amusing about the Royal Society. A Fellow of Royal Society is known as FRS. It is quite an honour to become an FRS, it need lots of publications, you have to build up a very good reputation among your peers etc.

Then there is FRSC, Fellow of Royal Society of Chemistry. It is easy to become FRSC; almost any chemist can become FRSC. But there is a big difference between FRS and FRSC. I was an FRSC in Britain, but i was a long way from becoming FRS.
 
TenPenny
#6
Speaking of which, does your wife use any electronic charts? I would think it is a big learning curve for GPs 'of a certain age', as they say.
 
Mowich
#7
Ah, of course you are right about revealing the title, SirJP, hadn't thought about that. From what you mentioned about the paper, it is way above my intelligence level. Fascinating though, to know that you actually had a paper accepted by such an august institution. Good on you.
 
SirJosephPorter
#8
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Speaking of which, does your wife use any electronic charts? I would think it is a big learning curve for GPs 'of a certain age', as they say.


When she started her practice 17 years ago, I told her that ‘chartless office’ (office without any written paper work) was coming, that in future, all the patient records, doctor’s notes etc. will be kept on computer. She plainly didn’t believe me (of course in those days, 386 computer was the norm, a chartless office looked far into the future).

Well, these days chartless office is a reality, many of the new medical graduates tend to have chartless office. There are software companies who will set up the chartless office for you (not my wife though, she still is a computer illiterate).

So the doctor does not write down this notes, he simply speaks into the microphone and it is written up by the computer. Everything is done on computer, appointments, billing, correspondence etc.

It does result in considerable saving of time and money. But the older doctors are set in their ways; they still continue doing things the old way. But in years to come, chartless office will become the norm.

They used to do patient billings on computer cards; they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing the billing on the computer (government decided to charge them one dollar per card). So the older doctors do the billing using the computer these days. But anything else, forget it.
 
TenPenny
#9
Quote: Originally Posted by SirJosephPorter View Post

When she started her practice 17 years ago, I told her that ‘chartless office’ (office without any written paper work) was coming, that in future, all the patient records, doctor’s notes etc. will be kept on computer. She plainly didn’t believe me (of course in those days, 386 computer was the norm, a chartless office looked far into the future).

Well, these days chartless office is a reality, many of the new medical graduates tend to have chartless office. There are software companies who will set up the chartless office for you (not my wife though, she still is a computer illiterate).

So the doctor does not write down this notes, he simply speaks into the microphone and it is written up by the computer. Everything is done on computer, appointments, billing, correspondence etc.

It does result in considerable saving of time and money. But the older doctors are set in their ways; they still continue doing things the old way. But in years to come, chartless office will become the norm.

They used to do patient billings on computer cards; they had to be dragged kicking and screaming into doing the billing on the computer (government decided to charge them one dollar per card). So the older doctors do the billing using the computer these days. But anything else, forget it.

Oh, 17 years, she's just a youngun, then.

I'm assuming from your answer that she doesn't use electronic charts.
I don't know any GPs that do, but I was at a dentist's place (and he is 62), who just went all paperless last week.
 
SirJosephPorter
#10
Quote: Originally Posted by TenPenny View Post

Oh, 17 years, she's just a youngun, then.

I'm assuming from your answer that she doesn't use electronic charts.
I don't know any GPs that do, but I was at a dentist's place (and he is 62), who just went all paperless last week.


No she is not. You forget, I have mentioned it before in the forum, she was in USA for seven years (we met and got married in Salt Lake City), and later in Britain for eight years. She started her practice here in Canada at the ripe old age of 42. I turn 60 in April, she in October.

So she may have practiced only for 17 years, but she is about ready to retire (at least I have been after her to retire, I don’t know when she is going to).

We have a good friend, an ophthalmologist (I have cataracts in both my eyes, he looks after me), he has a chartless office. Other than that, none of our doctor friends do (they all belong to older generation).
 
TenPenny
#11
Yes, I find that the new cohort of GPs are tech savvy, and interested in such things. The established ones tend to look at the wall of charts, and the whole idea of going paperless looks too daunting.

Computerized billing, appointments, and direct deposits are all good, though.