Promoting Experimental Learning

Hall, M. B.
Cambridge University Press

Full title

Promoting Experimental Learning: Experiment and the Royal Society, 1660-1727

Publisher's description

The Royal Society of London, effectively Britain's national academy of science, has been particularly concerned with experimental science. Despite all that has been written in the past decades about the first half-century of the Royal Society's existence, no one has yet examined what took place at the society's weekly meetings or how far these meetings fulfilled the expressed aim of promoting "experimental learning." Aware that Hooke performed many experiments at meetings between 1662 and 1703, students of the early Royal Society have often believed its aim to be fully expressed in the writings of such members as Boyle, Hooke, and Newton. This study attempts to analyze the content of the meetings in detail and to discover how far and in what manner the aims of the Society were fulfilled in the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Also discussed are the reactions of foreigners and outsiders to the Royal Society, and how the Society was altered from 1660 to 1727, the year Newton, the Royal Society's president, died.