East India Company

David Wootton

The rise of ‘the fact’ during the 17th century came at the expense of the power of authority. Could the digital age reverse how we decide what is true and what is not? 

Halley’s Comet will not be visible again until 2061. But how did scientists discover how to accurately predict its return, asks David Wootton?  

The Scientific Revolution put an end to beliefs that were once considered rational but now seem bizarre. If we want to understand why, we need to look at the increasing importance of the ‘fact’, says David Wootton.

Few events in history have proved as momentous as Galileo's discovery of the moons of Jupiter. David Wootton explains why.