The Royal Society was founded in 1660 to promote scientific research. Through a process of trial and error, this completely new kind of institution slowly discovered how its ambitions might be achieved – often in ways unforeseen by its founders, writes Michael Hunter.
The natural philosopher and scientist Robert Boyle was revered in his time for his pioneering enquiry into a wide range of natural phenomena.Yet within half a century of his death he was almost forgotten, overshadowed by his contemporary Isaac Newton. Michael Hunter explains why.
Michael Hunter, an authority on the natural philosopher Robert Hooke, describes his excitement at the recent discovery of an unknown manuscript in Hooke’s hand. He explains its significance and why every effort should be made to keep it in Britain.
Michael Hunter tells how a mysterious phenomenon in the Highlands sparked a debate between scientific virtuosi and urban sceptics, in an episode that helps shed light on the vexed issue of ‘the decline of magic’.