alexa Commemorating Three and Half Centuries of the First Ever Periodical in Science: Philosophical Transactions

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Commemorating Three and Half Centuries of the First Ever Periodical in Science: Philosophical Transactions

The Merry Monarch, Charles the Second’s reign is associated with great events in 17th century Britain. Here are my favorite kudos for the King: The Royal Society of London [1,2] and the Philosophical Transactions. A Royal charter in November 1662 permitted the start of a learned society the ‘Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge’. Arguably, the first of its kind, the RSL was granted a rather cryptic (democratic?) motto “Nullius in verba” or “take nobody’s word for it”; a majestic coat of arms; three golden lions, passant, guardant and facing left - exactly as in the ‘English’ Royal coat of arms; and another world’s first [3], the appearance of a periodical journal “giving some Accompt of the Present Undertakings, Studies and Labours of the Ingenious in many considerable parts of the world”. The journal began as a completely personal venture by Mr. Henry Oldenburg, Secretary of the said society, needless to say with the Good King’s imprimatur and license. Incredibly, in the middle of the great plague (1665) - the time when the Cambridge University shut down, Isaac newton had to scoot back to Woolsthorpe plus not to mention the fire of London in 1666 – the honorable Secretary had voluntarily taken up to be the presenter, author, publisher, and editor of the Philosophical Transactions.

 
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