Empiricism of Scientific Societies in the 17th Century: Intellectual, Social and Cultural Impact |
HPS210 | Dr. Christopoulos |
Written by: Jinyao Wang |
In his most famous memoir, Sir Isaac Newton said he was just a boy playing on the seashore, while the great ocean of truth lay undiscovered before him. Despite his humble words, no century has reflected as much spontaneous scientific development as the seventeenth century. Scientific societies across Europe were indispensable in promoting scientific advancement. These societies provided scientists with a voice to project their innovations, increase engagement and cooperation in science and technology, and provide financial support for future experiments and publications. The very framework of scientific discovery and empirical methods was re-invented, forming the backbone of science we see today. Scientists, professors and artists encouraged the use of observation to find fundamental truths in life. Thus a paradigm shift towards empiricism was fuelled by the earliest forms of organized scientific academies, such as the Accademia del Cimento of Florence and the Royal Society of London. As a result, intellectually-oriented experimentation developed and quickly gained speed as a renowned technique for analyzing new knowledge. Profound changes also took place in all levels of society. These fundamental changes were reflected in culture and principles that permeated throughout the century, taking the raw level of enthusiasm and interest for science to unprecedented levels.
Scientific societies across Europe were the most influential institution in emphasizing empiricism to the intellectual scene. This newfound emphasis was a profound change from the learning strategy found in traditional universities, where knowledge was passed down from the ancient authority to the students. To master the University’s curriculum, one must read, question and... [continues]
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