The Fellowship by John Gribbin
Gilbert, Bacon, Harvey, Wren, Newton, and the Story of a Scentific Revolution

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Seventeenth-century England was racked by civil war, plague and fire; a world ruled by superstition and ignorance. But another tumultuous event was also taking place: the revolution in science. A series of meetings of 'natural philosophers' in Oxford and London saw the beginning of a new method of thinking based on proof and experiment. And at the heart of this Renaissance were the founding fathers of modern western science: The Royal Society. John Gribbin's gripping, colorful account of this unparalleled time of discovery explores the birth of the Society and brings its prime movers to life, including: William Gilbert, the first man to test a theory by scientific methods; Francis Bacon, the extravagant, hedonistic philosopher who created the ideal image of the scientist; William Harvey, who carried out gruesome experiments on the circulation of blood; Christopher Wren, then more famous as astronomer than architect; Robert Mory, a spy for Cardinal Richelieu; the hot-tempered Robert Hooke, who transformed the Royal Society's fortunes yet whose work was written out of history; and his ambitious rival Isaac Newton, who finally established the model of a universe that follows precise mechanical laws, not the whims of gods.

When Edmund Halley, polymath, inventor and adventurer, accurately predicted the extraordinary return of a comet in 1759, science finally came of age. This compelling book shows how the triumph of the revolution that changed our world - and still continues 350 years on - was ultimately not the work of one isolated genius, but of a Fellowship.


About John Gribbin

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John Gribbin, Ph.D., trained as an astrophysicist at the University of Cambridge before becoming a full-time science writer. His books include the highly acclaimed In Search of Schrödinger's Cat, The First Chimpanzee, In Search of the Big Bang, In the Beginning, In Search of the Edge of Time, In Search of the Double Helix, The Stuff of the Universe (with Martin Rees), Stephen Hawking: A Life in Science, and Einstein: A Life in Science (with Michael White). He lives in East Sussex with his wife and two sons.
Published April 19, 2007 by Overlook Books. 352 pages
Genres: History, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Newton, for his part, did his best to keep Hooke in the shadows, going so far as to lose the only known portrait of his competitor when he supervised the relocation of the Society to new quarters in 1710.

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In his latest book, astrophysicist and veteran science writer Gribbin (In Search of Schrödinger's Cat ) sweeps away the dust of historical distance to offer a detailed look into the lives and obsessions of the men at the heart of the scientific revolution and the birth of the Royal Society: "the ...

Nov 13 2006 | Read Full Review of The Fellowship: Gilbert, Baco...

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