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The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge is the oldest national scientific academy in the world with a continuous existence. The origins of the Royal Society date back to 1645, when a group of eminent British thinkers began to meet regularly in London to discuss the new, experimental philosophies of science. They recognized the need to arrive at a fuller understanding of these innovative ideas through open dialogue. This collection makes available thousands of letters and papers from the world's leading scientific thinkers. While more than half of this material was written in English, many letters and papers appear in French, Latin, German, Italian, Dutch, and other languages. Most of the non-English papers were translated or abstracted by the Society in English. Often drawings supplemented the written reports.

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