Thursday, December 03, 2009

Trailblazing

Is the name of a new site from the Royal Society. Being a twice former resident of Scotland, which also has a Royal Society, I can never resist adding "of London" to the name, so I will do so now - a new site from the Royal Society of London.

That Royal Society is 350 next year. The first library job I had after qualifying was at another Royal Society, the Royal Society of Medicine, in London. Its library had volumes of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, one of the first scientific journals, back to 1665, the first year of its publication. It was fascinating - Leeuwenhoek, Newton, Hooke, Herschel, as they wrote.

Well, this site gives you facsimile copies of landmark papers from the last 350 years, with commentaries, all on a nice timeline which also gives you some of the events in the wider world. So, Leeuwenhoek is there, along with the Boyle's account of the first blood transfusion (from one dog to another - I imagine the dogs' thoughts are not recorded!), and a paper by Watson and Crick which I didn't know about - more detail than the famous one in Nature. The most recent is one from 2008 by James Lovelock, "A geophysiologist's thoughts on geoengineering".

Trailblazing is at http://trailblazing.royalsociety.org/ target="_blank".

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