- Museum of the History of Science - http://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk -

Oxford and the Royal Society: 350th anniversary celebrations

Celebrating 350 years of the Royal Society.


This year the Museum celebrates its connection with the scientific movement in 17th century Oxford with a series of lectures, events and displays running throughout the Royal Society’s 350th anniversary year. Details of these can be found on a programme of events [1]. Podcasts of the lectures, web resources and ‘featured instrument’ pages will be available.

The Museum has two reasons to to explore the origins of the Royal Society in addition to the Society’s general importance for science: First, the foundation of the Society in 1660 owed much to the group of experimental philosophers in Oxford in the 1650s, led by John Wilkins (Warden of Wadham College). Second, the building which the Museum now occupies, the Old Ashmolean, opened in 1683 as a centre for the new experimental learning in Oxford, with its laboratory, museum, spaces for experimental demonstration and dissection and its accommodation for the Oxford Philosophical Society. It is the only surviving building from the influential movement to reform natural knowledge in the 17th century, which also created the Royal Society.

(For further information about the Royal Society please consult the Royal Society website [2].)

Dr William Poole

Dr William Poole: Oxford and the Royal Society in the Seventeenth Century.

In 2010, Dr William Poole, New College, Oxford, curated the Bodleian Library’s exhibition on the life and work of John Aubrey

https://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/RoyalSoc1.mp3 [3]

Download the audio from this lecture (MP3 format) [4]


Professor Michael Hunter

Professor Michael Hunter, FBA: The Great Experiment: the Early Evolution of the Royal Society

Professor Hunter of Birkbeck College, University of London is the leading authority on the Royal Society’s foundation and early history.

https://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/RS-Lecture-18-May-10-MixFINAL.mp3 [5]

Download the audio from this lecture (MP3 format) [6]


Dr Anna Marie Roos

Dr Anna Marie Roos: The Oxford Philosophical Society and the Royal Society: a meeting of minds?

Dr Anna Marie Roos, Faculty of History, Oxford, is a historian of early modern English chemistry and medicine, specialising in the history of the early Royal Society.

https://www.mhs.ox.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/RoyalSocietyLecture-Roos.mp3 [7]

Download the audio from this lecture (MP3 format) [8]