Fellow of the Royal Society

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The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel

Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, British Empire, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Isaac Newton, Mahatma Gandhi, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, the market place, upwardly mobile

Ramanujan was alive, though bloodied enough to leave his shins deeply scarred. He was arrested and hauled off to Scotland Yard. Called to the scene, Hardy, marshaling all his charm and academic stature, made a show of how there, before the police, stood the great Mr. Srinivasa Ramanujan, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and how a Fellow of the Royal Society simply could not be arrested. In fact, Ramanujan was not an F.R.S. He would hardly have been immune from arrest in any case, and the police were not fooled for a minute. But they investigated, learned Ramanujan was indeed reputed to be an eminent mathematician, and decided to let him go.

Either through the kind of formulaic letter of polite discouragement that important men learn to write, or by returning his unsolicited material without comment, or by ignoring his letter altogether, Baker said no. Ramanujan wrote to E. W. Hobson, an equally distinguished mathematician, also a Fellow of the Royal Society, and holder of Cambridge’s Sadleirian chair in pure mathematics. Hobson, too, said no. On January 16, 1913, Ramanujan wrote to still another Cambridge mathematician, G. H. Hardy, who at thirty-five, a generation younger than the other men, was already setting the mathematical world of England on its ear.

But in the midst of his confusion, he went to his director of studies, who brought another influence to bear on his malleable young mind in the person of Augustus Edward Hough Love. A thirty-three-year-old man with a huge, bushy mustache, mutton-chop sideburns, and a vast bald oval of a head, Love had been named, a few years before, a Fellow of the Royal Society, Britain’s most distinguished scientific body. In 1893, he’d finished his two-volume Treatise on the Mathematical Theory of Elasticity, summarizing what was then known of how materials deform under impact, twisting, and heavy loads. But Love did not push Hardy into his own field. Though an applied mathematician, he had a bent for fundamentals, basic principles, abstract formulations.


pages: 515 words: 117,501

Miracle Cure by William Rosen

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, availability heuristic, biofilm, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, creative destruction, demographic transition, discovery of penicillin, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, friendly fire, functional fixedness, germ theory of disease, global supply chain, Haber-Bosch Process, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Louis Pasteur, medical malpractice, meta-analysis, microbiome, New Journalism, obamacare, out of africa, pattern recognition, Pepto Bismol, randomized controlled trial, selection bias, stem cell, transcontinental railway, working poor

Journal of Health Economics 22, no. 2 (March 2003): 151–85. Dodson, G. “Dorothy Mary Crowfoot Hodgkin, O.M., 23 May 1910–29 July 1994.” Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society 48 (December 1, 2002): 179–219. Doll, R. “Austin Bradford Hill, 8 July 1897–18 April 1991.” Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society 40 (November 1994): 128–40. Douglas, S. “Georges Dreyer: 1873–1934.” Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 1, no. 4 (December 1935): 568–76. Duggar, B. “Aureomycin: A Product of the Continuing Search for New Antibiotics.” Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 51 (November 1948): 177–81.

Fischbach wrote a software program: (Zimmer, 2014) “the adaptability of the chemist”: (Bud, Penicillin, 2007) BIBLIOGRAPHY Abbott, K. “The 1904 Olympic Marathon May Have Been the Strangest Ever.” Smithsonian, August 7, 2012. Abraham, E. “Howard Walter Florey, Baron Florey of Adelaide and Marston, 1898–1968.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 17 (November 1971): 255–302. Abraham, E. “Ernst Boris Chain: 19 June 1906–12 August 1979.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 29 (November 1983): 42–91. Afflitto, E. Penicillin, Venereal Disease, and the Relationship Between Science and the State in America, 1930–1950. Ann Arbor, MI: University Microfilms/ProQuest, May 2012. Allan, N.

Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1949. Coghill, R., et al. Method for Increased Yields of Pencillin. U.S. Patent No. 2423873 A, June 17, 1944. Colebrook, L. “Almroth Edward Wright: 1861–1947.” Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 6, no. 17 (November 1948): 297–314. Colebrook, L. “Gerhard Domagk.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 10 (November 1964): 39. Comas, I., et al. “Out-of-Africa Migration and Neolithic Co-Expansion of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with Modern Humans. Nature: Genetics 45, no. 10 (October 2013): 1176–82. Committee on Statistics.


pages: 1,178 words: 388,227

Quicksilver by Neal Stephenson

Danny Hillis, dark matter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, out of africa, Peace of Westphalia, retrograde motion, short selling, the scientific method, trade route, urban planning

Kéroualle had relayed this to the King during some sort of Natural-Philosophic pillow talk, and his majesty had commissioned four Fellows of the Royal Society (the Duke of Gunfleet, Roger Comstock, Robert Hooke, and Christopher Wren) to find out if such a thing were really possible. They had asked one John Flamsteed. Flamsteed was the same age as Daniel. Too sickly to attend school, he had stayed home and taught himself astronomy. Later his health had improved to the point where he’d been able to attend Cambridge and learn what could be taught there, which was not much, at the time. When he had received this inquiry from the aforementioned four Fellows of the Royal Society, he had been just finishing up his studies, and looking for something to do.

“If your errand has aught to do with Philosophy, then is not Harvard College a more fitting destination?” “Mr. Root is a Natural Philosopher of note, sir!” blurts Ben, only as a way to prevent himself bursting into tears. The way he says it makes it clear he thinks the Harvard men are of the Unnatural type. “He is a Fellow of the Royal Society!” Oh, dear. The Don steps forward and hunches his shoulders like a conspirator. “I beg your pardon, sir, I did not know.” “It is quite all right, really.” “Dr. Waterhouse, you must be warned, has fallen quite under the spell of Herr Leibniz—” “—him that stole the calculus from Sir Isaac—” someone footnotes.

The crockery and other clues suggest that the ship’s a good three decades old, but unless you go down into the hold and view the keel and the ribs, you don’t see any pieces that are older than perhaps five years. None of the plates match, and so it’s always a bit of a game for Daniel to eat his way down through the meal (normally something stewlike with expensive spices) until he can see the pattern on the plate. It is kind of an idiotic game for a Fellow of the Royal Society to indulge in, but he doesn’t introspect about it until one evening when he’s staring into his plate, watching the gravy slosh with the ship’s heaving (a microcosm of the Atlantic?), and all of a sudden it’s— The Plague Year SUMMER 1665 Th’earths face is but thy Table; there are set Plants, cattell, men, dishes for Death to eate.


pages: 778 words: 227,196

The Age of Wonder by Richard Holmes

Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, animal electricity, British Empire, Copley Medal, Dava Sobel, double helix, Edmond Halley, Etonian, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John Harrison: Longitude, music of the spheres, placebo effect, polynesian navigation, Richard Feynman, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade route, unbiased observer, University of East Anglia, éminence grise

He wrote witty, faintly scurrilous letters to his sister Sophia, and also kept the first of his great journals, most notable for their racy style, appalling spelling and non-existent punctuation. On his return in November 1766, with a vast quantity of plant specimens (and some caoutchouc from Portugal), Banks was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, still aged only twenty-three. He began what was to become his famous herbarium, scientific library and collection of prints and drawings. His rapidly expanding circle of scientific friends included the rakish Lord Sandwich, future head of the Admiralty, and the quiet, portly and dedicated Daniel Solander, a young Swedish botanist, trained under Linnaeus at Uppsala, who managed the Natural History section of the British Museum.

The effect of this account was to present an engagingly romantic image of science at work: the solitary man of genius pursuing the mysterious moment of revelation. Joseph Banks’s presentation speech, when awarding the prestigious Copley Gold Medal for the best work in any scientific field during the year 1781, in front of the assembled Fellows of the Royal Society, was unreservedly complimentary to Herschel. The discovery of the new planet was the first great success of Banks’s new presidency. In his most expansive and jovial mood, he accordingly projected a visionary future for Herschel’s astronomy: ‘Your attention to the improvement of telescopes has already amply repaid the labour which you bestowed upon them; but the treasures of heaven are well known to be inexhaustible.

Eventually this passed. The great Edwin Hubble used to describe an almost trance-like, Buddhist state of mind after a full night’s stellar observation at Mount Wilson in California in the 1930s. See Gale Christianson, Edwin Hubble (1995). ♣ Dr James Lind (1736-1812) was no ordinary physician. A Fellow of the Royal Society, he had been invited to accompany Captain Cook on his second voyage round the world, but instead visited Iceland with Banks, and later voyaged to China. Deeply read in classical sciences-an expert on Pliny and Lucretius-he became a physician to the royal household, and taught modern sciences part-time at Eton.


pages: 1,199 words: 384,780

The system of the world by Neal Stephenson

bank run, British Empire, cellular automata, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, high net worth, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, large denomination, MITM: man-in-the-middle, place-making, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade

“That the buyer is a Fellow of the Royal Society, or else has made a close study of the Society’s early years. He knows a great deal about Hooke and about the Real Character, and…” Daniel paused. “And?” “And about poison,” Daniel said. “An attempt was recently made on the life of Princess Caroline. The weapon was a poniard smeared with nicotine, excellently prepared.” “Bloody peculiar,” reflected Peter Hoxton, “when this benighted world doth so abound in simpler means of killing.” “During the ’sixties—Hooke’s heyday, and the aera of the Real Character—several Fellows of the Royal Society took an interest in nicotine.”

During the Plague Year he succoured them as well, by offering them refuge on his estate at Epsom, where discoveries too many to list were made by John Wilkins, by the late Robert Hooke, and by him who stands at my right hand: Dr. Daniel Waterhouse, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, Fellow of the Royal Society, and Chancellor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony Institute of Technologickal Arts. Dr. Waterhouse has very recently re-crossed the Atlantic and is even now on his way to London to confer with Sir Isaac Newton…” The mention of Daniel’s name caused a sparse ripple of curiosity to propagate through the company of cold, irritable Gentlemen.

Boyle, and perfected by Mr. Hooke; the lesson was not lost on young Charles; two score years later he passed it on to young Will at their farm in Connecticut, and it was my very great pleasure to visit them there, from time to time, and to witness those lessons being taught so perfectly that no Fellow of the Royal Society could have added what was wanting, nor subtracted what was false. Will took up those lessons well. Fate returned him to England. Providence supplied him with a lovely Devonshire wife. The Queen gave him an Earldom. But it was Fortune, I believe, that brought him together with the Engineer, Mr.


pages: 432 words: 128,944

Falling Upwards: How We Took to the Air by Richard Holmes

colonial exploitation, Columbine, disinformation, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, friendly fire, Google Earth, Isaac Newton, Louis Blériot, low earth orbit, music of the spheres

He suggested reducing the requisite manpower by 75 per cent, simply by harnessing the chair to a small hydrogen balloon, ‘sufficiently large to raise me from the ground’. This would make his malady less vexatious for all concerned, by providing a ‘most easy carriage’, lightweight and highly manoeuvrable, ‘being led by a string held by one man walking on the ground’.21 fn6 8 In 1785 Tiberius Cavallo, a Fellow of the Royal Society, put together the first British study of ballooning. His A Treatise on the History and Practice of Aerostation studiously adopted the French scientific term for ‘lighter-than-air’ flight, but moved far beyond national rivalries. He wanted to consider the phenomenon of flight from both a scientific and a philosophical point of view.

Among the committee’s fourteen signatories were many leading names in British science, notably the Astronomer Royal, Professor Sir George Airy; Sir David Brewster, who had written Isaac Newton’s biography; Sir John Herschel, the best-known public scientist in Britain; and John Tyndall, who had inherited Humphry Davy’s position at the Royal Institution.9 The man they chose to prosecute these researches, and put the science back into ballooning, was a fifty-three-year-old meteorologist named James Glaisher (1809–1903). Glaisher did not exactly fit the profile of an aerial adventurer. A large, taciturn family man, solidly built and heavily bewhiskered, he was a Fellow of the Royal Society, an expert on the theory of magnetism, and for the last ten years had been Secretary to the Royal Meteorological Society. He lived comfortably with his extended household in a pleasant mansion at 22 Dartmouth Road on Blackheath, South London (now marked by a blue plaque). He strode daily over the Heath on his way to work at the nearby Royal Observatory at Greenwich.

His dedicated team of weathermen were mostly doctors and clergymen, men tied to their particular parishes, who could be relied upon to take regular readings of temperature, barometric pressure, wind speed and atmospheric conditions (cloud, rain, sunshine) at precisely nine o’clock every morning. The results were telegraphed to Glaisher at the Royal Observatory before noon. He could now command a daily picture of the evolution of weather systems right across the country. In August 1848 he began to contribute a national weather report to the Daily News. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in June 1849, and became the Secretary of the Meteorological Society in 1850. His weather charts were shown at the Great Exhibition in 1851. He could track the weather, but still he did not attempt to forecast it.16 In the autumn of 1852, Glaisher followed four of Charles Green’s ‘last’ ascents from Vauxhall, using a telescope, from the roof of the Greenwich observatory.


pages: 561 words: 120,899

The Theory That Would Not Die: How Bayes' Rule Cracked the Enigma Code, Hunted Down Russian Submarines, and Emerged Triumphant From Two Centuries of Controversy by Sharon Bertsch McGrayne

Bayesian statistics, bioinformatics, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, double helix, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, full text search, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Markoff, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, linear programming, longitudinal study, meta-analysis, Nate Silver, p-value, Pierre-Simon Laplace, placebo effect, prediction markets, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, Robert Mercer, Ronald Reagan, speech recognition, statistical model, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, uranium enrichment, Yom Kippur War

He fought to get Bayesians appointed, professorship by professorship, until the United Kingdom had a core of ten Bayesian departments. Eventually, Britain became more sympathetic to the method than the United States, where Neyman maintained Berkeley as an anti-Bayesian bunker. Still, the process left scars: despite Lindley’s landmark contributions he was never named a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1977, at the age of 54, Lindley forsook the administrative chores he hated and retired early. He celebrated his freedom by growing a beard and becoming what he called “an itinerant scholar” for Bayes’ rule.33 Thanks to Lindley in Britain and Savage in the United States, Bayesian theory came of age in the 1960s.

Encyclopaedia Britannica (16) 200–203. Cochran WM. (1976) Early development of techniques in comparative experimentation. In On the History of Statistics and Probability, ed., DB Owen. Marcel Dekker. 1–26. Cook, Alan. (1990) Sir Harold Jeffreys, 2 April 1891–18 March 1989. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (36) 302–33. Crépel, Pierre. (1993) Henri et la droite de Henry. MATAPLI (36) 19–22. Dale, Andrew I. (1999) A History of Inverse Probability from Thomas Bayes to Karl Pearson. 2d ed. Springer. One of the foundational works in the history of probability. Daston, Lorraine J. (1987) The domestication of risk: mathematical probability and insurance 1650–1830.

Hosgood, Steven. http://tallyho.bc.nu/~steve/banburismus.html. Kahn, David. (1967) The Codebreakers: The Story of Secret Writing. Macmillan. A classic. Kendall, David G. (1991a) Kolmogorov as I remember him. Statistical Science (6:3) 303–12. ———. (1991b) Andrei Nikolaevich Kolmogorov. 25 April 1903–20 October 1987. Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society. (37) 300–319. Kolmogorov, Andrei N. (1942) Determination of the center of scattering and the measure of accuracy by a limited number of observations. Izvestiia Akademii nauk SSSR. Series Mathematics (6) 3–32. In Russian. Kolmogorov AN, Hewitt E. (1948) Collection of Articles on the Theory of Firing.


pages: 385 words: 105,627

The Man Who Loved China: The Fantastic Story of the Eccentric Scientist Who Unlocked the Mysteries of the Middle Kingdom by Simon Winchester

Berlin Wall, British Empire, David Attenborough, Deng Xiaoping, disinformation, double helix, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of gunpowder, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, New Urbanism, Ralph Waldo Emerson, stakhanovite, Stephen Hawking, Ted Kaczynski, trade route

Once this activity became too humdrum for him, she said, he further occupied himself by translating the selfsame pages from English into French, also in his head, and then correcting any errors that he fancied he could also see in this new translated text. And there was more than merely the pride of achievement. The publication of the three volumes made virtually certain the honor that would be bestowed on Needham a decade later: in 1941 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society, arguably the greatest scientific distinction short of a Nobel prize.4 His writing of a scientific classic while he was still so young a man and so untutored a researcher was something that the graybeards of the Royal Society found wholly commendable, and impossible to overlook—but that some also envied, mightily.

At the time, Sansom was the senior civilian representative on a little-known body, the Far East War Council, which was based in Singapore and essentially decided how Britain should best prosecute its side of the conflict in the world east of Suez. It was probably Sansom’s suggestion that Needham, a Chinese-speaking fellow of the Royal Society, and a senior figure who was intimately connected with British scientific research, should be the one to go; further, it was likely that this decision would have been approved at a higher level still—quite possibly in Downing Street, by Winston Churchill. It had been agreed, said Crowther over a lunch in London a few days later, that by living in and visiting learned institutions all across “free China,” Needham could find out exactly what was wanted by the Chinese—textbooks, laboratory equipment, reagents, visiting experts—find out where it was wanted, and have whatever could be sent, sent.

At the monastery they were introduced to and then had lunch with a group that included a “living buddha,” three itinerant Tibetan monks dressed in russet red robes, some rather sobersided Chinese monks kitted out in black, and the Australian ambassador to China, Sir Frederick Eggleston, who happened to be nearby, and hungry. Needham said he found it rather amusing that so austere a community was suddenly invaded by an antipodean diplomat and a fellow of the Royal Society, but imagined later that the monks had been less impressed than he, and had taken it all with properly spiritual equanimity. Later that day he and Eggleston went to a teahouse and sat outside in the sun chatting idly about the beauty of their situation. It was perfectly safe for them to do so.


pages: 287 words: 87,204

Erwin Schrodinger and the Quantum Revolution by John Gribbin

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Arthur Eddington, British Empire, Brownian motion, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lateral thinking, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Solar eclipse in 1919, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics, the scientific method, trade route, upwardly mobile

Newton mostly preferred to keep his ideas to himself, rather than be bothered with the attention and time-consuming correspondence that would result if they became widely known. One idea he did announce, however, was his invention of a new kind of telescope, which resulted in his being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society (founded in 1660, with the epithet “Royal” bestowed the following year) in 1672. This led to Newton presenting his ideas about light and colours to the Society, and in turn to a virulent argument with Robert Hooke (1635–1703), the man who as Curator of Experiments and later Secretary did more than anyone to make the Society a success.

There he continued thinking deeply about the nature of the physical world, but stopped telling anyone about his thoughts. That changed in 1684, when Edmond Halley (1656–1742) visited Newton in Cambridge. The purpose of his visit was to ask if Newton could help with a problem that had been puzzling Halley, Hooke, and another Fellow of the Royal Society, Christopher Wren (1632–1723). The three scientists had realized that the orbits of the planets around the Sun could be explained by a force which falls off in proportion to the square of the distance of a planet from the Sun (an inverse-square law), but they could not prove that all of the laws of planetary motion, described by Johannes Kepler (1571–1630), must result from such a law.

Between 1938 and 1948 no German or Austrian citizens were elected to the Royal. In addition, before 1948 only foreign nationals who were not resident in one of the British Dominions were eligible for election. Technically, Ireland was still a British Dominion until 1948, when the new Irish government formally severed this last link with the past. Although the new Fellow of the Royal Society did not publish any scientific papers in 1949 (his first “fallow” year since 1923), he did issue a slim volume of poetry, which would surely not have appeared were it not for his fame as a physicist. Schrödinger’s poetry, in fact, reads almost like a pastiche of the kind of poetry you would expect a physicist to write—it is technically correct, in terms of metre, rhyme, and so on, but lacks the emotional impact of the work of a true poet.


pages: 1,197 words: 304,245

The Invention of Science: A New History of the Scientific Revolution by David Wootton

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Commentariolus, commoditize, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double entry bookkeeping, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, interchangeable parts, invention of gunpowder, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, knowledge economy, lateral thinking, lone genius, Mercator projection, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Philip Mirowski, placebo effect, QWERTY keyboard, Republic of Letters, social intelligence, spice trade, spinning jenny, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

From these he produced the first calculations of life expectancy for different age groups, and so the first reliable figures which could provide a basis for pricing life insurance. He lived in a new world of statistical accuracy. It was from the scientists, from men like William Petty, a first-generation fellow of the Royal Society, who surveyed Ireland, that Gregory King, a government administrator, effectively an accountant, acquired the conceptual tools that enabled him to calculate (very approximately) what we would call the Gross National Product of Britain and France in 1696 in order to work out which had the greater resources for winning the war they were fighting.

At the same time a Bedstaff was thrown at the Minister, which hit him on the Leg, but so favourably that a Lock of Wool could not have fallen more softly, and it was observed, that it stopt just where it lighted, without rolling or moving from the place.3 There have always been plenty of stories of the weird and the wonderful. This story comes from Saduscismus triumphatus, written by a clergyman, Joseph Glanvill, one of the chief propagandists for the new science, and a fellow of the Royal Society from 1664. Glanvill began publishing in defence of the reality of witchcraft in 1666, and his first version of the Mompesson story appeared the next year, in A Blow at Modern Sadducism, Sadducism being understood to be the denial of the reality of spirits. (The version just quoted comes from the posthumous work Saducismus triumphatus, or The Saducee Triumphed Over (1681), seen through the press by Glanvill’s friend the Platonist philosopher Henry More, which went through a further five editions.)

Temple touched on it only tangentially in his essay; it recedes into the background again in Swift’s Battle of the Books.11 But it was a central topic when Fontenelle took up the defence of the moderns against the ancients in France (1686),12 and it again played a central role in the major reply to Temple, Reflections upon Ancient and Modern Learning (1694; with an expanded second edition in 1698), by a young clergyman, William Wotton, who had managed to get himself elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, though science was far from being his primary interest. (Wotton was commissioned to write the first life of Robert Boyle; he began work but never finished as he fell, for a time, into a life of drunkenness and debauchery.)13 Temple knew very little about science, much less than Wotton, and lacked any inclination to make good this deficiency.


pages: 414 words: 109,622

Genius Makers: The Mavericks Who Brought A. I. To Google, Facebook, and the World by Cade Metz

AI winter, Airbnb, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, British Empire, carbon-based life, cloud computing, computer age, computer vision, digital map, Donald Trump, drone strike, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frank Gehry, game design, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, Googley, Internet Archive, Isaac Newton, Jeffrey Epstein, job automation, John Markoff, life extension, Mark Zuckerberg, means of production, Menlo Park, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, new economy, nuclear winter, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Graham, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, profit motive, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, Sam Altman, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Ballmer, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, Turing test, Y Combinator

the entomologist Howard Everest Hinton: George Salt, “Howard Everest Hinton. 24 August 1912–2 August 1977,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (London: Royal Society Publishing, 1978), pp. 150–182, https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbm.1978.0006. Sir George Everest, the surveyor general of India: Kennedy, The Booles and the Hintons. aimed to explain the basic biological process: Peter M. Milner and Brenda Atkinson Milner, “Donald Olding Hebb. 22 July 1904–20 August 1985,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (London: Royal Society Publishing, 1996), 42: 192–204, https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rsbm.1996.0012.

And his cousin, the nuclear physicist Joan Hinton, was one of the few women to work on the Manhattan Project. In London and later in Bristol, he grew up alongside three siblings, a mongoose, a dozen Chinese turtles, and two viper snakes that lived in a pit at the back of the garage. His father was the entomologist Howard Everest Hinton, a Fellow of the Royal Society, whose interest in wildlife extended beyond insects. Like his father, he was named for another relative, Sir George Everest, the surveyor general of India whose name was also given to the world’s highest peak. It was expected that he would one day follow his father into academia. It was less clear what he would study.

Then he dropped philosophy for experimental psychology. In the end, despite pressure to continue his studies—or perhaps because of that pressure, brought down by his father—Hinton left academia entirely. When he was a boy, he had seen his father as both an uncompromising intellectual and a man of enormous strength—a Fellow of the Royal Society who could do a pull-up with one arm. “Work really hard and maybe when you’re twice as old as me, you’ll be half as good,” his father had often told him, without irony. After graduating from Cambridge, with thoughts of his father hanging over him, Hinton moved to London and became a carpenter.


pages: 420 words: 124,202

The Most Powerful Idea in the World: A Story of Steam, Industry, and Invention by William Rosen

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, barriers to entry, collective bargaining, computer age, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, delayed gratification, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, fudge factor, full employment, independent contractor, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, iterative process, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, knowledge economy, moral hazard, Network effects, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Singer: altruism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Simon Kuznets, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transaction costs, transcontinental railway, zero-sum game, éminence grise

It proved an attractive destination for refugees of another disaster, the Jacobite Rebellions of the early eighteenth century (the fruitless attempts to return the Stuart kings to the throne following the Glorious Revolution of 1688), which resulted in, among other things, the emigration of thousands of Scots to the island.* In 1747, one of them1 (a Scot, not a Jacobite), Alexander Macfarlane, a merchant, a judge, a mathematician, and yet another of those “gentlemen, free and unconfin’d” who could style themselves Fellows of the Royal Society, acquired several dozen state-of-the-art astronomical instruments from another Scot named Colin Campbell. Campbell was not merely a countryman, but a fellow alumnus of Glasgow University, so it was scarcely surprising that when Macfarlane died in 1755, his collection was bequeathed to their alma mater.

Luckily for the history of engineering, young John found the law less interesting than tinkering, and by 1748 he had moved to London and set up shop as a maker of scientific instruments; five years later, when James Watt arrived in the city seeking to be trained in exactly the same trade, Smeaton was a Fellow of the Royal Society, and had already built his first water mill. In 1756, he was hired to rebuild the Eddystone Lighthouse, which had burned down the year before; the specification for the sixty-foot-tall structure* required that it be constructed on the Eddystone rocks off the Devonshire coast between high and low tide, and so demanded the invention of a cement—hydraulic lime—that would set even if submerged in water.

This didn’t mean that no one was thinking outside the caloric box. There was, for example, the thoroughly remarkable Benjamin Thompson of Massachusetts, a loyalist American who, after backing the losing side in the Revolutionary War, moved, first to England (where in 1779 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society), and four years later, apparently on a whim, to Bavaria. There he found himself, on behalf of the Prince-Elector2 Karl-Theodor, running an espionage network that stole design sketches from the Soho Manufactory and spirited them out of England. For this and other services (including the invention of Rumford Soup, a concoction of peas, barley, potato, and old beer intended to meet the nutritional needs of Europe’s poor) he was made a Count of the Holy Roman Empire in 1791.


pages: 1,396 words: 245,647

The Strangest Man: The Hidden Life of Paul Dirac, Mystic of the Atom by Graham Farmelo

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, cuban missile crisis, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, gravity well, Henri Poincaré, invention of radio, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Murray Gell-Mann, period drama, Richard Feynman, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, strikebreaker, University of East Anglia

They spent hundreds of hours playing the game with ever-higher numbers – until Dirac found a simple and general formula enabling any number to be expressed using four 2s, entirely within the rules.6 He had rendered the game pointless. On 20 February 1930, Dirac sent his parents the usual newsless weekly postcard, consisting of a ten-word summary of the Cambridge weather.7 The day after his mother received it, she visited the library and was astonished to read in a newspaper that her son had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, one of the highest honours in British science. Excited and flushed with pride, she dashed out to the post office and sent him a congratulatory telegram, keeping in check her annoyance that he had not mentioned the news on the card.8 Dirac was a ‘naughty boy’, she told him two days later in a letter, enquiring whether the society was organising a ceremony of induction.

Teller noted, however, that the experimental uncertainties in the calculations were so large that it was not possible definitely to rule out the hypothesis. 13 Barrow (2002: 107). 14 Letter from Dirac to Gamow, 10 January 1961, Gamow archive LC. 15 Quoted in Barrow (2002: 108). 16 Private papers of Mary Dirac. Dirac wrote the notes on 17 January 1933. 17 Letter to Dirac from Gamow, 26 October 1957, Dirac Papers, 2/5/4 (FSU). 18 John Douglas Cockcroft, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (1968): 139–88; see p. 185. 19 Mitton (2005: 127–9). 20 Overbye (1991: 39). 21 Letter from Gamow to Dirac, June 1965 (undated), Dirac Papers, 2/5/13 (FSU). 22 Letter from Heisenberg to Dirac, 2 March 1967, Dirac Papers, 2/14/1 (FSU). Letter from Dirac to Heisenberg, 6 March 1967, quoted in Brown and Rechenberg (1987: 148). 23 Letter from Geoffrey Harrison, HM Ambassador in Moscow, to Sir John Cockcroft, 19 April 1966, Cockcroft archive, CKFT 20/17 (CHURCHILL). 24 Kapitza gave the lecture at 5 p.m. on Monday, 16 May.

Teller noted, however, that the experimental uncertainties in the calculations were so large that it was not possible definitely to rule out the hypothesis. 13 Barrow (2002: 107). 14 Letter from Dirac to Gamow, 10 January 1961, Gamow archive LC. 15 Quoted in Barrow (2002: 108). 16 Private papers of Mary Dirac. Dirac wrote the notes on 17 January 1933. 17 Letter to Dirac from Gamow, 26 October 1957, Dirac Papers, 2/5/4 (FSU). 18 John Douglas Cockcroft, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (1968): 139–88; see p. 185. 19 Mitton (2005: 127–9). 20 Overbye (1991: 39). 21 Letter from Gamow to Dirac, June 1965 (undated), Dirac Papers, 2/5/13 (FSU). 22 Letter from Heisenberg to Dirac, 2 March 1967, Dirac Papers, 2/14/1 (FSU). Letter from Dirac to Heisenberg, 6 March 1967, quoted in Brown and Rechenberg (1987: 148). 23 Letter from Geoffrey Harrison, HM Ambassador in Moscow, to Sir John Cockcroft, 19 April 1966, Cockcroft archive, CKFT 20/17 (CHURCHILL). 24 Kapitza gave the lecture at 5 p.m. on Monday, 16 May.


pages: 336 words: 92,056

The Battery: How Portable Power Sparked a Technological Revolution by Henry Schlesinger

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, British Empire, Copley Medal, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, invention of the telegraph, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Livingstone, I presume, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, popular electronics, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, Stephen Hawking, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Davenport, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, Vannevar Bush, Yogi Berra

As with nearly everything he did, Franklin threw himself into electrical experimentation with gusto. From 1746 until 1752 these efforts consumed him. A glass tube along with a sampling of the latest scientific literature was soon sent to him by his friend Peter Collinson. A London cloth merchant, agent for Franklin’s Library Company of Philadelphia, and a fellow of the Royal Society, Collinson was an ideal conduit into European scientific circles. Although his own field of interest was botany rather than electricity, Collinson was nevertheless an enthusiastic and often effective supporter of Franklin’s work. Within a year, Franklin was writing letters back to Collinson detailing his discoveries.

Water, thought to be an element, was now definitively shown—with the help of Volta’s device—to be a compound composed of hydrogen and oxygen. In many reports the apparatus—the battery—that accomplished the decomposition rated only secondary mention. On June 26, Banks read Volta’s letter to the Fellows of the Royal Society, and by September of that year, the letter was translated into English and published in Philosophical Transactions under the title “On the Electricity Excited by the Mere Contact of Conducting Substances of Different Kinds.” From there, news of the miraculous invention spread quickly and by the autumn of 1800 experimenters throughout Europe were building and using their own voltaic batteries.

AFTER SOME FOURTEEN YEARS, HENRY moved from Princeton to the not yet fully formed Smithsonian Institution, where he became secretary and played a pivotal role in one of the more interesting chapters in American science. Founded on roughly the same principles as the Royal Institution by James Smithson, a British subject, the Smithsonian was to be the legacy of a man who would never see the final result. Although an early member of the Royal Institution, Fellow of the Royal Society, and enthusiastic experimenter, Smithson felt he was never accorded the full respect due a gentleman of science. The illegitimate son of Hugh Smithson, first Duke of Northumberland, and Elizabeth Macie, a lineal descendant of King Henry VII, he was accepted for his lineage but never entirely welcomed into British society because of his out-of-wedlock birth.


pages: 366 words: 100,602

Sextant: A Young Man's Daring Sea Voyage and the Men Who ... by David Barrie

centre right, colonial exploitation, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius, Maui Hawaii, Nicholas Carr, polynesian navigation, South China Sea, trade route

Unlike the astrolabe or quadrant it can be used for measuring angles in any plane—for example, between two heavenly bodies, or between two objects on the surface of the earth. The sextant was the offspring of an earlier invention, the so-called reflecting quadrant. Sir Isaac Newton can take credit for designing the first device of this kind, plans for which were shown to the Royal Society in 1699.12 Another Fellow of the Royal Society, John Hadley (1682–1744), came up with two designs, similar to Newton’s though apparently not derived from them, which he presented to that institution in May 1731.13 One of these was widely adopted following successful sea trials conducted the following year by the Oxford professor of astronomy John Bradley, who was later to become Astronomer Royal.14 By one of those strange coincidences that seem common in the history of science, an American—Thomas Godfrey—independently came up with a similar design almost simultaneously.15 Confusingly, the reflecting quadrant is actually an octant—its arc is one-eighth of a circle (45 degrees) rather than one-quarter.

I had new sheets laid & the bed rubbed up & dried as well as could be done, & in this damp bed I turned in . . . but the continual rolling of the Ship hindered me from Sleeping. . . . The Ocean & the winds raged all night.15 Cook reached home in July 1775 and was greeted as a hero—rather like Neil Armstrong returning from the moon, though he had been away for much longer. He was promoted to the rank of post-captain and, early the following year, elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. He could now have enjoyed a comfortable retirement with his wife and children, but the challenge of further exploration could not be resisted. In July 1776 Cook set sail on his final voyage with two ships—the Resolution (again) and the Discovery—this time heading into the far north of the Pacific in search of the fabled northern route to the Atlantic.

He had started his career on the staff of the French ambassador in London (where he met Anson) and later distinguished himself in the army as aide-de-camp to General Montcalm.1 A highly educated and cultivated man, he had, while still in his twenties, published a two-volume treatise on integral calculus and was already a Fellow of the Royal Society in London. With feigned modesty, Bougainville warned readers of his Voyage autour du monde that his style was “all too plainly” marked by the wild, nomadic life he had for so long been leading. “It is neither in the forests of Canada nor on the breast of the sea that one develops the art of writing,”2 he proclaimed.


pages: 244 words: 68,223

Isaac Newton by James Gleick

Albert Einstein, Astronomia nova, complexity theory, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Richard Feynman, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions

I am purposing them, to be considered of & examined, an accompt of a Philosophicall discovery which induced me to the making of the said Telescope, & which I doubt not but will prove much more gratefull then the communication of that instrument, being in my Judgment the oddest if not the most considerable detection which hath hitherto been made in the operations of Nature.33 And by the way, what would his duties be, as Fellow of the Royal Society? 7 Reluctancy and Reaction THE GREAT COURT of Trinity College was mostly complete, with a library and stables, central fountain, and fenced-in plots of grass. An avenue of newly planted linden trees lay to the southwest.1 Newton occupied a chamber upstairs between the Great Gate and the chapel.

A more dramatic spectacle appeared in the nights of December. Newton saw it with naked eye on December 12: a comet whose great tail, broader than the moon, stretched over the full length of King’s College Chapel. He tracked it almost nightly through the first months of 1681.1 A young astronomer traveling to France, Edmond Halley, a new Fellow of the Royal Society, was amazed at its brilliance.2 Robert Hooke observed it several times in London. Across the Atlantic Ocean, where a handful of colonists were struggling to survive on a newfound continent, Increase Mather delivered a sermon, “Heaven’s Alarm to the World,” to warn Puritans of God’s displeasure.3 Halley served as a sometime assistant to a new officeholder, the Astronomer Royal.


pages: 229 words: 67,599

The Logician and the Engineer: How George Boole and Claude Shannon Created the Information Age by Paul J. Nahin

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Claude Shannon: information theory, conceptual framework, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, Grace Hopper, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, knapsack problem, New Journalism, Pierre-Simon Laplace, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, thinkpad, Thomas Bayes, Turing machine, Turing test, V2 rocket

George must have been impressed with what he saw of the heavens through that instrument, and perhaps that was one of the influences that propelled him toward his career as a profoundly creative mathematician. A camera obscura was another of their joint projects. John may, in fact, have spent too much time on optics and not enough on repairing shoes. In 1956 Sir Geoffrey Taylor (1886–1975), a mathematical physicist of some renown, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a grandson of George (his mother was the second of Boole’s five daughters), wrote the following: “I have inherited from my grandmother [Boole’s eventual wife, Mary Everest (1832–1916)], a box made by John Boole to hold a microscope he had made. Inside the lid is pasted a note in her handwriting [declaring], ‘He seems to have been able to do anything well except his own business of managing the shop.”’

Boole was hard for Kane to ignore, however, as Boole was clearly one of the college’s stars. Almost from the start, Boole’s academic life in Cork was one of moving from one honor and achievement to the next. In 1852 he received an honorary doctorate from the University of Dublin, in 1854 An Investigation of the Laws of Thought was published, in 1857 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, and there was the Keith Prize in 1858. In 1859 his A Treatise on Differential Equations was published, and he received another honorary doctorate, this time from Oxford. In 1860 another textbook was published, A Treatise on the Calculus of Finite Differences. Boole had found heaven in Cork.


pages: 415 words: 125,089

Against the Gods: The Remarkable Story of Risk by Peter L. Bernstein

"Robert Solow", Albert Einstein, Alvin Roth, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Bayesian statistics, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bretton Woods, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, capital asset pricing model, cognitive dissonance, computerized trading, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, diversified portfolio, double entry bookkeeping, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, endowment effect, experimental economics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fermat's Last Theorem, financial deregulation, financial innovation, full employment, index fund, invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, linear programming, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, mental accounting, moral hazard, Myron Scholes, Nash equilibrium, Norman Macrae, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, Post-Keynesian economics, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, spectrum auction, statistical model, stocks for the long run, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Bayes, trade route, transaction costs, tulip mania, Vanguard fund, zero-sum game

Jacob was an exceptionally dour Bernoulli, especially toward the end of his life, though he lived during the bawdy and jolly age that followed the restoration of Charles II in 1660.* One of Jacob's more distinguished contemporaries, for example, was John Arbuthnot, Queen Anne's doctor, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and an amateur mathematician with an interest in probability that he pepped up with a generous supply of off-color examples to illustrate his points. In one of Arbuthnot's papers, he considered the odds on whether "a woman of twenty has her maidenhead" or whether "a town-spark of that age `has not been clap'd."'2 Jacob Bernoulli had first put the question of how to develop probabilities from sample data in 1703.

One of the most effective treatments of such questions was proposed by a minister named Thomas Bayes, who was born in 1701 and lived in Kent." Bayes was a Nonconformist; he rejected most of the ceremonial rituals that the Church of England had retained from the Catholic Church after their separation in the time of Henry VIII. Not much is known about Bayes, even though he was a Fellow of the Royal Society. One otherwise dry and impersonal textbook in statistics went so far as to characterize him as "enigmatic."16 He published nothing in mathematics while he was alive and left only two works that were published after his death but received little attention when they appeared. Yet one of those papers, Essay Towards Solving A Problem In The Doctrine Of Chances, was a strikingly original piece of work that immortalized Bayes among statisticians, economists, and other social scientists.

After his return to England, he idled away four years and then made a second trip to Africa. He wrote a book about Africa in 1853 that gained him membership in the Royal Geographic Society, which awarded him a gold medal, and won him acceptance by the scientific community. In 1856, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society. His second trip to Africa when he was 27 left Galton "rather used up in health," the result of a combination of physical exhaustion and bouts of depression that were to recur often though briefly throughout his life. He referred to himself on those occasions as someone with a "sprained brain."9 Galton was an amateur scientist with a keen interest in heredity but with no interest in business or economics.


pages: 314 words: 77,409

The Serengeti Rules: The Quest to Discover How Life Works and Why It Matters by Sean B. Carroll

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, clean water, discovery of penicillin, Fellow of the Royal Society, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Skype, Thomas Malthus

Ecology 86: 391–403. Bianconi, E., A. Piovesan, F. Facchin, A. Beraudi, et al. (2013) “An Estimation of the Number of Cells in the Human Body.” Annals of Human Biology Early Online 40: 1–11. Biggs, P. M. (2010) “Walter Plowright. 20 July 1923–20 February 2010.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 56: 341–358. Bilheimer, D. W., S. M. Grundy, M. S. Brown, and J. L. Goldstein. (1983) “Mevinolin and Colestipol Stimulate Receptor-Mediated Clearance of Low Density Lipoprotein from Plasma in Familial Hypercholesterolemia Heterozygotes.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 80(13): 4124–4128.

Sogawa, K. (2015) “Planthopper Outbreaks in Different Paddy Ecosystems in Asia: Man-Made Hopper Plagues that Threatened the Green Revolution in Rice.” In K. L. Heong, J. Cheng, and M. M. Escalada (eds.), Rice Planthoppers: Ecology, Management, Socio Economics and Policy. Dordrecht: Springer: 33–63. Southwood, R., and J. R. Clarke (1999) “Charles Sutherland Elton, 29 March 1900–1 May 1991.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 45: 130–146. Spector, D. H., H. E. Varmus, and J. M. Bishop (1978) “Nucleotide Sequences Related to the Transforming Gene of Avian Sarcoma Virus Are Present in DNA of Uninfected Vertebrates.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 75(9): 4102–4106. Spinage, C. A. (2003) Cattle Plague: A History.


pages: 478 words: 142,608

The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins

Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Ayatollah Khomeini, Brownian motion, cosmological principle, David Attenborough, Desert Island Discs, double helix, en.wikipedia.org, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, invisible hand, John von Neumann, luminiferous ether, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, Peter Singer: altruism, phenotype, placebo effect, planetary scale, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, unbiased observer

As this book goes to press, my colleagues R. Elisabeth Cornwell and Michael Stirrat are writing up their comparable, but more thorough, research on the religious opinions of the Fellows of the Royal Society (FRS). The authors’ conclusions will be published in full later, but they have kindly allowed me to quote preliminary results here. They used a standard technique for scaling opinion, the Likert-type seven-point scale. All 1,074 Fellows of the Royal Society who possess an email address (the great majority) were polled, and about 23 per cent responded (a good figure for this kind of study). They were offered various propositions, for example: ‘I believe in a personal God, that is one who takes an interest in individuals, hears and answers prayers, is concerned with sin and transgressions, and passes judgement.’

A more systematic study by Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi ‘found that among Nobel Prize laureates in the sciences, as well as those in literature, there was a remarkable degree of irreligiosity, as compared to the populations they came from’.52 A study in the leading journal Nature by Larson and Witham in 1998 showed that of those American scientists considered eminent enough by their peers to have been elected to the National Academy of Sciences (equivalent to being a Fellow of the Royal Society in Britain) only about 7 per cent believe in a personal God.53 This overwhelming preponderance of atheists is almost the exact opposite of the profile of the American population at large, of whom more than 90 per cent are believers in some sort of supernatural being. The figure for less eminent scientists, not elected to the National Academy, is intermediate.


pages: 289 words: 85,315

Fermat’s Last Theorem by Simon Singh

Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Arthur Eddington, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John Conway, John von Neumann, kremlinology, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, RAND corporation, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Wolfskehl Prize

Hardy in his book A Mathematician’s Apology. ‘No mathematician should ever forget that mathematics, more than any other art or science, is a young man’s game. To take a simple illustration, the average age of election to the Royal Society is lowest in mathematics.’ His own most brilliant student Srinivasa Ramanujan was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society at the age of just thirty-one, having made a series of outstanding breakthroughs during his youth. Despite having received very little formal education in his home village of Kumbakonam in South India, Ramanujan was able to create theorems and solutions which had evaded mathematicians in the West.

A popular and detailed overview of modern mathematics, including a discussion on the axioms of mathematics. The Concepts of Modem Mathematics, by Ian Stewart, 1995, Penguin. Principia Mathematica, by Betrand Russell and Alfred North Whitehead, 3 vols, 1910, 1912, 1913, Cambridge University Press. Kurt Gödel, by G. Kreisel, Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society, 1980. A Mathematician’s Apology, by G.H. Hardy, 1940, Cambridge University Press. One of the great figures of twentieth-century mathematics gives a personal account of what motivates him and other mathematicians. Alan Turing: The Enigma of Intelligence, by Andrew Hodges, 1983, Unwin Paperbacks.


The Gene Machine by Venki Ramakrishnan

double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, ghettoisation, Mark Zuckerberg, Richard Feynman, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method

The latter contained several hundred atoms, and the determination of its structure was considered a tour de force. At one point, Bernal told her she would win a Nobel Prize. She asked whether she might one day be elected a fellow of the Royal Society, and he is reported to have said, ‘That would be much more difficult!’ For men, it would have been the other way around, but at the time, the Royal Society had not elected any women in its nearly three hundred years of existence. But Hodgkin’s work was simply far too important to ignore. She was made a fellow of the Royal Society in 1947, just two years after the Society welcomed its first female fellows, the crystallographer Kathleen Lonsdale and the biochemist Marjorie Stephenson.


Racing With Death by Beau Riffenburgh

British Empire, David Attenborough, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society

He also studied Precambrian glaciation, algal remains in Precambrian rocks, and the geochemistry of igneous and metamorphic rocks. He was appointed an executive member of the Australian National Research Council, was a key figure in the Australasian Association for the Advancement of Science, and, in 1923, received one of the highest honours possible for a scientist by being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. None of this seemed to help, however, in his efforts to succeed Professor David as the chair of the Geology Department at the University of Sydney – the most prestigious geological position in Australia. The most surprising aspect of the complex and devious behind-the-scenes struggle surrounding the appointment to the post was that the man giving the strongest support for Mawson’s main opponent was Professor David!

The Home of the Blizzard. 2 vols. London: William Heinemann: vol. 2, 195–236 Ainsworth, George. 1915. Through Another Year. In: Mawson, Douglas. The Home of the Blizzard. 2 vols. London: William Heinemann: vol. 2, 237–54 Alderman, A.R., and C.E. Tilley. 1960. Douglas Mawson 1882–1958. Biographical memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 5 Carrington-Smith, Denise. 2005. Mawson and Mertz: a re-evaluation of their ill-fated mapping journey during the 1911–14 Australasian Antarctic Expedition. The Medical Journal of Australia 183 (11–12): 638–41 Cleland, Sir John, and R.V. Southcott. 1969. Hypervitaminosis A in the Antarctic in the Australasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911–1914: a Possible Explanation of the Illnesses of Mertz and Mawson.


pages: 349 words: 27,507

E=mc2: A Biography of the World's Most Famous Equation by David Bodanis

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, Berlin Wall, British Empire, dark matter, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Mercator projection, Nelson Mandela, pre–internet, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stephen Hawking, Thorstein Veblen

If he were right, then a loosely dangling wire could be tugged along, caught in those mystical circles like a small boat getting caught up in a whirlpool. He connected the battery. 15 a n c e s t o r s o f e = m c2 And immediately he had the discovery of the century. Later, the apocryphal story goes—after all the announcements, after Faraday was made a Fellow of the Royal Society—the prime minister of the day asked what good this invention could be, and Faraday answered: “Why, Prime Minister, someday you can tax it.” What Faraday had invented, in his basement laboratory, was the basis of the electric engine. A single dangled wire, whirling around and around, doesn’t seem like much.

The test was over twenty years later, probably around 1660, by the Accademia del Cimento in Florence. Their results are on page 158 of a book with the sort of vivid identifying location publishers no longer have: Essayes of Natural Experiments, made in the Academie del Cimento; Englished by Richard Waller, Fellow of the Royal Society, London. Printed for Benjamin Alsop at the Angel and Bible in the Poultrey, over-against the Church, 1634. 5. c Is for celeritas 40 The effort might be exhausting . . . embarrassing public exposure: Clearly I’m being slightly tongue in cheek about Cassini. From the available evidence, he might have been an insecure man, but as a newcomer to France he had a great deal to be insecure about: At first his appointment was only temporary, and he’d been warned not to try speaking French, but then he’d been told he had to learn French, for the Academy of Sciences couldn’t be sullied by being exposed to Latin, let alone his native Italian.


pages: 357 words: 98,854

Epigenetics Revolution: How Modern Biology Is Rewriting Our Understanding of Genetics, Disease and Inheritance by Nessa Carey

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Build a better mousetrap, conceptual framework, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, life extension, mouse model, phenotype, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), stem cell, stochastic process, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, twin studies

However, it wasn’t clear how significant this was for the genes normally found in the nuclei of cells, rather than ones that were injected into cells. The key work in establishing the importance of methylation in mammalian cells came out of the laboratory of Adrian Bird, who has spent most of his scientific career in Edinburgh, Conrad Waddington’s old stomping ground. Professor Bird is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a former Governor of the Wellcome Trust, the enormously influential independent funding agency in UK science. He is one of those traditional British scientific types – understated, soft-spoken, non-flashy and drily funny. His lack of self-promotion is in contrast to his stellar international reputation, where he is widely acknowledged as the godfather of DNA methylation and its role in controlling gene expression.

The major force in this field is Professor Azim Surani, from Cambridge University, who started his scientific career by obtaining his PhD under the supervision of Robert Edwards. Since Professor Edwards received his early research training in Conrad Waddington’s lab, we can think of Azim Surani as Conrad Waddington’s intellectual grandson. Azim Surani is another of those UK academics who carries his prestige very lightly, despite his status. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and a Commander of the British Empire, and has been awarded the prestigious Gabor Medal and Royal Society Royal Medal. Like John Gurdon and Adrian Bird, he continues to break new ground in a research area that he pioneered over a quarter of a century ago. Starting in the mid 1980s, Azim Surani carried out a programme of experiments which showed unequivocally that mammalian reproduction is much more than a matter of a delivery system.


pages: 337 words: 103,522

The Creativity Code: How AI Is Learning to Write, Paint and Think by Marcus Du Sautoy

3D printing, Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, Alvin Roth, Andrew Wiles, Automated Insights, Benoit Mandelbrot, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, data is the new oil, Donald Trump, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Jacquard loom, John Conway, Kickstarter, Loebner Prize, mandelbrot fractal, Minecraft, music of the spheres, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, PageRank, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Peter Thiel, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Rubik’s Cube, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, speech recognition, Turing test, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

It was Hassabis’s algorithm AlphaGo that had started my whole existential crisis about whether the job of being a mathematician would continue to be a human one. Hassabis and I had both recently been made Fellows of the Royal Society, one of the highest accolades for a scientist. So if Hassabis could get an algorithm to 9 dan status in Go, could he get an algorithm to prove a mathematical theorem that might lead to it being elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society? But when I turned to Hassabis and threw down the gauntlet, I got something of a surprise. ‘We’re already on the case,’ he whispered to me. It seems as if nothing has escaped their radar.


pages: 414 words: 101,285

The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It by Ian Goldin, Mike Mariathasan

"Robert Solow", air freight, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, butterfly effect, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, connected car, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, John Snow's cholera map, Kenneth Rogoff, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, moral hazard, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open economy, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reshoring, risk free rate, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, tail risk, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, trade liberalization, Tragedy of the Commons, transaction costs, uranium enrichment

Lorenz, 1963, “Deterministic Nonperiodic Flow,” Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences 20 (2): 130–141. The original metaphor referred to the flapping of a seagull’s wings. The term “butterfly effect” was coined later by a colleague, Phil Merilees, as the title for one of Lorenz’s talks. See Tim Palmer, 2009, “Edward Norton Lorenz, 23 May 1916–16 April 2008,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 55: 139–155, esp. 145 ff. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS 1. Ian Goldin and Tiffany Vogel, 2010, “Global Governance and Systemic Risk in the 21st Century: Lessons from the Financial Crisis,” Global Policy 1 (1): 4–15. INTRODUCTION 1. We are most grateful to an anonymous referee for suggesting this introduction for the book. 2.

Accessed 24 August. http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/246964.php. Paillard, Christophe-Alexandre. 2010. “Russia and Europe’s Mutual Energy Dependence.” Journal of International Affairs 63 (2): 65–84. Palmer, Tim. 2009. “Edward Norton Lorenz, 23 May 1916–16 April 2008.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 55: 139–155. ———. 2011. “A CERN for Climate Change.” Physics World, March, 14–15. Accessed 24 July 2013. http://www.oxfordmartin.ox.ac.uk/downloads/press/climate-Palmer.pdf. Pappaioanou, Marguerite. 2009. “Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus: Cause of the Next Pandemic?” Comparative Immunology, Microbiology, and Infectious Diseases 32 (4): 287–300.


pages: 162 words: 34,454

Mad Mobs and Englishmen? Myths and Realities of the 2011 Riots by Steve Reicher, Cliff Stott

Brixton riot, Deng Xiaoping, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), New Urbanism

222 Biographies Stephen Reicher is the world’s leading expert on crowd psychology, having studied the area for over thirty years and advised the Government, the Police and the Fire Service on how people behave in crowds. He is currently Professor of Psychology at the University of St Andrews and is an Academician of the Social Sciences, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Past Editor of the British Journal of Social Psychology and a Scientific Consultant to Scientific American Mind. His work on other group phenomena includes mass social influence and political rhetoric, nationalism, delinquency, leadership and tyranny, and his work on tyranny was featured in four one-hour documentaries on BBC2 (www.bbcprisonstudy.org).


pages: 403 words: 106,707

Endure: Mind, Body, and the Curiously Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson

airport security, animal electricity, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frederick Winslow Taylor, glass ceiling, Iridium satellite, medical residency, meta-analysis, placebo effect, randomized controlled trial, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Stanford marshmallow experiment, technoutopianism, Walter Mischel

Hugh Long, a coauthor and experimental subject in Hill’s Manchester studies, recalls “running up and down stairs, or round the professor’s garden while at intervals healthy samples of blood were withdrawn from my arms”; quoted in “Archibald Vivian Hill. 26 September 1886–3 June 1977,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 24 (1978): 71–149. 20. “reaches a maximum beyond which no effort can drive it”: Hill, Muscular Activity, p. 98. 21. an analysis of world records: A. V. Hill, “The Physiological Basis of Athletic Records,” Nature, October 10, 1925. For Hill’s ideas on muscle viscosity, see Muscular Movement in Man (New York: McGraw-Hill, 1927).

Merton, “Voluntary Strength and Fatigue,” Journal of Physiology 123, no. 3 (1954); Alan J. McComas, “The Neuromuscular System,” in Exercise Physiology: People and Ideas, ed. Charles Tipton (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2003); John Rothwell and Ian Glynn, “Patrick Anthony Merton. 8 October 1920–13 June 2: Elected FRS 1979,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 52 (2006): 189–201. 12. By the time Stéphane Couleaud: Couleaud’s misadventures at the Tor des Géants are recounted on his blog, stephanecouleaud.blogspot.com: “Tor de Geants 2001–Edizione 2–11/14 sept,” October 4, 2011. Some of Couleaud’s data is presented in Guillaume Millet’s presentation, “Fatigue and Ultra-Endurance Performance,” at the Endurance Research Conference at the University of Kent in September 2015, along with Millet’s own Tor des Géants experience.


pages: 667 words: 186,968

The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History by John M. Barry

Albert Einstein, Brownian motion, centralized clearinghouse, conceptual framework, coronavirus, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, index card, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, Mason jar, means of production, statistical model, the medium is the message, the scientific method, traveling salesman, women in the workforce

“To bleed at the very onset”: 00. “Pneumonia is a self-limited disease”: Ibid. “true inwardness of research”: Quoted in McLeod, “Oswald Theodore Avery, 1877–1955,” Journal of General Microbiology (1957), 540. “An acute need for privacy”: René Dubos, “Oswald Theodore Avery, 1877–1955,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 35. “as if a mask dropped”: Ibid. “a natural born comedian”: Donald Van Slyke, oral history, NLM. about Landsteiner’s personal life: René Dubos, The Professor, the Institute, and DNA (1976), 47. notified he’d won the Nobel: Saul Benison, Tom Rivers: Reflections on Life in Medicine and Science, an Oral History Memoir (1967), 91–93.

“the best claim to serious consideration”: Thomson and Thomson, Influenza, v. 9, 512. “scientific problems were almost forced on him”: René Dubos, The Professor, the Institute and DNA (1976), 174. “not as broad”: Ibid., 74. “narrow range of techniques”: Dubos, “Oswald Theodore Avery, 1877–1955,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (1956), 40. “‘the whole secret…in this little vial’”: Michael Heidelberger, oral history, 70, NLM. “extreme precision and elegance”: Dubos, Professor, Institute and DNA, 173. “never published a joint paper”: Ibid., 82. “digging a deep hole”: Ibid., 175. “fundamental to biology”: Heidelberger, oral history, 129.

“Swine Influenza Virus Infections in Humans.” Journal of Infectious Disease 136, supp. S (Dec. 1977): 386–89. Draggoti, G. “Nervous Manifestations of Influenza.” Policlinico 26, no. 6 (Feb. 8, 1919) 161, quoted in JAMA 72, no. 15 (April 12, 1919): 1105. Dubos, René. “Oswald Theodore Avery, 1877–1955.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 2 (1956): 35–48. Durand, M. L. et al. “Acute Bacterial Meningitis in Adults: A Review of 493 Episodes.” New England Journal of Medicine 328, no. 1 (Jan. 1993) 21–28. Eaton, Ernest. “A Tribute to Royal Copeland.” Journal of the Institute of Homeopathy 31, no. 9: 555–58. Ebert, R. G. “Comments on the Army Venereal Problem.”


pages: 1,020 words: 339,564

The confusion by Neal Stephenson

correlation does not imply causation, dark matter, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, out of africa, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, spice trade, urban planning, web of trust

What our countries cannot pay for with bullion, they will have to get in trade.” “C’est juste, monsieur, but do not forget that there is trade not only in tangible stuff like Monsieur Wachsmann’s wax, but also in money itself: the stock in trade of Lothar von Hacklheber. Which is a murky and abstruse business, and a fit topic of study for Fellows of the Royal Society.” “I thought they only studied butterflies.” “Some of them, monsieur, study banks and money as well; and I fear they have got a head start on our French lepidopterists.” Cap Gris-Nez, France 15 DECEMBER 1689 A DUTCHMAN PAINTING THIS SCAPE would have had little recourse to pigments; a spate of gull-shit on a bench could have served as his palette.

The sorts of men who, having no other outlet for their ideas, would have devoted their lives to it, had they come of age when I did, may now make careers in the City, the Colonies, or in foreign adventures. We of the Royal Society are generally identified as Whigs. Our President is the Marquis of Ravenscar, a very powerful Whig, and he has been assiduous in finding ways to harness the ingenuity of the Fellows of the Royal Society for practical ends. Some of these, I gad, have to do with money, revenue, banks, stocks, and other subjects that fascinate you. But I must confess I have fallen quite out of touch with such matters. Isaac Newton was elected to Parliament a year ago, in the wake of our Revolution. He had made a name for himself in Cambridge opposing the former King’s efforts to salt the University with Jesuits.

Daniel was staring fixedly into Roger’s eyes, but in the background he could see the Tory turning away. The Tory planted himself with his back toward Roger, set his coffee-cup down on a sideboard, rested a hand idly on the hilt of his small-sword, and seemed to survey the crowd of merry Whigs filling the house. “It follows that any Fellow of the Royal Society would be excellent—but merely excellent is not quite good enough, Daniel. Normally it takes me hours to explain why this is true. You, thank God, have perceived it instantly. The fate of Britain and of Christendom hinge upon the power of the new good Pound Sterling to drive out the bad—to sweep all opposition from the field and bring gold and silver to our shores from every corner of the earth.


pages: 128 words: 38,963

Longitude by Dava Sobel

Albert Einstein, British Empire, clockwork universe, Copley Medal, Dava Sobel, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, lone genius

As Harrison described their first meeting in his inimitable prose, “Mr Graham began as I thought very roughly with me, and the which had like to have occasioned me to become rough too; but however we got the ice broke . . . and indeed he became as at last vastly surprised at the thoughts or methods I had taken.” Harrison went to see Graham at ten o’clock in the morning, and by eight that evening they were still talking shop. Graham, the premier scientific instrument maker and a Fellow of the Royal Society, invited Harrison, the village carpenter, to stay to dinner. When Graham finally said good night, he waved Harrison back to Barrow with every encouragement, including a generous loan, to be repaid with no great haste and at no interest. Harrison spent the next five years piecing together the first sea clock, which has come to be called Harrison’s No. 1, for it marked the first in a series of attempts—H-1 for short.


pages: 422 words: 119,123

To the Edges of the Earth: 1909, the Race for the Three Poles, and the Climax of the Age of Exploration by Edward J. Larson

back-to-the-land, British Empire, Charles Lindbergh, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, Livingstone, I presume, Scientific racism, the scientific method, trade route, yellow journalism

Such was the allure of polar exploration that nearly five hundred persons had applied to go, despite the prospect of small wages, a hazardous journey, bitter cold, and long months of complete darkness.12 In picking the fifty-year-old David, Shackleton noted, “I understand he is a man well capable of ‘roughing it.’”13 In recommending the twenty-five-year-old Mawson, David described him as “a most indefatigable person.”14 Drawn to adventure, both David and Mawson had joined multiple trips to the Australian bush and one expedition each to the South Pacific. And each jumped at Shackleton’s offer, which David, an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of London and holder of many other honors, called “one of the greatest compliments” of his life.15 For his part, while in Australia, Shackleton gave as his own motive, “The fact of having been in the Antarctic Circle once always makes one want to go again.”16 Australians should appreciate this attitude, he noted.

Even though it was dark outside for twenty-four hours each day, the party followed the clock in keeping a set pattern of sleeping from around midnight to about 8:30 A.M. Everyone took turns both as “messman,” cleaning up after meals, and in standing the night watch. This included the fifty-year-old David—a Fellow of the Royal Society, or F.R.S.—who never sought or received special treatment. “It was a sight for the gods,” Priestley noted, “to see a well-known F.R.S., drying a wet plate with a wetter cloth, and looking ruefully at the islands of grease remaining, after he has spent five minutes hard at work on it.”48 By his willing attitude, David set an example for others.


City Parks by Catie Marron

Berlin Wall, crony capitalism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, Frank Gehry, Golden Gate Park, the High Line, urban sprawl

She has frequented Trieste since the end of the Second World War and is the author of Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere. ZADIE SMITH is the author of the novels White Teeth, The Autograph Man, On Beauty, and NW, and the essay collection Changing My Mind. She is a professor of creative writing at New York University and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. AHDAF SOUEIF’S The Map of Love was short-listed for the Booker Prize and translated into thirty languages. Her most recent books are her memoir Cairo: My City, Our Revolution and, as editor, Reflections on Islamic Art. She is founder and chair of the Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest).


pages: 427 words: 124,692

Empire: What Ruling the World Did to the British by Jeremy Paxman

British Empire, call centre, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, conceptual framework, Etonian, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, imperial preference, joint-stock company, Khartoum Gordon, Kibera, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, mass immigration, offshore financial centre, polynesian navigation, Scramble for Africa, transatlantic slave trade

By eighteen he was working on a North Sea coal-ship, and on joining the Royal Navy his exceptional navigation and charting skills earned him rapid promotion to the rank of master. The voyages of exploration carried out under James Cook’s command expressed the combination of motives which drove the new expansion of empire. Inevitably, competition with the historical enemy was part of it. When, in the 1760s, the Fellows of the Royal Society heard that Paris was planning to dispatch expeditions to watch the transit of Venus across the sun (a predictable astronomical event vital for calculating the distance between the earth and the sun), they were troubled, demanding that Britain should do the same. The vessel which would carry British ambition was a one-time coal-ship, renamed the Endeavour.

(As it turned out, it was not true – he was nowhere near the source of the White Nile, and the place he was celebrating – which was not even the place where the Blue Nile began – had anyway been ‘discovered’ by a Portuguese priest many years previously.) Bruce was fêted in London and elected a fellow of the Royal Society, even though the Society’s president considered him a ‘brute’. But not everyone quite believed him. Dr Johnson, who had appointed himself an expert on Abyssinia, thought Bruce ‘not a distinct relater’ and soon came to doubt whether he had been to that country at all. Many of the public agreed.


Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds & Shape Our Futures by Merlin Sheldrake

biofilm, buy low sell high, carbon footprint, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, discovery of penicillin, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, late capitalism, low earth orbit, Mason jar, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, NP-complete, phenotype, randomized controlled trial, Ronald Reagan, the built environment, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, two and twenty

Monotropa uniflora One of the next people to pick up the Monotropa question and run with it was the English researcher David Read, who is among the most distinguished researchers in the history of mycorrhizal biology and a co-author of the definitive textbook on the subject. For his work on mycorrhizal associations he received a knighthood and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. Known by his colleagues in the United States as “Sir Dude,” Read is well-known for his charm and fierce wit, and is most often described by fellow researchers as a “character.” In 1984, Read and his colleagues were the first to show conclusively that carbon could pass between normal green plants through fungal connections.

Out of this ambiguity grew actual trees, with actual apples, that fell to the ground and rotted into a pungent alcoholic mess. The story of Newton’s apple is apocryphal because Newton himself left no written account of it. However, there are several versions of the story recorded by Newton’s contemporaries. The most detailed account was written by William Stukeley, a young fellow of the Royal Society and antiquarian best-known today for his works on Britain’s stone circles. In 1726, Stukeley recalled, he and Newton ate together in London: After dinner, the weather being warm, we went into the garden & drank thea under the shade of some apple tree; only he & myself…Amid other discourse, he told me, he was just in the same situation, as when formerly the notion of gravitation came into his mind.


St Pancras Station by Simon Bradley

Corn Laws, Fellow of the Royal Society, food miles, Frank Gehry, means of production, railway mania

Indeed, Barlow’s curriculum vitae is one of achievement, prosperity and acclaim throughout. In his early twenties he oversaw the modernisation of the ordnance and lighthouses at Constantinople, for which the Sultan appointed him to the Nichan Iftikhar, or Order of Glory; in his thirty-eighth year he became an exceptionally youthful Fellow of the Royal Society; and so on. But in human terms Barlow now seems remote: he left no memoir and has found no biographer, and even the date of his marriage has not been discovered. Can his inner life have been as troubled and self-reproachful as Scott’s? We are unlikely ever to know. The French and American locations mentioned are reminders that late nineteenth-century Britain was industrial top dog no longer.


pages: 190 words: 56,531

Where We Are: The State of Britain Now by Roger Scruton

bitcoin, blockchain, business cycle, Corn Laws, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Fellow of the Royal Society, fixed income, garden city movement, George Akerlof, housing crisis, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Khartoum Gordon, mass immigration, Naomi Klein, New Journalism, old-boy network, open borders, payday loans, Peace of Westphalia, sceptred isle, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, Tragedy of the Commons, web of trust

He is the author of 50 books, including works of philosophy, history, fiction and criticism. Bloomsbury publishes his classic England: An Elegy, the more recent Fools, Frauds and Firebrands and How to be a Conservative, as well as the The Disappeared, a chilling tale of kidnap, rape and trafficking. Sir Roger is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, a Fellow of the British Academy and an Honorary Bencher of the Inner Temple. He currently teaches an MA course in philosophy for the University of Buckingham. Also by Roger Scruton and available from Bloomsbury: England: An Elegy Fools, Frauds and Firebrands How to be a Conservative A Political Philosophy News from Somewhere Conversations with Roger Scruton (with Mark Dooley) The West and the Rest The Face of God I Drink Therefore I Am Gentle Regrets Animal Rights and Wrongs Sexual Desire Understanding Music Bloomsbury Continuum An imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc 50 Bedford Square 1385 Broadway London New York WC1B 3DP NY 10018 UK USA www.bloomsbury.com BLOOMSBURY, CONTINUUM and the Diana logo are trademarks of Bloomsbury Publishing Plc First published 2017 © Roger Scruton, 2017 Roger Scruton has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act, 1988, to be identified as Author of this work.


pages: 185 words: 55,639

The Search for Superstrings, Symmetry, and the Theory of Everything by John Gribbin

Albert Einstein, Arthur Eddington, complexity theory, dark matter, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking

Faraday spent the rest of his career at the Royal Institution, becoming Director of the Laboratory in 1825 and Professor of Chemistry there in 1833. He was a great experimenter and explainer rather than a mathematician, and was a very successful and genuinely popular lecturer, who founded the Royal Institution Christmas lectures for children, which continue to this day. By the time he died, in 1867, he had become a Fellow of the Royal Society and was widely recognized as one of the scientific giants of his day. But he was also modest, and along the way turned down the offer of a knighthood and twice refused the offer of the Presidency of the Royal Society. And, in his attempts to find a way to describe what happened when electric and magnetic forces act upon one another, he came up with the idea—what we would now call a model—of a ‘line of force’, which Maxwell then elaborated into the first field theory.


pages: 653 words: 155,847

Energy: A Human History by Richard Rhodes

Albert Einstein, animal electricity, California gold rush, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Copley Medal, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, demographic transition, Dmitri Mendeleev, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, energy transition, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, flex fuel, Garrett Hardin, Ida Tarbell, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, nuclear winter, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Ralph Nader, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, selection bias, Simon Kuznets, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tragedy of the Commons, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Vanguard fund, working poor, young professional

“Arie Jan Haagen-Smit, 1900–1977.” Journal of the Air Pollution Control Association 28, no. 5 (1978): 516–17. Podobnik, Bruce. Global Energy Shifts: Fostering Sustainability in a Turbulent Age. Philadelphia: Temple University Press, 2006. Pontecorvo, Guido. “Hermann Joseph Muller, 1890–1967.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 14 (November 1968): 348–89. Poore, Ben Perley. “Biographical Notice of John S. Skinner.” The Plough, the Loom, and the Anvil 7, no. 1 (1854): 1–20. Prentiss, Mara. Energy Revolution: The Physics and the Promise of Efficient Technology. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2015. Priestley, Joseph.

Sturtevant, “Social Implications of the Genetics of Man,” Science 120, no. 3115 (September 10, 1954): 407. 32. Muller in Spanish Civil War: Elof Axel Carlson, Genes, Radiation, and Society: The Life and Work of H. J. Muller. (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1981), 237–40. 33. Quoted in Guido Pontecorvo, “Hermann Joseph Muller, 1890–1967,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 14 (November 1968): 356. 34. Quoted in Carlson, Genes, Radiation, and Society, 399. 35. Hermann J. Muller, “The Production of Mutations,” Nobel Lecture (1946). Nobelprize.org online. 36. Ibid. 37. Ernest Caspari and Curt Stern, “The Influence of Chronic Irradiation with Gamma-Rays at Low Dosages on the Mutation Rate in Drosophila Melanogaster,” Genetics 33, no. 1 (1948): 81. 38.


Lifespan: Why We Age—and Why We Don't Have To by David A. Sinclair, Matthew D. Laplante

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anti-communist, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Atul Gawande, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, biofilm, Biosphere 2, blockchain, British Empire, caloric restriction, caloric restriction, carbon footprint, Claude Shannon: information theory, clean water, creative destruction, dark matter, dematerialisation, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Grace Hopper, helicopter parent, income inequality, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Khan Academy, labor-force participation, life extension, Louis Pasteur, McMansion, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, microbiome, mouse model, mutually assured destruction, Paul Samuelson, personalized medicine, phenotype, placebo effect, Plutocrats, plutocrats, randomized controlled trial, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, Skype, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, Tim Cook: Apple, Tragedy of the Commons, union organizing, universal basic income, WeWork, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Meanwhile, Gordon Brown announced that he would be stepping down as prime minister in response to a disastrous parliamentary result for his Labour Party, which had lost more than ninety seats in the previous week’s general election. With the eyes of the English sports world on one part of London and the attention of the British political universe on another, the goings-on at Carlton House Terrace were missed by all but the most attentive observers of the president, council, and fellows of the Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. More simply known as the Royal Society, the world’s oldest national scientific organization was established in 1660 to promote and disseminate “new science” by big thinkers of the day such as Sir Francis Bacon, the Enlightenment’s promulgator of “the prolongation of life.”1 Befitting its rich scientific history, the society has held annual scientific events ever since.

RAFAEL DE CABO (January 20, 1968–): Spanish-born scientist at the National Institutes of Health, an expert in the study of the effects of diet on health and lifespan in rodents and primates. BENJAMIN GOMPERTZ (March 5, 1779–July 14, 1865): British self-educated mathematician who is best known for the Gompertz-Makeham Law of Human Mortality, a demographic model (1825). He became a Fellow of the Royal Society and then an actuary at Alliance Assurance company, founded by his brother-in-law Sir Moses Montefiore with his relative Nathan Mayer Rothschild. LEONARD P. GUARENTE (June 6, 1952–): American molecular biologist and professor at MIT, best known for codiscovering the role of the sirtuins in aging and the necessity of NAD+ for sirtuin activity, linking energy metabolism to longevity.


pages: 226 words: 59,080

Economics Rules: The Rights and Wrongs of the Dismal Science by Dani Rodrik

airline deregulation, Albert Einstein, bank run, barriers to entry, Bretton Woods, business cycle, butterfly effect, capital controls, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, collective bargaining, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, distributed generation, Donald Davies, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Everything should be made as simple as possible, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, floating exchange rates, fudge factor, full employment, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, Growth in a Time of Debt, income inequality, inflation targeting, informal economy, information asymmetry, invisible hand, Jean Tirole, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, liquidity trap, loss aversion, low skilled workers, market design, market fundamentalism, minimum wage unemployment, oil shock, open economy, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, price stability, prisoner's dilemma, profit maximization, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, school vouchers, South Sea Bubble, spectrum auction, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, unorthodox policies, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, white flight

Thomas Herndon, Michael Ash, and Robert Pollin, “Does High Public Debt Consistently Stifle Economic Growth? A Critique of Reinhart and Rogoff” (Amherst: University of Massachusetts at Amherst, Political Economy Research Institute, April 15, 2013). 20. R. E. Peierls, “Wolfgang Ernst Pauli, 1900–1958,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 5 (February 1960): 186. 21. Albert Einstein, “Physics and Reality,” in Ideas and Opinions of Albert Einstein, trans. Sonja Bargmann (New York: Crown, 1954), 290, cited in Susan Haack, “Science, Economics, ‘Vision,’ ” Social Research 71, no. 2 (Summer 2004): 225. CHAPTER 3: Navigating among Models 1.


pages: 198 words: 57,703

The World According to Physics by Jim Al-Khalili

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Albert Einstein, butterfly effect, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, gravity well, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Murray Gell-Mann, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Stephen Hawking, supercomputer in your pocket, the scientific method

He is one of Britain’s best-known science communicators and has written numerous books, including Quantum: A Guide for the Perplexed; The House of Wisdom: How Arabic Science Saved Ancient Knowledge and Gave Us the Renaissance; and Life on the Edge: The Coming of Age of Quantum Biology. He is a fellow of the Royal Society and lives in Southsea, England. TWITTER | @jimalkhalili


The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, carbon footprint, Donald Trump, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning

In 1830, master builder Naurojee Jamsetjee Wadia launched a steamer, the Hugh Lindsay, that was fitted with two engines sent out from England. But he was outdone by his relative, the engineer Ardeseer Cursetjee Wadia, who entered into apprenticeship in the Bombay Dockyard in 1822 at the age of fourteen and was eventually elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. Ardeseer wrote in his memoirs: ‘My enthusiastic love of science now led me to construct, unassisted, a small steam engine of about 1 HP. I likewise endeavored to explain to my countrymen the nature and properties of steam; and to effect this point I had constructed at a great expense in England, a marine steam-engine, which, being sent out to Bombay, I succeeded with the assistance of a native blacksmith in fixing in a boat of my own building.’


pages: 1,773 words: 486,685

Global Crisis: War, Climate Change and Catastrophe in the Seventeenth Century by Geoffrey Parker

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, creative destruction, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Defenestration of Prague, Edmond Halley, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, friendly fire, Google Earth, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, Joseph Schumpeter, Khyber Pass, mass immigration, Mercator projection, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Peace of Westphalia, Peter Thiel, Republic of Letters, sexual politics, South China Sea, the market place, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

In 1648 the peace of Westphalia forbade ‘any person to impugn in any place, in publick or in private, by preaching, teaching, disputing, writing or consulting, the Transaction of Passau [of 1552], the Peace of Religion [of 1555], and, above all, the present declaration or transaction; or to render them doubtful’. Already in London, the group of scholars who would later become the first Fellows of the Royal Society had resolved upon a similar accommodation: from its ‘first ground and foundation’ in 1645, at their weekly meetings, members ‘barred all discourses of divinity, state-affairs, and of news … confining ourselves to philosophical inquiries’.63 Fifteen years later, on his return to England, Charles II followed their wise example and signed legislation that forbade the law courts to hear any suit arising from things ‘counselled, commanded, acted or done’ during ‘the late distractions’.

In a provocative article on the spread of ‘political arithmetic’ in seventeenth-century Europe, Jacob Soll has observed that ‘European states shared not only complex economic, military, political, social and spiritual crises but also comparable responses to them’ – and examples are not hard to find, from the ‘Cameralism’ of many German states, to later Stuart England, where Sir John Plumb underlined the envy of many of Charles II's ministers for what they perceived as the ‘systematic efficiency’ of their French counterparts. Many royal officials became Fellows of the Royal Society, because they ‘believed that the practical problems of life were best approached through knowledge’; and although their tunnel-vision often led them (like Vauban) ‘into absurdities’, by 1700 ‘Britain probably enjoyed the most efficient government machine in Europe’. There was more to political arithmetic in the seventeenth century than counting the reproductive potential of hogs.46 The Containment of Disease James Scott drew attention to another consequence of ‘seeing like a state’.

Everyone, they found, was ‘well acquainted with writings of all the learned and ingenious men’ of Europe, whether dead (such as Bacon, Harvey, Galileo and Descartes) or alive (they named Robert Boyle, Thomas Hobbes and Robert Hooke).61 The ‘Republic of Letters’ also included practitioners who lived east of the Elbe and south of the Pyrenees. The Danzig brewer and astronomer Johannes Hevelius, who in 1647 published the lavishly illustrated Selenographia, the first lunar atlas (see Plate 1), had studied at Leiden and met scholars in England and France; became a Fellow of the Royal Society; and welcomed Edmond Halley and other prominent scientists to his impressive observatory in Danzig. In Spain, Miguel Marcelino Boix y Moliner asserted in a book entitled Hippocrates illuminated (1716) that ‘the foreign doctors and philosophers of the last century’ had only managed to ‘make great advances’ thanks to plagiarizing their Spanish precursors.


The Phantom Atlas: The Greatest Myths, Lies and Blunders on Maps by Edward Brooke-Hitching

digital map, Edmond Halley, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, John Harrison: Longitude, Livingstone, I presume, Thales of Miletus, trade route, UNCLOS

Had they travelled further, though, they would have encountered Mount Paektu, Korea’s highest peak and the source of both rivers, and in the shadow of this giant mountain range the mistake would no doubt have been hastily rubbed out. LOST CONTINENTS OF LEMURIA AND MU Philip Sclater, secretary of the Zoological Society of London for forty-two years, was a foremost expert in the field of ornithology in the nineteenth century. Oxford-educated and a fellow of the Royal Society, he wrote more than one thousand papers, books and articles. In his 1858 paper published by the Proceedings of the Linnean Society Sclater divided the world into six zoological regions, which remain in use today: Aethiopian, Australasian, Indian, Nearctic, Neotropical and Palaearctic. Seven animals have been named in his honour, including the Mexican chickadee (Poecile sclateri), the erect-crested penguin (Eudyptes sclateri) and Madagascar’s blue-eyed black lemur (Eulemur flavifrons), which is known as Sclater’s lemur.


pages: 855 words: 178,507

The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood by James Gleick

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, bank run, bioinformatics, Brownian motion, butterfly effect, citation needed, Claude Shannon: information theory, clockwork universe, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, death of newspapers, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Henri Poincaré, Honoré de Balzac, index card, informal economy, information retrieval, invention of the printing press, invention of writing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jaron Lanier, jimmy wales, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, lifelogging, Louis Daguerre, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, microbiome, Milgram experiment, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, PageRank, pattern recognition, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pre–internet, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RAND corporation, reversible computing, Richard Feynman, Rubik’s Cube, Simon Singh, Socratic dialogue, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, stochastic process, talking drums, the High Line, The Wisdom of Crowds, transcontinental railway, Turing machine, Turing test, women in the workforce

He briefly became an actuary for a new Protector Life Assurance Company and computed statistical tables rationalizing life expectancies. He tried to get a university professorship, so far unsuccessfully, but he had an increasingly lively social life, and in scholarly circles people were beginning to know his name. With Herschel’s help he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. Even his misfires kindled his reputation. On behalf of The Edinburgh Journal of Science Sir David Brewster sent him a classic in the annals of rejection letters: “It is with no inconsiderable degree of reluctance that I decline the offer of any Paper from you. I think, however, you will upon reconsideration of the subject be of opinion that I have no other alternative.

Who Wrote the Book of Life: A History of the Genetic Code. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 2000. Kelly, Kevin. Out of Control: The Rise of Neo-Biological Civilization. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley, 1994. Kendall, David G. “Andrei Nikolaevich Kolmogorov. 25 April 1903–20 October 1987.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 37 (1991): 301–19. Keynes, John Maynard. A Treatise on Probability. London: Macmillan, 1921. Kneale, William. “Boole and the Revival of Logic.” Mind 57, no. 226 (1948): 149–75. Knuth, Donald E. “Ancient Babylonian Algorithms.” Communications of the Association for Computing Machinery 15, no. 7 (1972): 671–77.


Turing's Cathedral by George Dyson

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Benoit Mandelbrot, British Empire, Brownian motion, cellular automata, cloud computing, computer age, Danny Hillis, dark matter, double helix, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, housing crisis, IFF: identification friend or foe, indoor plumbing, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, John von Neumann, mandelbrot fractal, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, packet switching, pattern recognition, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, phenotype, planetary scale, RAND corporation, random walk, Richard Feynman, SETI@home, social graph, speech recognition, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture

Philip Duncan Thompson, “A History of Numerical Weather Prediction in the United States,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 64, no. 7 (July 1983): 757. 3. Philip Duncan Thompson, in John. M. Lewis, “Philip Thompson: Pages from a Scientist’s Life,” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 77, no. 1 (January 1966): 107–8. 4. Lewis Richardson, as quoted by Ernest Gold, “Lewis Fry Richardson, 1881–1953,” Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 9 (November 1954): 230. 5. Ibid., p. 222. 6. Meaburn Tatham and James E. Miles, eds., The Friends’ Ambulance Unit 1914–1919: A Record (London: Swarthmore Press, 1920), p. 212. 7. Olaf Stapledon to Agnes Miller, December 8, 1916, in Robert Crossley, ed., Talking Across the World: The Love Letters of Olaf Stapledon and Agnes Miller, 1913–1919 (Hanover and London: University Press of New England, 1987), pp. 192–93. 8.

Kurt Gödel, “Remarks Before the Princeton Bicentennial Conference on Problems in Mathematics,” December 17–19, 1946, in Solomon Feferman, ed., Collected Works, vol. 2 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1986), p. 150. 20. M. H. A. Newman, “Alan Mathison Turing, 1912–1954,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, vol. 1 (1955), p. 256; M. H. A. Newman, “Dr. A. M. Turing,” London Times, June 16, 1954, p. 10. 21. Herman Goldstine, interview with Nancy Stern; Julian Bigelow, interview with Nancy Stern. 22. Julian Bigelow, interview with Nancy Stern. 23. Malcolm MacPhail to Andrew Hodges, December 17, 1977, in Hodges, Alan Turing, p. 138. 24.


pages: 604 words: 165,488

Mr Five Per Cent: The Many Lives of Calouste Gulbenkian, the World's Richest Man by Jonathan Conlin

accounting loophole / creative accounting, anti-communist, banking crisis, British Empire, carried interest, Ernest Rutherford, estate planning, Fellow of the Royal Society, light touch regulation, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Network effects, Pierre-Simon Laplace, rent-seeking, stakhanovite, Yom Kippur War

Ralph Hewins, Mr Five Per Cent: The Biography of Calouste Gulbenkian (London: Hutchinson, 1957), p. 14. As Ekserdjian noted, ‘He is proud – and rightly – of having studied under Kelvin and Rutherford and having been made an AKC of King’s, London “with distinction”.’ ED, 10 June 1950. 26. ‘John Millar Thomson’, Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1:2 (1933), 91–4. 27. ‘Herbert Tomlinson’, Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society, 1:2 (1933), 89. 28. Herbert Tomlinson, ‘The Scientific Papers of Herbert Tomlinson’, KCL Archives, C/PP4. 29. The claim that Gulbenkian made the journey in 1889 is incorrect, as he describes himself rushing to Tbilisi in order to be there for the visit of Tsar Alexander III, who arrived on 29 September 1888, and did not return in 1889 or 1890. 30.


pages: 665 words: 159,350

Shape: The Hidden Geometry of Information, Biology, Strategy, Democracy, and Everything Else by Jordan Ellenberg

"side hustle", Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, autonomous vehicles, British Empire, Brownian motion, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, Donald Knuth, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, East Village, Edmond Halley, Elliott wave, Erdős number, facts on the ground, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, greed is good, Henri Poincaré, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Bachelier, Mercator projection, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Milgram experiment, Nate Silver, Paul Erdős, pets.com, pez dispenser, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, Ralph Nelson Elliott, random walk, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, Snapchat, social graph, transcontinental railway, urban renewal

Why the Country’s Coronavirus Death Rate Is Low,” New York Times, Apr. 5, 2020. a state lab: Ellenberg, “Five People. One Test. This Is How You Get There.” Wuhan, the city: BBC repor-t, June 8, 2000, at www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-52651651. “he also had the habit”: James Norman Davidson, “William Ogilvy Kermack, 1898–1970,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 17 (1971), 413–14. the SIR model did: M. Takayasu et al., “Rumor Diffusion and Convergence During the 3.11 Earthquake: A Twitter Case Study,” PLoS ONE 10, no. 4 (2015): 1–18. M. Cinelli et al., in a 2020 preprint, “The COVID-19 Social Media Infodemic,” argue that the spread of information around the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic should be analyzed similarly, and that rumors on Instagram have a measurably higher R0 than those on Twitter.

Also present at the dinner: Poincaré’s remarks at the November 30, 1901, dinner of the Royal Society, and Ross’s presence there, are from The Times, Dec. 2, 1901, p. 13, a reference I obtained from G. Cantor, “Creating the Royal Society’s Sylvester Medal,” British Journal for the History of Science 37, no. 1 (Mar. 2004): 75–92. The Times refers only to “Major Ross” as being present, but Ronald Ross had been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society that year, would later be its vice president, and is referred to as “Major Ross” in other contemporary documents, so I’m pretty confident it’s our mosquito man. He got so good: All biographical info on Jordan and the mind-reading trick is from Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham, Magical Mathematics (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2015), 190–91.


pages: 735 words: 165,375

The Survival of the City: Human Flourishing in an Age of Isolation by Edward Glaeser, David Cutler

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Andrei Shleifer, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, buttonwood tree, call centre, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, collective bargaining, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, crack epidemic, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, discovery of penicillin, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, global village, hiring and firing, Home mortgage interest deduction, Honoré de Balzac, income inequality, industrial cluster, James Hargreaves, Jane Jacobs, job automation, jobless men, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Snow's cholera map, knowledge worker, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mass incarceration, Maui Hawaii, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, out of africa, place-making, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, remote working, Richard Florida, Saturday Night Live, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Socratic dialogue, spinning jenny, superstar cities, Tax Reform Act of 1986, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, union organizing, universal basic income, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, working poor, Works Progress Administration, zero-sum game

The petitioners then turned: Our understanding of these events is due entirely to a remarkably fine unpublished PhD dissertation by Carla Sue Patterson on the path to better health in British factories. “wide river of medical learning”: Guthrie, “The Influence of the Leyden School upon Scottish Medicine.” Percival followed that flood: Waterston, Shearer, and Royal Society of Edinburgh, Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783–2002, 728. friends with Benjamin Franklin: “Benjamin Franklin and the Manchester Lit & Phil,” Manchester Literary and Philosophical Society. coined the term: Waddington, “The Development of Medical Ethics—a Sociological Analysis,” 36. He wrote scientific papers: Waddington, 39.

Pandora’s Lunchbox: How Processed Food Took Over the American Meal. New York: Scribner, 2014. “Washington ‘Three Strikes,’ Initiative 593 (1993).” Ballotpedia. Accessed January 7, 2021. https://ballotpedia.org/Washington_%22Three_Strikes%22,_Initiative_593_(1993). Waterston, C. D., A. Macmillan Shearer, and Royal Society of Edinburgh. Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, 1783–2002: Biographical Index. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh, 2006. Wayman, Erin. “Chile’s Quake Larger but Less Destructive than Haiti’s.” Earth, March 1, 2010. www.earthmagazine.org/article/chiles-quake-larger-less-destructive-haitis. “Ways and Means Committee Releases Report on International Drug Pricing.”


AC/DC: The Savage Tale of the First Standards War by Tom McNichol

computer age, experimental subject, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Menlo Park, popular electronics, Thales of Miletus

He was in the process of selling his printing shop in Philadelphia and retiring from business in order to devote his time to what Franklin called “philosophical studies and amusements.” After seeing Spencer’s show, Franklin went out and purchased all the electrical equipment he could find, including a Leyden jar. Franklin also obtained a long glass tube for generating static charges, a gift from Peter Collinson, a botanist and fellow of the Royal Society of London. Collinson would quickly become Franklin’s most trusted correspondent in matters relating to electricity, a sounding board for emerging theories. The two men exchanged dozens of letters, and Franklin’s folksy, clear-headed descriptions of his experiments, which were later published, would demystify electricity for thousands.


pages: 208 words: 67,288

The Magic of Reality: How We Know What's Really True by Richard Dawkins

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, false memory syndrome, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, phenotype, Richard Feynman, the scientific method

., 87 time: beginning of, 164–5; measuring, 44–6, 100 time machine, 14, 46–9, 256 Tiv tribe, 124 Tlaloc, 125 tossing a coin, 222, 224–6 tradition, 241 tsunami, 200–1, 223 universe: alien life forms, 180–1; big bang, 164–5, 177; distances, 166–7; expanding, 177; laws of, 252–3; observable, 164–5; origin myths, 162–4 uranium, 92, 134 uranium-238, 44–5, 46 Utnapashtim, 146–8 vaccination, 232 Venus, 116, 132 Vesuvius, eruption, 214 viruses, 227, 230, 234 Vishnu, 163 vision, 194–7 volcanoes, 43, 67, 69–70, 212, 214 watches, 243–4 water on other planets, 190–2 water wheels, 141–2, 143 Watson, James, 17–18 Wegener, Alfred, 208–9, 210 weightlessness, 111–12 West African legends, 124, 149, 204–5, 217 whales, 18, 58, 72, 157, 197 white dwarf, 133 Wilde, Oscar, 216 Wilkins, Maurice, 18 wind, 90, 173, 213, 229 winter, 100, 102–3, 107–9, 118–21 Wittgenstein, Ludwig, 105 Wright, Elsie, 245–6 X-rays, 18, 157, 158, 167, 196–7 Zulu creation myth, 163 About the Author and Illustrator Richard Dawkins was first catapulted to fame with his iconic book The Selfish Gene, which he followed with a string of bestselling books, including the phenomenal The God Delusion. The Magic of Reality is his first book written for a younger, more general readership and it also became an immediate bestseller in its original, colour illustrated hardback edition. Dawkins is a fellow of the Royal Society and the Royal Society of Literature, and has won numerous awards. He was a professor at Oxford University until 2008 and he remains a fellow of New College. He has also written and presented several television documentaries, including The Genius of Charles Darwin in 2008 and Faith School Menace in 2010.


pages: 229 words: 71,872

Fred Dibnah's Age of Steam by David Hall, Fred Dibnah

cable laying ship, clean water, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, North Sea oil, railway mania

As for electricity, as early as 1840 he had learned about an engineer who received an electrical discharge from an emission of high-pressure steam and it was from this that the principle of hydroelectric energy was derived. He wrote papers and gave lectures on the subject and then, while he was still practising as a solicitor, he was made a fellow of the Royal Society. Armstrong was perhaps the greatest innovator of the Victorian age and nothing he attempted was a failure. But he didn’t seem to have quite the same bravado as Brunel. That was to be found in a man who served his engineering apprenticeship with Armstrong. Charles Parsons was one of the greatest engineers that this country has produced.


pages: 687 words: 189,243

A Culture of Growth: The Origins of the Modern Economy by Joel Mokyr

"Robert Solow", Andrei Shleifer, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, business cycle, clockwork universe, cognitive dissonance, Copley Medal, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, delayed gratification, deliberate practice, Deng Xiaoping, Edmond Halley, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, framing effect, germ theory of disease, Haber-Bosch Process, Herbert Marcuse, hindsight bias, income inequality, information asymmetry, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Johannes Kepler, John Harrison: Longitude, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, land tenure, law of one price, Menlo Park, moveable type in China, new economy, phenotype, price stability, principal–agent problem, rent-seeking, Republic of Letters, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, statistical model, survivorship bias, the market place, the strength of weak ties, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, transaction costs, ultimatum game, World Values Survey, Wunderkammern

“The business and design of the Royal Society is to improve the knowledge of naturall things, and all useful Arts, Manufactures, Mechanick practises, Engines, and Inventions by Experiments” (Lyons, 1944, p. 41).34 Robert Hooke added in his preface to the second edition of his Micrographia that the Fellows of the Royal Society “have one advantage peculiar to themselves, that very many of their number are men of converse and traffick, which is a good omen that their attempts will bring philosophy from words to action, seeing men of business have had so great a share in their first foundation” (Hooke, 1667, unpaginated preface).

By 1700 there were already 2,000 coffeehouses in London, many of which were sites of literary activity, discussions about natural philosophy, and political debates (Cowan, 2005). Coffeehouses remained important centers for the dissemination of knowledge and beliefs throughout the eighteenth century. Perhaps the most famous of these coffeehouse societies was the London Chapter Coffee House, the favorite of the fellows of the Royal Society, whose membership resembled (and overlapped with) the Birmingham Lunar Society.55 Masonic lodges, too, proved a locus for the exchange of scientific and technological information, even if that was not their primary mission.56 Public lectures on scientific and engineering subjects attracted a surprising number of attendants.


pages: 586 words: 186,548

Architects of Intelligence by Martin Ford

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, AI winter, algorithmic bias, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, backpropagation, barriers to entry, basic income, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, Bayesian statistics, bitcoin, business intelligence, business process, call centre, cloud computing, cognitive bias, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, correlation does not imply causation, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flash crash, future of work, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, Gödel, Escher, Bach, Hans Rosling, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, information retrieval, job automation, John von Neumann, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, Loebner Prize, Mark Zuckerberg, Mars Rover, means of production, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, new economy, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, phenotype, Productivity paradox, Ray Kurzweil, recommendation engine, Robert Gordon, Rodney Brooks, Sam Altman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sentiment analysis, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social intelligence, speech recognition, statistical model, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, strong AI, superintelligent machines, Ted Kaczynski, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Travis Kalanick, Turing test, universal basic income, Wall-E, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game, Zipcar

His research into the neural mechanisms underlying imagination and planning was listed in the top ten scientific breakthroughs of 2007 by the journal Science. Demis is a five-time World Games Champion, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and the Royal Academy of Engineering, winning the Academy’s Silver Medal. In 2017 he was named in the Time 100 list of the world’s most influential people, and in 2018 was awarded a CBE for services to science and technology. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society, has been a recipient of the Society’s Mullard Award, and was also awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Imperial College London. Demis co-founded DeepMind along with Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman in 2010.


pages: 961 words: 302,613

The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin by H. W. Brands

always be closing, British Empire, business intelligence, colonial rule, complexity theory, Copley Medal, disinformation, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, music of the spheres, Republic of Letters, scientific mainstream, South Sea Bubble, Thomas Malthus, trade route

But plenty of history’s commonplace ideas—from the flatness of the earth to the faster falling of heavy objects—had proven, on closer examination, to be wrong; what remained in the puzzle of the lightning was for the electrical conjecture to be tested. This was precisely what Franklin proposed to do. In April 1749 Franklin wrote a long letter to John Mitchell, a colleague of Peter Collinson and likewise a fellow of the Royal Society. In this letter he put forward a complex theory of lightning with a fairly simple essence: that particles of water in thunderclouds became electrically charged by their wind-borne jostling, and that lightning was nothing more than the discharge of the pent-up electrical force. This theory supported certain recommendations, which in turn comported with observation.

One hot summer day in 1750, when the thermometer in the shade stood at 100 (of the degrees devised earlier in Franklin’s life by the German instrument-maker Fahrenheit), he had observed how as long as he wore a shirt wetted with his sweat, and sat in the breeze of an open window, he remained relatively cool; but when he changed his wet shirt for a dry one, he grew noticeably warmer. In the spring of 1758 he traveled from London to Cambridge, where he collaborated with another physician-scientist and fellow of the Royal Society, John Hadley. Franklin and Hadley took turns wetting the ball of a thermometer with ether, which they then evaporated off the ball by means of a bellows. With each round of wetting and evaporating, the mercury dropped. Though the air in the room remained at 65 degrees, the thermometer fell below the freezing point.

At the time of Franklin’s arrival in London, a transplanted Irishman named Pockrich gave concerts playing glasses tuned to different notes by the different amounts of water in them. But his career was cut short by a fire in his room, which killed him and destroyed his apparatus. A friend of Franklin’s and a fellow of the Royal Society, Edward Delaval, extended the experiments of Pockrich, contriving a set of glasses better tuned and easier to play. “Being charmed with the sweetness of its tones, and the music he produced from it,” Franklin explained, “I wished only to see the glasses disposed in a more convenient form.”


pages: 278 words: 70,416

Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success by Shane Snow

3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, attribution theory, augmented reality, barriers to entry, conceptual framework, correlation does not imply causation, David Heinemeier Hansson, deliberate practice, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filter Bubble, Google X / Alphabet X, hive mind, index card, index fund, Isaac Newton, job satisfaction, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, lateral thinking, Law of Accelerating Returns, Lean Startup, Mahatma Gandhi, meta-analysis, pattern recognition, Peter Thiel, popular electronics, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Ruby on Rails, Saturday Night Live, self-driving car, side project, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, superconnector

In 2010 he cofounded Contently Inc., with the mission of building a better media world. He writes about technology for Wired magazine and Fast Company, and is known nationwide for speaking about the future of media. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, the Washington Post, and Time. A fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts, Snow has been named one of Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30 Media Innovators,” Details magazine’s “Digital Mavericks,” and Inc. magazine’s “Coolest Entrepreneurs.” Smartcuts is his first book. Visit www.AuthorTracker.com for exclusive information on your favorite HarperCollins authors.


pages: 253 words: 80,074

The Man Who Invented the Computer by Jane Smiley

1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, British Empire, c2.com, computer age, Fellow of the Royal Society, Henri Poincaré, IBM and the Holocaust, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, Pierre-Simon Laplace, RAND corporation, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture

(Iowa State University Library/Special Collections Department) One of the ABC’s two electrostatic memory drums, the only surviving part of the original machine. (Courtesy of U.S. Department of Energy’s Ames Laboratory) Konrad Zuse’s Z1 computer, built in his parents’ Berlin apartment c. 1936. (Courtesy of Horst Zuse) Konrad Zuse, 1910–1995. (Courtesy of Horst Zuse) Alan Turing, 1912–1954, upon his election as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1951. (© National Portrait Gallery, London) Bletchley Park staff at work on deciphering codes, Hut 6. (Bletchley Park Trust Archive) A Lorenz SZ42 Schlüsselzusatz cipher machine on display at Bletchley Park. (Bletchley Park Trust Archive) Thomas Flowers, 1905–1998. (Bletchley Park Trust Archive) Colossus at work in 1943; note paper tape.


pages: 255 words: 79,514

How Many Friends Does One Person Need? Dunbar’s Number and Other Evolutionary Quirks by Robin Dunbar, Robin Ian MacDonald Dunbar

agricultural Revolution, Albert Michelson, Donner party, Fellow of the Royal Society, glass ceiling, Isaac Newton, mass immigration, Nash equilibrium, nuclear winter, out of africa, pattern recognition, Richard Feynman, social intelligence, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile

The twenty thousand or so fine hairs that attach it to the fluid-filled compartment of the cochlea register the sound waves transmitted from the ear and turn them into nerve signals to the hearing centres in the brain. We’ve even had the same kind of disputes in mathematics. In 1764, the Reverend Thomas Bayes, an English Presbyterian minister and Fellow of the Royal Society, published a posthumous paper in which he sketched out a theory of probability based on confidence. It was an elegantly simple theory based on a single mathematical theorem that could be applied under any circumstances. But later mathematicians baulked at his ideas, preferring something that was more firmly rooted in observable facts: they argued that probability is better defined as something about the frequencies with which events (such as tosses of a coin) happen.


The Pattern Seekers: How Autism Drives Human Invention by Simon Baron-Cohen

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, airport security, Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, assortative mating, bioinformatics, coronavirus, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, David Attenborough, discovery of penicillin, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, lateral thinking, longitudinal study, Menlo Park, meta-analysis, neurotypical, out of africa, pattern recognition, phenotype, Rubik’s Cube, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, Steven Levy, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, twin studies, zero-sum game

,” Public Skateboard Development Guide, publicskateparkguide.org/vision/who-are-skateboarders/. 42. Fleming quoted in K. Haven (1994), Marvels of science: 50 fascinating 5-minute reads (Littleton, CO: Libraries Unlimited); see also L. Colebrook (1956), “Alexander Fleming 1881–1955,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 2, 117–126; and R. Cruickshank (1955), “Sir Alexander Fleming, FRS,” Nature 175(4459), 663. 43. On the intraparietal sulcus, see G. A. Orban et al. (2006), “Mapping the parietal cortex of human and non-human primates,” Neuropsychologia 44(13), 2647–2667; D. Stout and T. Chaminade (2007), “The evolutionary neuroscience of tool making,” Neuropsychologia 45(5), 1091–1100; D.


pages: 636 words: 202,284

Piracy : The Intellectual Property Wars from Gutenberg to Gates by Adrian Johns

active measures, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, business intelligence, commoditize, Corn Laws, demand response, distributed generation, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Marshall McLuhan, Mont Pelerin Society, new economy, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, pirate software, Republic of Letters, Richard Stallman, road to serfdom, Ronald Coase, software patent, South Sea Bubble, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the scientific method, traveling salesman, Whole Earth Catalog

Grew too was affirming an ideal of custodianship, deploying silence to mark the bounds. As with print, so with medicines: London did not lack for apothecaries prepared to issue their own proclaimed versions of a successful product. Two brothers named Francis and George Moult came forward to compete with Grew. They were by no means unknowns. George Moult was a fellow of the Royal Society, having first been proposed as its operator back in 1685. And in the background to their venture lay a tangled story of ambition and rivalry. At first, apparently, George had agreed to buy Grew’s salt legitimately. But Francis had sought to steal a march on George by securing a cheaper price for himself.

Such a court too was not in fact instituted, but the idea that it could be returned time and time again. But any such plan immediately posed the problem of who should sit on such a body. Judges and advisors would need to be at once impartial, objective, technically expert, and practical. Watt suggested a panel of three Fellows of the Royal Society and two artisans. Others advanced different combinations, and the question recurred incessantly. It gave rise to a sustained and very widely publicized set of exchanges on the qualifications, social role, and credibility required of anyone who could authoritatively decide such matters.


pages: 307 words: 82,680

A Pelican Introduction: Basic Income by Guy Standing

bank run, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Black Swan, Boris Johnson, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, cryptocurrency, David Graeber, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, full employment, future of work, gig economy, Gunnar Myrdal, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, independent contractor, intangible asset, job automation, job satisfaction, Joi Ito, labour market flexibility, land value tax, libertarian paternalism, low skilled workers, lump of labour, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, mass incarceration, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, open economy, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, quantitative easing, randomized controlled trial, rent control, rent-seeking, Sam Altman, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, Stephen Hawking, The Future of Employment, universal basic income, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working poor, Y Combinator, Zipcar

Hugh Kennedy is Professor of Arabic in the Faculty of Languages and Cultures at School of Oriental and African Studies, London. He studied Arabic at the Middle East Centre for Arabic Studies before reading Arabic, Persian and History at Cambridge. He was formerly a professor of history at University of St. Andrews, a position he had held since 1972. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000. ISLAM Tariq Ramadan What is Islam? What are its principles, rituals, history, evolution and challenges? What do words such as Allah, Sharia, Jihad and Infidel really mean? Tariq Ramadan is Professor of Contemporary Islamic Studies at St Antony’s College and at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oxford.


pages: 280 words: 85,091

The Wisdom of Psychopaths: What Saints, Spies, and Serial Killers Can Teach Us About Success by Kevin Dutton

Asperger Syndrome, Bernie Madoff, business climate, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, delayed gratification, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, G4S, impulse control, iterative process, John Nash: game theory, meta-analysis, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, place-making, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, theory of mind, ultimatum game

Special thanks also go to my editors at William Heinemann, Tom Avery and Jason Arthur, and to the equally fastidious Amanda Moon and Karen Maine at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR Dr. Kevin Dutton is a research psychologist at the Calleva Research Centre for Evolution and Human Science, Magdalen College, University of Oxford. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Society for the Scientific Study of Psychopathy. Dutton is the author of Split-Second Persuasion. His writing and research have been featured in Scientific American Mind, New Scientist, The Guardian, Psychology Today, and USA Today. He lives in Oxford, England.


pages: 292 words: 88,319

The Infinite Book: A Short Guide to the Boundless, Timeless and Endless by John D. Barrow

Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, cosmological principle, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, Isaac Newton, mutually assured destruction, Olbers’ paradox, prisoner's dilemma, Ray Kurzweil, scientific worldview, short selling, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine

Rights assigned to EMI U Catalog Inc. and Warner Bros. Publications U.S. Inc. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission of Warner Bros. Publications U.S. Inc., Miami, Florida 33014. John D. Barrow THE INFINITE BOOK John D. Barrow is professor of mathematical sciences at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He is also the author of The Book of Nothing, The Constants of Nature, Theories of Everything, and Impossibility. He lives in England. BY THE SAME AUTHOR Theories of Everything The Left Hand of Creation (with Joseph Silk) L’Homme et le Cosmos (with Frank J. Tipler) The Anthropic Cosmological Principle (with Frank J.


pages: 286 words: 87,168

Less Is More: How Degrowth Will Save the World by Jason Hickel

air freight, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, capital controls, cognitive dissonance, coronavirus, corporate governance, corporate personhood, COVID-19, David Graeber, decarbonisation, declining real wages, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, disinformation, Elon Musk, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, Fractional reserve banking, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, gender pay gap, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, land reform, liberal capitalism, longitudinal study, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, McMansion, means of production, meta-analysis, microbiome, Money creation, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Naomi Klein, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, passive income, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, Post-Keynesian economics, quantitative easing, rent control, rent-seeking, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, secular stagnation, shareholder value, sharing economy, Simon Kuznets, structural adjustment programs, the scientific method, The Spirit Level, transatlantic slave trade, trickle-down economics, universal basic income

Jason Hickel * * * LESS IS MORE How Degrowth Will Save the World Table of Contents PREFACEBy Kofi Mawuli Klu and Rupert Read of XR INTRODUCTIONWelcome to the Anthropocene Part OneMore is Less ONECapitalism – A Creation Story TWORise of the Juggernaut THREEWill Technology Save Us? Part TwoLess is More FOURSecrets of the Good Life FIVEPathways to a Post-Capitalist World SIXEverything is Connected Acknowledgements Endnotes About the Author Jason Hickel is an economic anthropologist, Fulbright Scholar and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He is originally from Eswatini (Swaziland) and spent a number of years with migrant workers in South Africa, writing about exploitation and political resistance in the wake of apartheid. He has authored three books, including most recently The Divide: A Brief Guide to Global Inequality and its Solutions.


pages: 346 words: 89,180

Capitalism Without Capital: The Rise of the Intangible Economy by Jonathan Haskel, Stian Westlake

"Robert Solow", 23andMe, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Andrei Shleifer, bank run, banking crisis, Bernie Sanders, business climate, business process, buy and hold, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, cloud computing, cognitive bias, computer age, corporate governance, corporate raider, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Diane Coyle, Donald Trump, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, endogenous growth, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, full employment, fundamental attribution error, future of work, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, hiring and firing, income inequality, index card, indoor plumbing, intangible asset, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, job automation, Kenneth Arrow, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, laissez-faire capitalism, liquidity trap, low skilled workers, Marc Andreessen, Mother of all demos, Network effects, new economy, open economy, patent troll, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, pets.com, place-making, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, quantitative hedge fund, rent-seeking, revision control, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, Ronald Coase, Sand Hill Road, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, software patent, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, Steve Jobs, sunk-cost fallacy, survivorship bias, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, total factor productivity, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, urban planning, Vanguard fund, walkable city, X Prize, zero-sum game

For the first time, it allowed doctors to make accurate, 3D representations of patients’ soft tissues. This was a real medical breakthrough, transforming everything from brain surgery to cancer treatment. Hounsfield was piled with honors: he received a Nobel prize and a knighthood and was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. But from a commercial point of view, it was something of a failure for EMI. EMI took out patents on the underlying technologies and invested to build the business, creating partnerships with hospitals to work out how CT could help doctors and building a sales force to sell the scanners to American hospitals.


pages: 322 words: 88,197

Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

Ada Lovelace, Alfred Russel Wallace, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Book of Ingenious Devices, Buckminster Fuller, Claude Shannon: information theory, Clayton Christensen, colonial exploitation, computer age, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Thorp, Fellow of the Royal Society, game design, global village, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, HyperCard, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telegraph, Islamic Golden Age, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, John von Neumann, joint-stock company, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, land value tax, Landlord’s Game, lone genius, mass immigration, megacity, Minecraft, moral panic, Murano, Venice glass, music of the spheres, Necker cube, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, pets.com, placebo effect, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, profit motive, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, spice trade, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, talking drums, the built environment, The Great Good Place, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, Turing machine, Turing test, Upton Sinclair, urban planning, Victor Gruen, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white flight, white picket fence, Whole Earth Catalog, working poor, Wunderkammern

Humans had navigated oceans, built canals, crossed deserts, but always because some reward (real or imagined) lay at the end of the journey. Climbing fifteen thousand feet of ice, snow, and rock with nothing to reward you but a sense of achievement made no sense—particularly when the mountains were rumored to be the habitat of monstrous creatures. As late as 1723 a Swiss fellow of the Royal Society published a detailed description of the dragons that lived in the Alps. De Saussure recognized that he didn’t have the skills and fortitude to discover a route to the top of Mont Blanc on his own, and so he offered a reward to the first climber to make the ascent. On August 8, 1786, the French climbers Jacques Balmat and Michel Paccard reached the summit for the first time, and claimed de Saussure’s reward shortly thereafter.


pages: 286 words: 90,530

Richard Dawkins: How a Scientist Changed the Way We Think by Alan Grafen; Mark Ridley

Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, bioinformatics, cognitive bias, computer age, conceptual framework, Dava Sobel, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, loose coupling, Murray Gell-Mann, Necker cube, phenotype, profit maximization, Ronald Reagan, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Edwards, ‘The fundamental theorem of natural selection’, Biological Reviews, 69 (1994): 443-474. 13 A. Grafen, ‘Fisher the evolutionary biologist’, Journal of the Royal Statistical Society: Series D (The Statistican), 52 (2003): 319-329. 14 Hamilton, ‘The genetical evolution of social behaviour’ (1964). 15 A. Grafen, ‘William Donald Hamilton’, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, 50 (2004): 109-132. 16 See Edwards, ‘The fundamental theorem of natural selection’ (1994) and Grafen, ‘Fisher the evolutionary biologist’ (2003). 17 A. Grafen, ‘The optimisation of inclusive fitness’, Journal of Theoretical Biology (2005). 18 R. L. Trivers and H. Hare, ‘Haplodiploidy and the evolution of the social insects’, Science, 191 (1976): 249-263. 19 R.


pages: 356 words: 95,647

Sun in a Bottle: The Strange History of Fusion and the Science of Wishful Thinking by Charles Seife

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Brownian motion, correlation does not imply causation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gary Taubes, Isaac Newton, John von Neumann, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norman Macrae, Project Plowshare, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, the scientific method, Yom Kippur War

He had unwittingly discovered an effect that would be called surface-enhanced Raman scattering, a phenomenon that is now used in a variety of sensitive chemical detectors. Conventional wisdom was wrong and Fleischmann was right. The scientific community soon rewarded Fleischmann for his discovery. In the mid-1980s, he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society, the highest honor that Britain bestows upon its scientists. By the late 1980s, his reputation made him welcome at scientific institutions around the world. He spent most of his time hopping between laboratories at his home university in Southampton, the Harwell laboratory (of ZETA fame), and a lab at the University of Utah.


pages: 312 words: 91,538

The Fear Index by Robert Harris

algorithmic trading, backtesting, banking crisis, dark matter, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, fixed income, Flash crash, God and Mammon, high net worth, implied volatility, mutually assured destruction, Neil Kinnock, Renaissance Technologies, speech recognition, two and twenty

For his collaboration with Roman Polanski on the film version of The Ghost, he won both the French César and the European Film Award for best adapted screenplay. A graduate of Cambridge University, where he studied English, he joined the BBC and later wrote for the Observer, the Sunday Times and the Daily Telegraph. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He is married to Gill Hornby. They have four children and live in a village near Hungerford in West Berkshire. Also by Robert Harris FICTION Fatherland Enigma Archangel Pompeii Imperium The Ghost Lustrum NON-FICTION A Higher Form of Killing (with Jeremy Paxman) Gotcha!


pages: 288 words: 89,781

The Classical School by Callum Williams

bank run, banking crisis, basic income, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, complexity theory, Corn Laws, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, double entry bookkeeping, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Gini coefficient, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, helicopter parent, income inequality, invisible hand, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, land reform, low skilled workers, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, means of production, minimum wage unemployment, Modern Monetary Theory, new economy, New Journalism, non-tariff barriers, Paul Samuelson, Post-Keynesian economics, purchasing power parity, Ronald Coase, secular stagnation, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, universal basic income

When Adam Smith (1723–90) visited France with his tutee, the Duke of Buccleuch, and the duke fell ill, Quesnay was sent for. He was one of four physicians to Louis XV (1710–74), as well as the doctor of Madame de Pompadour (1721–64), Louis’s official mistress (in the words of one biographer, he was “discreet” in his medical service). Despite living in France, Quesnay was a fellow of the Royal Society in London, and was responsible for some important medical advances. He wrote an important book on the subject of bloodletting, a common medical practice at the time. When the Académie royale de chirurgie was founded in 1731, Quesnay was selected as its secretary. The lay of the land In his sixties Quesnay turned his attention to economic problems.


pages: 293 words: 92,446

The Descent of Woman by Elaine Morgan

back-to-the-land, Carrington event, David Attenborough, Drosophila, Fellow of the Royal Society, Haight Ashbury, invention of writing, Norman Mailer, sexual politics, stakhanovite

Why should reputable scientists be resorting to such convoluted arguments and still refusing even to give serious consideration to the Hardy alternative? There is no mystery about that. Hardy himself first conceived the aquatic idea nearly sixty years ago. Like Darwin, he waited for decades before publishing anything. ‘I wanted,’ he says, ‘to get a good professorship. I wanted to become a Fellow of the Royal Society, and I couldn’t do that holding the aquatic theory. And so, quite candidly, I kept it smothered up.’ His friends entreated him: ‘Alister, Alister, think of your reputation I’ And when he finally spoke out he recalls thinking after the initial reception, ‘Lord, I daren’t go back to Oxford now.’


pages: 496 words: 174,084

Masterminds of Programming: Conversations With the Creators of Major Programming Languages by Federico Biancuzzi, Shane Warden

Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), business intelligence, business process, cellular automata, cloud computing, commoditize, complexity theory, conceptual framework, continuous integration, data acquisition, domain-specific language, Douglas Hofstadter, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, Firefox, follow your passion, Frank Gehry, functional programming, general-purpose programming language, Guido van Rossum, HyperCard, information retrieval, iterative process, John von Neumann, Larry Wall, linear programming, loose coupling, Mars Rover, millennium bug, NP-complete, Paul Graham, performance metric, Perl 6, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Renaissance Technologies, Ruby on Rails, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Silicon Valley, slashdot, software as a service, software patent, sorting algorithm, Steve Jobs, traveling salesman, Turing complete, type inference, Valgrind, Von Neumann architecture, web application

He is the recipient of the ACM Software System Award (2006) and the first Dahl-Nygaard prize for object technology (2005), a fellow of the ACM, and a member of the French Academy of Technologies. Robin Milner graduated from the University of Cambridge in 1958. After short posts, he joined the University of Edinburgh in 1973, where he cofounded the Laboratory for Foundation of Computer Science in 1986. He was elected Fellow of the Royal Society in 1988, and in 1991 won the ACM’s AM Turing Award. He rejoined Cambridge University in 1995, headed the Computer Laboratory there for four years, and retired in 2001. His research achievements (often joint) include: the system LCF, a model that underlies many later systems for interactive reasoning; Standard ML, an industry-scale but rigorously based programming language; the Calculus of Communicating Systems (CCS); and the pi calculus.

An example of practice into theory: Featherweight Java specifies the core of Java in less than one page of rules. He is a principal designer of the Haskell programming language, contributing to its two main innovations: type classes and monads. Wadler is professor of theoretical computer science at the University of Edinburgh. He holds a Royal Society-Wolfson Research Merit Fellowship, is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and is an ACM Fellow. Previously, he worked or studied at Avaya Labs, Bell Labs, Glasgow, Chalmers, Oxford, CMU, Xerox Parc, and Stanford, and lectured as a guest professor in Paris, Sydney, and Copenhagen. He appears at position 70 on Citeseers list of most-cited authors in computer science, is a winner of the POPL Most Influential Paper Award, served as editor-in-chief of the Journal of Functional Programming, and served on the Executive Committee of the ACM Special Interest Group on Programming Languages.


pages: 334 words: 98,950

Bad Samaritans: The Myth of Free Trade and the Secret History of Capitalism by Ha-Joon Chang

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, foreign exchange controls, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

The argument sounds reasonable enough, but it is only a half-truth. It is not as if we always have to ‘bribe’ clever people into inventing new things. Material incentives, while important, are not the only things that motivate people to invest in producing new ideas. At the height of the HIV/AIDS debate, 13 fellows of the Royal Society, the highest scientific society of the UK, put this point powerfully in an open letter to the Financial Times: ‘Patents are only one means for promoting discovery and invention. Scientific curiosity, coupled with the desire to benefit humanity, has been of far greater importance throughout history.’5 Countless researchers all over the world come up with new ideas all the time, even when they do not directly profit from them.


pages: 309 words: 101,190

Climbing Mount Improbable by Richard Dawkins, Lalla Ward

Buckminster Fuller, computer age, Drosophila, Fellow of the Royal Society, industrial robot, invention of radio, John von Neumann, Menlo Park, phenotype, Robert X Cringely, stem cell, trade route

We shall explore its meaning in this and the next chapters. The following is from a letter that The Times of London published a few years ago. The author, whose name I have withheld to spare embarrassment, is a physicist, regarded sufficiently highly by his peers to have been elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, Britain’s most distinguished learned institution. Sir, I am one of the physical scientists…who doubt Darwin’s theory of evolution. My doubts arise not from any religious motive or desire to add fuel to either side of any controversy but merely because I think that Darwinism is scientifically indefensible.


pages: 330 words: 102,178

Steampunk Prime: A Vintage Steampunk Reader by Mike Ashley, Paul Di Filippo

Fellow of the Royal Society, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, Plutocrats, plutocrats

There are plenty more, but perhaps the most original is the following, from The London Magazine for October 1904. — M.A. THE official Blue Books just published, as the result of the Royal Commission on the Plague of Lights, contain the evidence of some two hundred scientists, and an exhaustive report by the two peers, three M.P.’s, and four Fellows of the Royal Society, who formed the Commission, upon the terrible calamity that recently devastated the earth. It may seem presumptuous for me to add to the testimony of such authorities; but I notice that all the learned gentlemen who gave evidence either obtained their facts at second-hand (having themselves escaped the plague by flight or going into hiding), or confessed that during the actual attack their faculties were obscured.


pages: 324 words: 101,552

The Pineapple: King of Fruits by Francesca Beauman

British Empire, Columbian Exchange, Corn Laws, Fellow of the Royal Society, Honoré de Balzac, Isaac Newton, John Harrison: Longitude, language of flowers, Maui Hawaii, refrigerator car, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route

, was the act of only the most generous of hosts, whichever country in Europe you had chosen to put down roots.48 In 1721, Telende’s technique was described in print by the prolific and popular horticultural writer Richard Bradley. No stranger to pineapples, on a working holiday to the Netherlands Bradley had visited not only the Amsterdam Hortus but also the garden of Pieter de la Court. In 1720 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, then three years later became Professor of Botany at Cambridge University. It was not long, however, before it was discovered that he had secured the appointment on the basis of a fabricated recommendation. This, combined with the fact that he was – shockingly – utterly ignorant of a single phrase of Greek or Latin, caused quite a scandal.


pages: 347 words: 99,317

Bad Samaritans: The Guilty Secrets of Rich Nations and the Threat to Global Prosperity by Ha-Joon Chang

affirmative action, Albert Einstein, banking crisis, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, bilateral investment treaty, borderless world, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, business cycle, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, en.wikipedia.org, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, fixed income, foreign exchange controls, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, land reform, liberal world order, liberation theology, low skilled workers, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, mega-rich, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, offshore financial centre, oil shock, price stability, principal–agent problem, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, structural adjustment programs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, transfer pricing, urban sprawl, World Values Survey

The argument sounds reasonable enough, but it is only a half-truth. It is not as if we always have to ‘bribe’ clever people into inventing new things. Material incentives, while important, are not the only things that motivate people to invest in producing new ideas. At the height of the HIV/AIDS debate, 13 fellows of the Royal Society, the highest scientific society of the UK, put this point powerfully in an open letter to the Financial Times: ‘Patents are only one means for promoting discovery and invention. Scientific curiosity, coupled with the desire to benefit humanity, has been of far greater importance throughout history.’5 Countless researchers all over the world come up with new ideas all the time, even when they do not directly profit from them.


pages: 364 words: 101,286

The Misbehavior of Markets: A Fractal View of Financial Turbulence by Benoit Mandelbrot, Richard L. Hudson

Albert Einstein, asset allocation, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, Benoit Mandelbrot, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Black-Scholes formula, British Empire, Brownian motion, business cycle, buy and hold, buy low sell high, capital asset pricing model, carbon-based life, discounted cash flows, diversification, double helix, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Elliott wave, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, implied volatility, index fund, informal economy, invisible hand, John Meriwether, John von Neumann, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, market microstructure, Myron Scholes, new economy, paper trading, passive investing, Paul Lévy, Paul Samuelson, Plutocrats, plutocrats, price mechanism, quantitative trading / quantitative finance, Ralph Nelson Elliott, RAND corporation, random walk, risk free rate, risk tolerance, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, short selling, statistical arbitrage, statistical model, Steve Ballmer, stochastic volatility, transfer pricing, value at risk, Vilfredo Pareto, volatility smile

In effect, if the price of a security might increase after its purchase, a decrease is equally possible. 52 “In effect, prices follow…” An early reference to the random-walk concept appeared in 1905, in the letters pages of Nature, a British scientific journal. Under the headline, “The Problem of the Random Walk,” Karl Pearson, a professor and Fellow of the Royal Society, wrote to ask whether any readers could tell him “a solution of the following problem”:A man starts from a point O and walks l yards in a straight line; he then turns through any angle whatever and walks another l yards in a second straight line. He repeats this process n times. I require the probability that after n stretches he is at a distance between r and δr from his starting point, O.


pages: 400 words: 94,847

Reinventing Discovery: The New Era of Networked Science by Michael Nielsen

Albert Einstein, augmented reality, barriers to entry, bioinformatics, Cass Sunstein, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, conceptual framework, dark matter, discovery of DNA, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, Freestyle chess, Galaxy Zoo, Internet Archive, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Johannes Kepler, Kevin Kelly, Magellanic Cloud, means of production, medical residency, Nicholas Carr, P = NP, publish or perish, Richard Feynman, Richard Stallman, selection bias, semantic web, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Singh, Skype, slashdot, social intelligence, social web, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, The Wisdom of Crowds, University of East Anglia, Vannevar Bush, Vernor Vinge, Yochai Benkler

Here’s how the events were described in an article in The Lawyer written by Robert Dougans, a lawyer who acted for Singh in the case, and David Allen Green, a blogger who had been covering the case: In less than a day, the credibility of this evidence—and indeed that of the BCA for commending it—was destroyed. A dozen or so scientist-bloggers, including a Fellow of the Royal Society, were able to track down and assess each of the scientific papers cited by the BCA and were able to show beyond doubt that these papers did not support the BCA position at all. This was a stunning and devastating blogging exercise, and when it was formally repeated by the British Medical Journal a few weeks later it was almost an afterthought.


pages: 282 words: 89,436

Einstein's Dice and Schrödinger's Cat: How Two Great Minds Battled Quantum Randomness to Create a Unified Theory of Physics by Paul Halpern

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, Brownian motion, clockwork universe, cosmological constant, dark matter, double helix, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, lone genius, Murray Gell-Mann, New Journalism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Solar eclipse in 1919, The Present Situation in Quantum Mechanics

Erwin Schrödinger to Albert Einstein, February 3, 1947, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-138. 21. “Science: Einstein Stopped Here,” Time, February 10, 1947. 22. John L. Synge, “Letter to the Editor,” Time, March 3, 1947. 23. Petros S. Florides, “John Lighton Synge,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 54 (December 2008): 401. 24. Nichevo [R. M. Smyllie], “Higher Maths,” Irish Times, March 22, 1947, 7. 25. S. McC., “And Now Cosmic Physics,” Tuam Herald, April 12, 1947. 26. William L. Laurence to Albert Einstein, February 7, 1947, Albert Einstein Duplicate Archive, 22-141. 27. “Einstein Declines Comment,” New York Times, January 30, 1947. 28.


The Knowledge Machine: How Irrationality Created Modern Science by Michael Strevens

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Atul Gawande, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, Edmond Halley, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, germ theory of disease, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, Murray Gell-Mann, Peace of Westphalia, Richard Feynman, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Thales of Miletus, the scientific method, Thomas Bayes, William of Occam

Much of his life’s work was therefore given over to an investigation of the rational basis of science, presented to the world in his philosophical masterpiece The Logic of Scientific Discovery. The ideas in that book would change the way generations of physicists, biologists, economists, and philosophers would think about the scientific method. After Popper moved from New Zealand to take up an academic post in Britain in 1946, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, knighted by Queen Elizabeth II, and declared by the Nobel Prize–winning biologist Sir Peter Medawar to be “incomparably the greatest philosopher of science that has ever been.” Popper, born in 1902, turned 12 the day that Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia, precipitating the Great War.


pages: 336 words: 97,204

The Mystery of Charles Dickens by A. N. Wilson

British Empire, Columbine, Corn Laws, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, George Santayana, Honoré de Balzac, James Watt: steam engine, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Jarndyce and Jarndyce, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sexual politics, spinning jenny, Thomas Malthus

Maria Beadnell and, 107 Nelly Ternan and, 248 prison in, 84–5, 174–5, 180–81 sex in, 257 Shorne in, 292 siblings and, 79 Swinburne on, 195 three-gabled house in, 273 Grimaldi, Joseph, 29, 35, 239, 319 Hager, Kelly, 137 Hall, William, 116, 120 Hall’s bookshop, Strand, 116 Hamblin, 221 Hamlet (Shakespeare), 23, 36, 237 Hanley, Staffordshire, 209 Hard Times (Dickens), 39, 146, 162, 171–2, 173, 175, 200, 201, 312 Hardwick, Philip, 227 Hardy, Thomas, 137, 307 Harley Street, London, 313 Harness, William, 234 Harrow School, Middlesex, 234, 303 Harte, Bret, 220 Hartley, Jenny, 150–51, 155, 156–7 Haunted House, The (Dickens), 81 Hawksley, Lucinda, 159 Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 124 Hayter, Alethea, 244 Headland, Thomas, 212 Henry VIII, King of England and Ireland, 136 Henty, George Alfred, 302 Hereford Times, 159 Heroin, 246 Hesse, Hermann, 308 Higham, Kent, 13 Hitchcock, Alfred, 233 Hitler, Adolf, 238 Hobbes, Thomas, 49 Hogarth, Catherine, see Dickens, Catherine Hogarth, George, 114, 205 Hogarth, Georgina, 105, 114, 122, 125, 133–4, 310 Birmingham Christmas reading (1853), 205 death of Charles (1870), 11, 13–14, 15, 73, 99, 255, 296–7 household management, 11, 105, 125, 134 Naples trip (1845), 128 Nelly, relationship with, 21–2, 134, 315 public reading tours and, 213, 215 Violated Letter (1858), 132, 133–4 Will of Charles Dickens (1870), 134 Hogarth, Helen, 132, 133 Hogarth, Mary, 114, 121, 122 Hogarth, Robert, 114 Holly Lodge, Highgate, 147 Holmes, Oliver Wendell, 220 Homer, 72 homosexuality, 265 Horsemonger Lane Gaol, Southwark, 176 Hotel Meloni, Rome, 269–70 Houghton Place, Ampthill Square, 12, 21 House, Humphry, 67, 146, 171 House, Madeline, 17 Household Words, 9, 25, 40, 105, 115, 124, 129, 146 Charley’s editing, 296 ‘Curious Dance Round a Curious Tree, A’ (1852), 28 ‘Great Baby, The’ (1855), 166, 167–70 ‘Lying Awake’ (1852), 176 Millais, criticism of (1850), 159 ‘Nightly Scene in London, A’ (1856), 189–90 ‘Pet Prisoners’ (1850), 179 ‘Red Tape’ (1851), 170 Urania Cottage article (1853), 147 ‘Violated Letter’ (1858), 133 Wellington Street offices, 215, 229, 296 Wills’ editing, 124, 129, 214 Huffam, Christopher, 177 Hughes, Thomas, 299 Hull, Yorkshire, 230 Human Physiology (Elliotson), 261 Hundred Days (1815), 61 Independent Labour Party, 188 Industrial Revolution, 64–5 Inns of Court, London, 23, 111, 113, 248, 273 Inquiries Concerning the Intellectual Powers (Abercrombie), 260–61 International Monetary Fund, 65 Invisible Woman, The (Tomalin), 297 Ireland, 23, 210, 310 Isle of Wight, 297 Italy, 21, 40, 128, 217, 219, 268–9, 293 ITMA (It’s That Man Again), 304 Jamaica, 182–3, 312 James, Henry, 47, 48 Jarman, Frances ‘Fanny’, 23 Jerrold, Douglas, 125, 176 Jobber Skald (Powys), 239 Johann Peter Eckermann, 121 Johns, William Earl, 302 Johnson, Andrew, 222–4 Johnson, Edgar, 133 Johnson, Samuel, 93, 121 Jonson, Ben, 37, 199 Joy, George William, 300 Kafka, Franz, 312 Kant, Immanuel, 22 Kapital, Das (Marx), 86, 87, 162, 163 Kaplan, Fred, 260 Katherine of Aragon, 136 Kean, Edmund, 9, 23, 35 Keats, John, 74, 267 Kelly, Frances, 37 Kemble, Charles, 23, 101 Kennedy, John Fitzgerald, 300 Keppel Street, Bloomsbury, 25, 40 King Lear (Shakespeare), 29, 218, 237 King’s Cross, London, 228, 229 Kingdom of Naples (1282–1816), 128 Kingsley Amis, 308 Kingsmill, Hugh, 94 Lamarck, Jean-Baptiste, 262 Lamb, William, 2nd Viscount Melbourne, 137–8 Lamert, George, 82 Lamert, James, 70, 82–3 Lamert, Matthew, 70 Lamplighter, The (Dickens), 36 Lancet, The, 263 Larkin, Philip, 306–10 Latter-Day Pamphlet (Carlyle), 178–9 laudanum, 4, 244, 247 Lavoisier, Antoine, 261 Lawrence, David Herbert, 43, 307 Leavis, Queenie Dorothy, 118, 162–3, 168 Lee, Robert Edward, 223 Leeds City Art Gallery, 300 Lemon, Mark, 8, 37, 133 Leno, Dan, 29 de Leon, Thomas Cooper, 173–4 Letters of Charles Dickens, The, 145 Lewes, George, 16, 37, 140 Liberal Party, 82, 187, 214, 246 Library Edition, 215 Library of Fiction, The, 116 Life of Charles Dickens, The (Forster), 20, 74, 121, 234 Life of Mr Richard Savage (Johnson), 93 Life of Our Lord (Dickens), 55, 160 Lillie, Benjamin, 131 Limehouse, London, 148, 244 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, 234 Literary and Mechanics’ Institutes, Birmingham, 209 Little Dorrit (Dickens), 8, 9, 39–41, 54–5, 146, 286 Civil Service in, 164, 171 Elizabeth Dickens and, 30–33, 54–5, 90 John Dickens and, 40, 54–5, 75–6, 89–90 Kate Dickens and, 140 lesbianism in, 44 Maria Beadnell and, 106, 109–10 Nelly Ternan and, 30, 32, 33, 140 prison in, 85–7 sex in, 258 Shaw on, 86, 162 Sunday in, 167 Tattycoram, 157 voice in, 200 Liverpool, Merseyside, 113, 216, 220, 226–7 Lloyd George, David, 187, 190 Locker-Lampson, Frederick, 294 London Recreations’ (Dickens), 167 Longfellow, Henry Wadsworth, 220 Lord’s Day Observance Society, 170 Lord’s Day, 166–70 Lowell, James Russell, 220 Lucas, John, 22 Luddites, 262 ‘Lying Awake’ (Dickens), 176 Lytton, Lord, see Bulwer-Lytton, Robert Lytton, Robert, 209 ‘Mabel’ (Locker-Lampson), 294 Mabel’s Progress (Trollope), 219 Macbeth (Shakespeare), 237, 281 Macready, William, 36, 37, 237–8, 266, 267 Malthus, Thomas, 187 Malvern, Worcestershire, 25, 125, 302 Manchester, England, 7, 8, 32, 38 Manners, John, 136 Manning, Frederick and Maria, 176–7, 178 Mansfield Park (Austen), 272 Margate, Kent, 21, 314–16, 318–19 Marriage Act (1753), 137 Marshalsea, Southwark, 30, 40, 76, 86, 87, 109, 115, 214, 271, 297 Martin Chuzzlewit (Dickens), 34, 198–200, 206, 211, 214, 311 Martineau, Harriet, 130 Marx, Karl, 32, 65, 81, 86, 87, 162, 163 Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck, 148 Mary of Teck, Queen consort of the United Kingdom, 148 Mary, Queen of Scots, 319 Marylebone, London, 62, 64 Massachusetts, United States justice system, 182 Mesmerism in, 266 Parkman–Webster murder case (1849), 250–53, 279 public reading tours, 123, 220–21, 224–6, 229, 250 Mathews, Charles, 35, 101 Matrimonial Causes Act (1857), 136, 138 Maurice, Frederick Denison, 314 Mayor of Casterbridge, The (Hardy), 137 ‘Maze, The’ (Auden), 249 Medusa, 31 Medway river, 27, 55–8, 284 Méjan, Maurice, 137 Melancholy Man, The (Lucas), 22 Melbourne, Lord, see Lamb, William Meredith, George, 140 Meredith, Hannah, 147 Merry Wives of Windsor, The (Shakespeare), 37, 206, 293 Mesmer, Franz Anton, 255, 260, 261, 262 mesmerism, 4, 100, 105, 141, 195, 238–9, 255, 260–70 Metropolitan Sanitary Association, 165 Middlemarch (Eliot), 43 Middlesex Hospital, London, 68 Middlesex House of Correction, 151 Midsummer Night’s Dream, A (Shakespeare), 9, 45 Mill, John Stuart, 81, 155, 162, 172, 179, 183 Millais, John Everett, 159, 291–2 Misnar, the Sultan of India (Dickens), 96 modernism, 6, 39, 81, 208, 278 Monthly Magazine, 111, 116 Moonrise Kingdom, 197 Moonstone, The (Collins), 253, 283–4 Moore, Thomas, 147 Morant Bay Rebellion (1865), 182, 312 More, Hannah, 319 Morning Chronicle, 107, 111, 114, 137 Mornington Crescent, Camden Town, 12 Morris, William, 292 Mortimer Street, London, 62 Mount Vesuvius, 128 Murray, Lindley, 319 Mussolini, Benito, 238 Mystery of Edwin Drood, The (Dickens), 4, 6, 11, 44, 67, 141, 166, 229, 243–87, 292 animal magnetism and, 253, 255, 260–70 atmospherics, 282–4 as autobiographical, 248–9 Cloisterham, models for, 5, 273–5 graveyard humour, 292–5 modernism, 278 Nelly Ternan and, 254–6, 260, 270–71, 275, 277, 285 opium in, 4, 243–7, 253, 274, 276, 277, 278, 279, 281, 284 Parkman–Webster murder case and, 250–53, 279 Stony Durdles, 269, 281, 292–5 Nabokov, Vladimir, 196, 198, 200, 203, 278, 308 Naples, Kingdom of (1282–1816), 128 Napoleon I, emperor of the French, 61, 64 Napoleonic Wars (1803–15), 48, 61, 64, 186 National Sunday League, 167 Navy Lark, The, 304 Navy Pay Office, 61, 63, 92 Nelson, Horatio, 61 New Bedford, Massachusetts, 225 New Bond Street, London, 212, 226 New Haven, Connecticut, 222 New Magdalen, The (Collins), 314 New York Herald, 174 New York, United States, 199, 216, 221–2 Newcastle upon Tyne, 24 Newman brothers, 155 Niagara, New York, 225 Nicholas Nickleby (Dickens), 8, 21, 23, 59–60, 89, 286, 301–2 ‘Nightly Scene in London, A’ (Dickens), 189–90 nitrate of silver, 145, 150 Nonconformism, 163 Norfolk Street, London, 62 North-West Passage, 7 Norton, Caroline, 138–9 Norton, George, 137–8 Not So Bad As We Seem (Bulwer-Lytton), 25, 38, 125 ‘Nurse’s Stories’ (Dickens), 126 O’Connor, Patrick, 176 O’key, Elizabeth and Jane, 263–4, 267 ‘Old Cumberland Beggar, The’ (Wordsworth), 184–7 Old Curiosity Shop, The (Dickens), 3–4, 21, 23, 39, 90, 200, 265, 316–19 Quilp, 3, 128–9, 131, 178, 180, 195, 254, 257, 316 Oliver Twist (Dickens), 35, 44, 66–7, 120, 171, 188, 195, 283, 301–2 marriage in, 127 Nancy, 44, 150, 172, 195, 198, 207, 232–6, 238, 257, 258, 283 paedophilia in, 60 prison in, 84 ‘On an Amateur Beat’ (Dickens), 154 ‘On the Circuit’ (Auden), 225 Opium and the Romantic Imagination (Hayter), 244 opium, 4, 243–7, 253, 274, 276, 277, 278, 279, 281, 284 Orange Blossoms (Wooler), 315 Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, The (Waugh), 34, 70 Othello (Shakespeare), 23, 237 Our Mutual Friend (Dickens), 15, 141, 185, 208, 212, 280, 283 Seven Dials and, 231 sex in, 44, 258 Staplehurst railway crash and, 19–20, 212 Swinburne on, 313 workhouses in, 67 voice in, 200 Ouvry, Frederic, 11, 297 Oxford, Oxfordshire, 20, 207–8 Oxford Movement, 160–61 Paget, Henry, 1st Marquess of Anglesey, 263 Painter, Michael, 271 Palmerston, Lord, see Temple, Henry John pantomime, 5, 6, 7, 33, 39, 42, 44, 46–8, 72, 81, 162, 170, 312 clowns, 27–30, 35, 239 in David Copperfield, 46 in Great Expectations, 44 in Little Dorrit, 164 in Old Curiosity Shop, 254 in Oliver Twist, 46 in Pickwick Papers, 46, 164 Parkman, George, 250–53, 279 Patmore, Coventry, 136 Peckham, London, 12, 13–14, 21, 216, 219, 229, 255, 256, 259 Pendennis (Thackeray), 113, 115 Percy, Thomas, 53, 58 Persia, 22, 316 Personae (Pound), 208 Perugini, Catherine ‘Katey’, 17, 38, 42, 44, 99, 101–5, 122, 132, 296, 250, 286, 296 ‘Pet Prisoners’ (Dickens), 179 Petworth, West Sussex, 156 Pevsner, Nikolaus, 227 Pharmacy Act (1868), 246 Philadelphia Public Ledger, The, 243 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 214, 222, 224, 243 ‘Phiz’, see Browne, Hablot Knight Picasso, Pablo, 31 Pickwick Papers, The (Dickens), 7, 23, 27, 35, 77, 112, 117–18, 199, 239, 283, 303 class in, 69 illustrations, 45, 117–18 Doctors’ Commons in, 112, 119 marriages in, 137 politicians in, 164 prison in, 84, 85 Rochester Bridge in, 56, 57 sales, 120 ‘Stroller’s Tale, The’ 117, 137 Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 266 place, sense of, 272–5 Plato, 71–2 Police Act (1839), 153–4 Pollard, Rhena, 156–7 Poor Laws, 68, 185, 187 Pope, Norris, 168 population growth, 203 Portland, Maine, 225 Portsmouth, Hampshire, 63 post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), 304 Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club, The see Pickwick Papers, The Pound, Ezra, 208 Powys, John Cowper, 239 Pre-Raphaelites, 101 Preston, Lancashire, 179 Price, Charles, 182 Priestley, Joseph, 261 Priestley, William Overend, 234 Prisons Act (1898), 179 prisons, 84–7, 175, 178–82 prostitution, 150 Proust, Marcel, 73, 271 psychology; psychoanalysis, 6, 74, 95 public readings, 9, 33, 34, 84, 132, 133, 134, 156, 173, 174, 193–239 Punch, 8, 37, 133 Pusey, Edward Bouverie, 164 Pushkin, Alexander, 40 Queen’s College, Harley Street, 313 de Quincey, Thomas, 247 Radicals, 82, 214 railways, 216–17 Ratcliffe Highway, London, 243, 244, 247, 285 ‘Red Tape’ (Dickens), 170 Regent’s Park, London, 25, 103, 125, 153 Reliques of Ancient English Poetry (Percy), 53, 58 Resurrection narratives, 230 Reynolds, Russell, 286–7 Rhode Island, United States, 225 Richardson, Ruth, 39, 64 Richmond, Duke of, see Gordon-Lennox, Charles Robb, Graham, 87 Roberts, Frederick Sleigh, 1st Earl Roberts, 300 Robinson, Ellen ‘Nelly’ (born Ternan), 5, 8–25, 33, 41, 102, 106, 126, 146, 207, 216–20, 229, 314–19 age, concealment of, 314, 317 Ampthill Square house, 12, 21, 317 children, illegitimate, 17, 217 death of Charles (1870), 15, 20, 49, 255, 256, 259, 297 France trip (1865), 16–17 George, marriage to, 21–2, 314–19 Georgina, relationship with, 21–2, 134, 315 Great Expectations and, 248 Kate Dickens and, 100, 124, 130, 131, 132 Little Dorrit and, 30, 32, 33, 140 parents, relationship with, 23–4, 25 and public reading tours, 207, 213, 215, 220, 221, 229 Staplehurst railway crash (1865), 18–19, 212, 285–6 Will of Charles Dickens and, 297 Windsor Lodge, life at, 13–14, 21, 219, 229, 255, 256, 259, 296 youthfulness, 8, 140, 254–5, 260, 270–71, 275 Robinson, Geoffrey, 21, 22, 314, 316–17 Robinson, George Wharton, 21, 22, 314, 317 Robinson, Gladys, 21, 314, 317 Rochester, Kent, 4, 5, 7, 23, 55–7, 120, 141, 273–5, 284–5, 293–6 Rochester, Massachusetts, 225 Rochester, New York, 222 Roe, Fred, 230 Rogers, Samuel, 147 Romanticism, 247 Rome, Italy, 268, 269–70 Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare), 231, 314 Rookwood (Ainsworth), 113 Rose and the Ring, The (Thackeray), 118 Rossetti family, 155 Round the Horne, 304 Royal Academy of Music, 78, 93 Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (1850), 159 Royal Academy, 291, 292 Royal Command Performance, 125 Royal Navy, 61, 63, 64, 92 ‘Ruffian, The’ (Dickens), 154, 177–8, 180 Rugby School, Warwickshire, 237, 299 Ruskin, John, 155, 292 Russell, William Howard, 209 Russia, 226 Russian Empire, 223 Salvation Army, 157 Santayana, George, 303–4 science, 261 Scott, Henry, 213, 229 Scott, Walter, 6, 65, 113, 114 Second World War (1939–45), 304 Self-Help (Smiles), 24, 87, 172 Self, Will, 244 Seven Dials, London, 177, 230–31 Seward, William, 222–3 sex, 43–4, 60, 145, 149–50, 256–60, 267 Seymour, Jane, 136 Seymour, Robert, 116–17, 118, 120 Shaftesbury, Lord see Cooper, Anthony Shakespeare, William, 36, 237 Hamlet, 23, 36, 237 Macbeth, 237, 281 Merry Wives of Windsor, The, 37, 293 Midsummer Night’s Dream, A, 9, 45 Othello, 23, 237 King Lear, 29, 218, 237 Romeo and Juliet, 231, 314 Winter’s Tale, The, 9, 24 Shaw, George Bernard, 86, 87, 162 Shaw, Lemuel, 252 Sheerness, Kent, 64, 69 Sheffield, Yorkshire, 205 Sheridan, Richard Brinsley, 138 Sherlock Holmes series (Doyle), 272 Shorne, Kent, 292 Shrewsbury, Shropshire, 210 silver nitrate, 145, 150 Simpson, John Palgrave, 207 Sketches by Boz (Dickens), 78, 99, 110–11, 115, 116, 254, 297 ‘Christmas Dinner, A’, 157–8 ‘Great Winglebury Duel, The’, 36 ‘London Recreations’, 167 ‘Private Theatres’, 50 Slate, Edwin, 223 slavery, 165 Slough, Berkshire, 12, 13, 17, 216–17, 219, 316 Smiles, Samuel, 24, 87, 172 Smith-Stanley, Edward, 14th Earl of Derby, 106–7, 188, 295 Smith, Arthur, 133, 210, 211–12 socialism, 162, 190, 191, 311 Soho Theatre, London, 88 Solzhenitsyn, Alexander, 80, 88 Somerset House, London, 62, 63, 74–6, 84 Songs of Innocence and Experience (Blake), 118 Sorrows of Rosalie, The (Norton), 138 Soviet Union, 80, 88 Sowray, Woodford, 273 Spencer, Herbert, 183 St Hugh’s College, Oxford, 20 St James’s Hall, London, 233 St James’s Hotel, London, 243 St James’s Theatre, London, 36 St Luke’s, Chelsea, 119 St Martin’s Hall, Camden Town, 207, 209 St Mary Abbots Church, Kensington, 21 St Mary-le-Strand, London, 63, 69 St Pancras, London, 228 St Paul’s, Covent Garden, 68 St Stephen’s, Rochester Row, 148 Stalin, Joseph, 88 Stanley, Arthur Penrhyn, 294, 295, 297–9 Stanley, Augusta, 295 Staplehurst railway crash (1865), 18–19, 212, 285–6 Stevens, Wallace, 308 Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, 209 Stone, Lawrence, 136 Storey, Gladys, 17, 102, 105, 292 Strange Gentleman, The (Dickens), 36 Stratton Street, Mayfair, 147 stroke (1869), 238, 243 Stroller’s Tale, The (Dickens), 117 Sullivan, Arthur, 312 Sunday, 166–70 Sutherland, John, 103 Sweeney Agonistes (Eliot), 232 Sweet, Henry, 20 Swinburne, Algernon Charles, 195, 259, 297, 313 Swinburne, Jane Henrietta, 297 Swiss chalet, Gad’s Hill, 102, 256, 276, 282 Switzerland, 149 Syracuse, New York, 222 Taine, Hippolyte, 81 Tale of Two Cities, A (Dickens), 21, 84, 127, 141, 145, 207, 283, 286, 312, 313 Tavistock House, Camden, 109, 130, 132, 134 taxation, 226, 292 Taylor, Samuel, 209 Temple, Henry John, 3rd Viscount Palmerston, 214 Tennyson, Alfred, 37, 155, 183 Ternan, Ellen ‘Nelly’, see Robinson, Ellen Ternan, Frances ‘Fanny’, see Trollope, Frances Ternan, Maria, 8, 24 Ternan, Thomas, 23–4 Terry, Ellen, 9 Thackeray, William Makepeace, 6, 16, 43, 113, 115, 118, 132, 204, 239 Thakewell Union, Petworth, 156 Thames river, 55, 200 Theatre Royal, Chatham, 35 Theatrical Fund, 36 Thomas, Dylan, 272 Three Detective Anecdotes (Dickens), 13 Three Voices of Poetry, The (Eliot), 208 Tide of Time, The (Bernard), 207 Tiger Bay, London, 243 Times, The, 105, 133, 159, 176–7, 209, 293 de Tocqueville, Alexis, 81 Tolstoy, Leo, 34, 81, 202, 307 Tom Brown’s Schooldays (Hughes), 299 Tomalin, Claire, 17, 18, 217, 297 Townshend, Chauncy Hare, 265 Tracy, Robert, 278 Trade Union Movement, 162 Trinity College, Cambridge, 54 Trollope, Anthony, 6, 9, 43, 155, 217, 239, 307, 308 Trollope, Frances ‘Fanny’, 9, 24, 217–19, 317 Trollope, Thomas, 217, 218 Turner, Joseph Mallord William, 230 Uncommercial Traveller, The (Dickens), 212 Under Milk Wood (Thomas), 272 Unitarian Church, 265 United States, 4, 57, 140 evangelicalism in, 164–5 Parkman–Webster murder case (1849), 250–53, 279 prisons in, 179, 182 reading tours, 123, 173–4, 195, 198, 199, 203, 213–26, 250 Revolution (1765–83), 262 University College, London, 263–4 Urania Cottage, Shepherd’s Bush, 146, 148, 150–57, 182 Vanity Fair (Thackeray), 43 venereal disease, 145–6, 150, 286 Vicar of Wakefield, The (Goldsmith), 111 Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom, 25, 37–8, 40, 78, 137, 139, 148, 161, 167 Violated Letter (1858), 132–3 Violent Effigy, The (Carey), 299, 305 Wakley, Thomas, 263, 267 Walham Green, London, 297 Wallis, Henry, 140 Wapping, London, 244 War and Peace (Tolstoy), 34 Warren, Jonathan, 82 Warren’s Blacking Factory, Strand, 53–5, 59, 72–5, 78, 82–4, 90, 92, 99, 102, 105, 188, 228, 297 Christmas game and, 53–4, 60, 73, 74, 99, 206 Dilke and, 74–5 Elizabeth Dickens and, 104–5 Kate Dickens and, 72, 95, 121 Washington, DC, United States, 222 Waste Land, The (Eliot), 208 Watkins, Gwen, 299–300, 305 Watt, James, 64 Waugh, Evelyn, 34, 70 Webster, John, 250–53, 279 Wedgwood, Josiah, 64 welfare, 188 Weller, Anna, 112 Weller, Christiana, 113 Weller, Mary, 112, 126 Wellington House Academy, Camden Town, 155, 206, 228 Wellington Street, London, 215, 229, 296 Wesley, John, 4 Wesleyan Methodism, 157 Westminster Abbey, London, 196, 293–9, 309 Weymouth Sands (Powys), 239 Whitefriargate, Hull, 230 Wilde, Oscar, 3 Will of Charles Dickens, 20–21, 134, 297 William IV, King of the United Kingdom, 139 Wills, William Henry, 124, 129, 213–14, 217, 219, 220, 236, 278 Wilson-Patten Sunday Beer Act (1854), 168 Wilson, Edmund, 203 Window Tax, 170 Windsor Lodge, Peckham, 13–14, 21, 219, 229, 255, 256, 259, 296 Winnicott, Donald, 95–6, 100 Winter, Maria, 106–10, 114, 134 Winter’s Tale, The (Shakespeare), 9, 24 With Kitchener in the Sudan (Henty), 302 Wodehouse, Pelham Grenville, 308 Woman in White, The (Collins), 137 Woolner, Thomas, 293 Wordsworth, William, 184–7, 188 workhouses, 49, 54, 64–8, 73, 75–6, 82, 171, 188–90 Chatham, Kent, 70 Cleveland Street, Marylebone, 39, 64, 66, 68, 188 Thakewell Union, Petworth, 156 World and the Stage, The (Simpson), 207 World Bank, 65 Yeats, William Butler, 206 Young, Edward, 230 Young, George Malcolm, 175 Zola, Emile, 6, 119 A NOTE ABOUT THE AUTHOR A.N. Wilson was born in 1950 and educated at Rugby and New College, Oxford. A Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he holds a prominent position in the world of literature and journalism. He is an award-winning biographer and a celebrated novelist, winning prizes for much of his work. He lives in North London.


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The future is already here, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Now 58, Rangaswami works as chief data officer at a major financial institution, having previously been chief scientist and chief information officer at a number of global institutions. He is Adjunct Professor at the School of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. In addition, he is a Fellow of the British Computer Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts and Venture Partner at Anthemis. Rangaswami is a popular keynote speaker, having given a popular TED Talk—Information Is Food, and can be found blogging at ConfusedofCalcutta.com.


pages: 332 words: 109,213

The Scientist as Rebel by Freeman Dyson

Albert Einstein, Asilomar, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, dark matter, double helix, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, From Mathematics to the Technologies of Life and Death, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, kremlinology, Mikhail Gorbachev, Norbert Wiener, Paul Erdős, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Stephen Hawking, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, traveling salesman, undersea cable

Dyson’s books include Disturbing the Universe (1979), Weapons and Hope (1984), Infinite in All Directions (1988), Origins of Life (1986, second edition 1999), The Sun, the Genome and the Internet (1999), and A Many Colored Glass: Reflections on the Place of Life in the Universe (2007). He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the Royal Society of London. In 2000 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion.


pages: 460 words: 107,712

A Devil's Chaplain: Selected Writings by Richard Dawkins

Albert Einstein, Alfred Russel Wallace, Buckminster Fuller, butterfly effect, Claude Shannon: information theory, complexity theory, Desert Island Discs, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, Necker cube, out of africa, phenotype, placebo effect, random walk, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method

Eliot, who wrote that humankind cannot bear too much reality, Dawkins wants us to get real about the universe in which brief lives are set, because reality is liberating … This is the best book of sermons I have read for years. So please go on preaching to us, Reverend Dawkins, and don’t mind the things they throw at you. After all, prophets always get stoned’ Richard Holloway, Bishop of Edinburgh Professor Richard Dawkins is a world-renowned evolutionary biologist and author. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society and holds the Charles Simonyi Chair of Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University. His first book, The Selfish Gene (1976), was an instant international bestseller, and has become an established classic work of modern evolutionary biology. The Blind Watchmaker (1986), too, has become world-famous.


pages: 410 words: 106,931

Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra

anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, continuation of politics by other means, creative destruction, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Santayana, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, informal economy, invisible hand, liberal capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Marshall McLuhan, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, Nelson Mandela, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, planetary scale, Plutocrats, plutocrats, precariat, Republic of Letters, Scientific racism, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Snapchat, stem cell, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, Vilfredo Pareto, wage slave, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Petersburg ‘catch-up’ with Atlantic West Christianity in collapse of Soviet Communism ‘Decembrists’ rising (1825) and industrial revolution literature see also Dostoyevsky, Fyodor muzhik (peasant) nineteenth-century revolutionaries peasant commune in People’s Will movement Peter the Great’s Westernization and the philosophes Putin regime serfdom in the ‘superfluous’ man in Tsargrad TV channel Russo-Japanese war Rwanda Sainte-Beuve, Charles Augustin Saint-Just, Louis Antoine Léon de Saint-Simon, Claude Henri de Rouvroy, Comte de Salvemini, Gaetano San Bernardino, California Sand, George Santayana, George Sanua, James Sarkozy, Nicolas Saudi Arabia Savarkar, Vinayak Damodar Scheler, Max Schelling, Friedrich Wilhelm Joseph Schiller, Friedrich Schleiermacher, Friedrich Schmitt, Carl Schönerer, Georg von Schopenhauer, Arthur Schorske, Carl, Fin-de-Siecle Vienna: Politics and Culture (1980) science Scotland Scott, Walter secessionism Second World War sexuality female Shanghai Shariati, Ali Shaw, George Bernard Shelley, Percy Bysshe Shestov, Lev Shinawatra, Thaksin Sikh militants slavery and serfdom Smith, Adam Snowden, Edward Social Darwinism social mobility socialism Soedjatmoko Solzhenitsyn, Alexander Sorel, Georges Soseki, Natsume South America anarchists in Buenos Aires impact of Western materialism Soviet Union Spain Sparta Spencer, Herbert Sri Lanka St Petersburg de Staël, Madame Stalin, Joseph Stalinism Stendhal Stephens, Henry Stifter, Adalbert, Indian Summer (1857) Stirner, Max The Ego and its Own (1844) Sturm und Drang Sudan, Mahdist revolt (1880s) Suharto suicide and depression rates suicide bombers al-Suri, Abu Musab Sweden Symbolist poetry Syria Tacitus, Germania Tagore, Rabindranath al-Tahtawi, Rifa’a Rafi’, The Extraction of Gold, or an Overview of Paris (1834) Tamil militancy Tanizaki, Junichiro Tata, Ratan Taylorism terrorism 9/11 attacks al-Suri’s jihad strategy anarchist (from 1870s) Brussels attack (March 2016) Charlie Hebdo attack ‘experts’ on fin de siècle crackdowns ‘global war on terror’ Hindu supremacist (1909) Islam-centric accounts of in late nineteenth-century France by nationalist groups in recent past Paris massacres (November 2015) ‘police actions’ policy in West present-day ‘propaganda by the deed’ Tamil pioneering of suicide attacks Theodore Roosevelt’s crusade against white perpetrators Tetsuro, Watsuji Thailand Thatcher, Margaret Theosophy Thiel, Peter Thoreau, Henry David, Walden (1854) Tibet Tocqueville, Alexis de on commercial society and democracy on despotic government and equality on Frederick of Prussia on French Revolution on George Sand on globalization and imperialism and individual freedom on philosophes and USA Tolstoy, Leo Hadji Murat (1902) War and Peace totalitarian politics Towianski, Andrzej trade and commerce rapid growth in eighteenth century Smith’s ‘hidden hand’ Voltaire’s praise of see also capitalism; commercial society transport and communications Treitschke, Heinrich von Triple Alliance (1882) Troeltsch, Ernst Trump, Donald Tunisia Turgenev, Ivan Fathers and Sons (1862) Rudin Turgot, Anne Robert Jacques Turkey 1915 genocide Erdogan regime revival of Ottomanism Young Turkey see also Atatürk, Mustafa Kemal; Ottoman Empire Tyutchev, Fyodor Ivanovich Umberto I, King of Italy unemployment United Nations United States of America (USA) anti-government sentiment in assassination of President McKinley (1901) Californian Chinese Exclusion Act (1882) contempt for elites in easy availability of weapons in economic decline since 1970s Fort Hood killings (2009) Haymarket affair in Chicago (1886) immigrant anarchists in imperialism individualistic culture National Rifle Association (NRA) New Deal new ‘Western Model’ (post-1945) Pearl Harbor attack (1941) post-WW2 hegemony radical left organizations Republican presidential primaries (2016) right-wing extremism San Bernardino shootings (2016) segregationist policies threats to Mexicans and Muslims Tocqueville on Treitschke on triumphalist history in white nationalists/supremacists in white perpetrators of mass violence see also African-Americans urban development urbanization utilitarian ethic Vidal, Gore Vienna, Congress of (1815) violence and Christian theology destruction as a creative passion as end in itself fin de siècle celebration of and Futurism glorified in post-unification Italy and Hindu nationalism imperialist justifications for Liang’s ‘destructionism’ mimetic nature of and modernity podvig in Russian literature post-9/11 intensity in USA present-day privatization and socialization of see also terrorism Vivekananda, Swami Voegelin, Eric Voilquin, Suzanne Voltaire and amour propre anti-Semitism of and Catherine of Russia and the Church in England and enlightened despots hatred of the masses Herder on praise of consumerism and trade and Rousseau and Russia wealth of Essay on the Manners and Spirit of Nations (1756) ‘Le Mondain’ (1736) Philosophical Letters (1773) Wagner, Richard the Weathermen Weber, Max Weil, Simone welfare systems, state Western society (the West) advent of commercial-industrial civilization assumed convergence on ‘Western Model’ as civilization of a minority clash of civilizations thesis conceptual and intellectual architecture of failure of post-9/11 policies Foucault on global impact of materialism military overreactions new ‘Western Model’ (post-1945) nineteenth-century dominance of rapid growth from eighteenth century sanitized histories of shift eastwards of economic power ‘superior values’ rhetoric transcendence of geographic boundaries triumphalism at end of Cold War twenty-first-century decline West-versus-the-Rest thinking see also individual, liberal universalist ideal of; modernity; progress, Enlightenment/modern notions of Wilde, Oscar will, individual and Dostoyevsky and Napoleon Nietzsche’s will to power concept and present-day violence and Schopenhauer Williams, Serena Winckelmann, Johann Joachim Wolf, Martin Wollstonecraft, Mary Wooldridge, Adrian World Trade Centre attack (1993) Wyndham Lewis, Percy Xi Jinping Yazdi, Ebrahim Young Bosnia Yousef, Ramzi Ahmed Zakaria, Fareed, The Post-American World Zapata, Emiliano al-Zarqawi, Abu Musab Zionism Betar (youth group) Zola, Émile ALSO BY PANKAJ MISHRA Nonfiction From the Ruins of Empire: The Intellectuals Who Remade Asia Temptations of the West: How to Be Modern in India, Pakistan, Tibet, and Beyond An End to Suffering: The Buddha in the World Butter Chicken in Ludhiana: Travels in Small Town India Fiction The Romantics A Note About the Author Pankaj Mishra is the author of From the Ruins of Empire and several other books. He is a columnist at Bloomberg View and The New York Times Book Review, and writes regularly for The Guardian, the London Review of Books, and The New Yorker. A fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, he lives in London. You can sign up for email updates here. Thank you for buying this Farrar, Straus and Giroux ebook. To receive special offers, bonus content, and info on new releases and other great reads, sign up for our newsletters. Or visit us online at us.macmillan.com/newslettersignup For email updates on the author, click here.


pages: 370 words: 107,983

Rage Inside the Machine: The Prejudice of Algorithms, and How to Stop the Internet Making Bigots of Us All by Robert Elliott Smith

Ada Lovelace, affirmative action, AI winter, Alfred Russel Wallace, algorithmic bias, Amazon Mechanical Turk, animal electricity, autonomous vehicles, Black Swan, British Empire, cellular automata, citizen journalism, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, corporate personhood, correlation coefficient, crowdsourcing, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, desegregation, discovery of DNA, disinformation, Douglas Hofstadter, Elon Musk, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, Gerolamo Cardano, gig economy, Gödel, Escher, Bach, invention of the wheel, invisible hand, Jacquard loom, Jacques de Vaucanson, John Harrison: Longitude, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, low skilled workers, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, meta-analysis, mutually assured destruction, natural language processing, new economy, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, p-value, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, performance metric, Pierre-Simon Laplace, precariat, profit maximization, profit motive, Silicon Valley, social intelligence, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, stochastic process, telemarketer, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, traveling salesman, Turing machine, Turing test, twin studies, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, women in the workforce, Yochai Benkler

In each case, reasoning from big data statistics (about your online profile, and those of many other people) are determining probabilities that are used to derive a desirable outcome. But most of these algorithms also involve an additional probability rule, which was furnished in 1761 by London Presbyterian minister Thomas Bayes. Little is known about Thomas Bayes other than he was a Fellow of the Royal Society and he wrote two papers on mathematics, one of which, Essay Towards Solving a Problem in the Doctrine of Chances (published after his death in 1761), laid out the final foundational rule of modern probability theory. Bayes’ rule follows trivially from the event-size-and-zoom-based arguments presented below, as shown in Figure 3.3.


pages: 316 words: 106,321

Switched On: My Journey From Asperger's to Emotional Awakening by John Elder Robison

Albert Einstein, Atul Gawande, cognitive dissonance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Minecraft, neurotypical, placebo effect, zero-sum game

However, that wasn’t enough to diffuse the public’s horror and outrage when word leaked out about his research. There was a tremendous outcry by antivivisectionists, but the importance of his work ultimately proved to be his defence. His 1874 paper and the work that followed established Ferrier as one of the great experimental neurologists, and he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society three years later. Once that paper came out, it took less than two years for someone to try systematic electrical stimulation on a living human brain. Roberts Bartholow* was a well-respected physician at Cincinnati’s Medical College of Ohio. He believed first-person experimentation was the best way to advance knowledge of the brain.


pages: 624 words: 104,923

QI: The Book of General Ignorance - The Noticeably Stouter Edition by Lloyd, John, Mitchinson, John

Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, Barry Marshall: ulcers, British Empire, discovery of penicillin, disinformation, Dmitri Mendeleev, Fellow of the Royal Society, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, invention of the telephone, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, Kuiper Belt, lateral thinking, Magellanic Cloud, Mars Rover, Menlo Park, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, placebo effect, Pluto: dwarf planet, trade route, two and twenty, V2 rocket, Vesna Vulović

Manson went one better. To show that the theory worked for humans, he infected his own son – using mosquitoes carried in the diplomatic bag from Rome. (Fortunately, after an immediate dose of quinine, the boy recovered.) Ross won the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1902. Manson was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, knighted and founded the London School of Tropical Medicine. There are 2,500 known species of mosquito, 400 of them are members of the Anopheles family, and, of these, 40 species are able to transmit malaria. The females use the blood they suck to mature their eggs, which are laid on water.


pages: 289 words: 112,697

The new village green: living light, living local, living large by Stephen Morris

back-to-the-land, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cleantech, collective bargaining, Columbine, Community Supported Agriculture, computer age, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, discovery of penicillin, distributed generation, energy security, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Firefox, Hacker Conference 1984, index card, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kevin Kelly, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, Menlo Park, Negawatt, off grid, peak oil, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review

However, when they were finally launched to Mars, the Viking probes still searched for life there. Lovelock invented the Electron Capture Detector, which ultimately assisted in discoveries about the persistence of CFCs and their role in stratospheric ozone depletion. He is also credited with invention of the microwave oven. Lovelock was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1974, and in 1990 was awarded the first Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for the Environment by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. An independent scientist, inventor, and author, Lovelock works out of a barn-turned-laboratory in Cornwall. In 2003 he was appointed a Companion of Honour (CH) by Queen Elizabeth II. 2 chapter 1 : The Gaia Hypothesis Zoe Weil is the author of The Power and Promise of Humane Education and Above All, Be Kind: Raising a Humane Child in Challenging Times.


pages: 335 words: 107,779

Some Remarks by Neal Stephenson

airport security, augmented reality, barriers to entry, British Empire, cable laying ship, call centre, cellular automata, edge city, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, Hacker Ethic, impulse control, Iridium satellite, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Kim Stanley Robinson, music of the spheres, Norbert Wiener, offshore financial centre, oil shock, packet switching, pirate software, Richard Feynman, Saturday Night Live, shareholder value, Shenzhen special economic zone , Silicon Valley, Skype, slashdot, social web, Socratic dialogue, South China Sea, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, X Prize

His unquestioned status as the greatest mind of his generation, combined with his political connections as Master of the Mint and his ruthlessness toward those he perceived as rivals, had given him an unusual degree of power. This he brought to bear against the only living person who could even hope to challenge his intellectual supremacy: Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, who despite being a foreigner (he was Hanoverian) had been made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1673, largely in recognition for his invention of the Stepped Reckoner, a mechanical computer. The contrasts between Newton and Leibniz were lavish. Newton seems to have had an entirely accurate sense of just how he compared to his contemporaries, and acted accordingly without concern for dusty precedents or the personal feelings of those who clung to them.


pages: 376 words: 110,321

Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat by Bee Wilson

Albert Einstein, British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society, haute cuisine, Kitchen Debate, lateral thinking, Louis Pasteur, refrigerator car, sexual politics, the scientific method, Upton Sinclair, Wall-E

“Nixon and Khrushchev Argue in Public as U.S. Exhibit Opens.” NewYork Times, July 25. Samuel, Delwen (1999). “Bread Making and Social Interactions at the Amarna Workmen’s Village, Egypt.” World Archaeology, vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 121–144. Sanders, J. H. (2000). “Nicholas Kurti C.B.E.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society, vol. 46, pp. 300–315. Scappi, Bartolomeo (2008). The Opera of Bartolomeo Scappi (1570), translated with commentary by Terence Scully. Toronto, University of Toronto Press. Scully, Terence (1995). The Art of Cookery in the Late Middle Ages. Woodbridge, Boydell. Segre, Gino (2002). Einsten’s Refrigerator: Tales of the Hot and Cold.


pages: 375 words: 111,615

Operation Chastise: The RAF's Most Brilliant Attack of World War II by Max Hastings

Desert Island Discs, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, IFF: identification friend or foe

Going to the Wars Editor HISTORY Bomber Command The Battle of Britain (with Len Deighton) Das Reich Overlord: D-Day and the Battle for Normandy Victory in Europe The Korean War Warriors: Extraordinary Tales from the Battlefield Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944–45 Nemesis: The Battle for Japan 1944–45 Finest Years: Churchill as Warlord 1940–45 All Hell Let Loose: The World at War 1939–45 Catastrophe: Europe Goes to War 1914 The Secret War: Spies, Codes and Guerrillas 1939–1945 Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy 1945–1975 COUNTRYSIDE WRITING Outside Days Scattered Shots Country Fair ANTHOLOGY (EDITED) The Oxford Book of Military Anecdotes About the Author MAX HASTINGS is the author of twenty-seven books, most about conflict, and between 1986 and 2002 served as editor in chief of the Daily Telegraph, then as editor of the Evening Standard. He has won many prizes both for journalism and his books, the most recent of which are the bestsellers Vietnam, The Secret War, Catastrophe, and All Hell Let Loose. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature; an Honorary Fellow of King’s College, London; and was knighted in 2002. He has two grown children, Charlotte and Harry, and lives with his wife, Penny, in West Berkshire, where they garden enthusiastically. Discover great authors, exclusive offers, and more at hc.com. Copyright OPERATION CHASTISE.


pages: 421 words: 110,272

Deaths of Despair and the Future of Capitalism by Anne Case, Angus Deaton

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, basic income, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, business cycle, call centre, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, corporate governance, correlation coefficient, crack epidemic, creative destruction, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Downton Abbey, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, falling living standards, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, income inequality, Jeff Bezos, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Martin Wolf, Mikhail Gorbachev, obamacare, pensions crisis, randomized controlled trial, refrigerator car, rent-seeking, risk tolerance, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, trade liberalization, universal basic income, working-age population, zero-sum game

He was knighted by the Queen of England for his philanthropy, the first Indian ever to be so honored. In 1858, he was elevated to become a lord, becoming Baronet Jejeebhoy of Bombay. The title was a hereditary one and was inherited by his son. What of Jardine and Matheson? Jardine became a member of Parliament and was succeeded by Matheson on his death in 1843. Matheson became a fellow of the Royal Society and governor of the Bank of England, and he was one of the richest men and largest landholders in Britain. He purchased the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides in 1844, and in 1851 he became Sir James Matheson, first Baronet of Lewis. The Highland potato famine reached Lewis not long after his purchase, and he was a generous landowner, who spent large sums on relief and on improvements; he also financed the (more or less voluntary) emigration of 2,337 islanders, about 13 percent of the population, to Quebec and Ontario, and paid for their clergymen to travel with them.


pages: 406 words: 108,266

Journey to the Edge of Reason: The Life of Kurt Gödel by Stephen Budiansky

Albert Einstein, anti-communist, business cycle, Douglas Hofstadter, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, Gödel, Escher, Bach, John von Neumann, laissez-faire capitalism, P = NP, Paul Erdős, rent control, scientific worldview, the scientific method, Thorstein Veblen, Turing machine, urban planning

Translated by Patrick Healy. Amsterdam: November Editions, 2016. Kreisel, Georg. “Gödel’s Excursions into Intuitionist Logic.” In Gödel Remembered: Salzburg, 10–12 July 1983, edited by Paul Weingartner and Leopold Schmetterer. Naples: Bibliopolis, 1987. —. “Kurt Gödel.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 26 (1980): 158–224. Kuh, Anton. “‘Central’ und ‘Herrenhof’.” In Der unsterbliche Österreicher. Munich: Knorr & Hirth, 1931. List, Rudolf. Brünn, ein deutsches Bollwerk. St. Pölten, Austria: St. Pöltner Zeitungs-Verlags, 1942. Mancosu, Paolo. “Between Vienna and Berlin: The Immediate Reception of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems.”


pages: 392 words: 109,945

Life's Edge: The Search for What It Means to Be Alive by Carl Zimmer

3D printing, Albert Einstein, biofilm, call centre, coronavirus, Covid-19, COVID-19, discovery of DNA, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, gravity well, knapsack problem, Loma Prieta earthquake, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Lyft, microbiome, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, stem cell, uber lyft

“Spermatogenesis, Sperm Storage and Reproductive Timing in Bats.” Journal of Zoology 289:77–85. Phillips, R. 2020. “Schrodinger’s ‘What is Life?’ at 75: Back to the Future.” Manuscript. Pierpont, W. S. 1999. “Norman Wingate Pirie: 1 July 1907–29 March 1997.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 45:399–415. Pirie, Norman W. 1937. “The Meaninglessness of the Terms Life and Living.” In Perspectives in Biochemistry: Thirty-One Essays Presented to Sir Frederick Gowland Hopkins by Past and Present Members of His Laboratory. Edited by Joseph Needham and David E. Green. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


pages: 396 words: 117,897

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, British Empire, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, megacity, megastructure, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, Post-Keynesian economics, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, rolodex, X Prize

ISBN: 9781119942535 About the Author Vaclav Smil conducts interdisciplinary research in the fields of energy, environmental and population change, food production and nutrition, technical innovation, risk assessment and public policy. He has published more than 30 books and close to 500 papers on these topics. He is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus at the University of Manitoba, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (Science Academy), the first non-American to receive the American Association for the Advancement of Science Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology, and in 2010 he was listed by Foreign Policy among the top 50 global thinkers. Previous works by author China's Energy Energy in the Developing World (edited with W.


pages: 637 words: 117,453

Empire Lost: Britain, the Dominions and the Second World War by Andrew Stewart

British Empire, Fellow of the Royal Society, imperial preference, Monroe Doctrine, union organizing

., Churchill to Caldecote, 2 October 1940; he would now be the Lord Chancellor's effective deputy, serving as the second most senior judge in the country after Lord Simon. 70 Diary, 31 October 1940, Lord Woolton Papers (Bodleian Library, Oxford), M. S. Woolton. 71 Duncan to Lady Selbourne, 8 October 1940, Duncan Papers. 72 A. R. Peters, Anthony Eden at the Foreign Office, 1931-1938 (New York, 1986), pp. 258-60; Lord Todd, 'Robert Arthur James Gascoyne Cecil, Fifth Marquess of Salisbury, 1893-1972', Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society (Vol. 19; Dec. 1973), pp. 621-7. 73 Amery to Smuts, 16 October 1940, cited in Jean Van der Poel (ed.), Smuts Papers, Vol. 6 (Cambridge, 1973), p. 256; Pimlott, Diary of Hugh Dalton, p. 53; 'Neville [Chamberlain] was in a rage yesterday and in the morning whilst he was going over questions he delivered himself of an angry tirade against the "Glamour Boys".


pages: 463 words: 118,936

Darwin Among the Machines by George Dyson

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, backpropagation, British Empire, carbon-based life, cellular automata, Claude Shannon: information theory, combinatorial explosion, computer age, Danny Hillis, Donald Davies, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, finite state, IFF: identification friend or foe, independent contractor, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, low earth orbit, Menlo Park, Nash equilibrium, Norbert Wiener, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, packet switching, pattern recognition, phenotype, RAND corporation, Richard Feynman, spectrum auction, strong AI, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Turing machine, Von Neumann architecture, zero-sum game

., The Friends’ Ambulance Unit 1914–1919: A Record (London: Swarthmore Press, 1920), 212. 7.Stapledon, “Experiences,” 362. 8.Olaf Stapledon to Agnes Miller, 22 October 1918, in Crossley, Talking Across the World, 332. 9.Stapledon, “Experiences,” 372. 10.Olaf Stapledon to Agnes Miller, 26 December 1917, in Crossley, Talking Across the World, 264–265. 11.Lewis Richardson, as quoted by Ernest Gold, “Lewis Fry Richardson, 1881–1953,” Obituary Notices of Fellows of the Royal Society 9 (November 1954): 230. 12.Olaf Stapledon to Agnes Miller, 12 January 1918, in Crossley, Talking Across the World, 270. 13.Lewis Fry Richardson, Weather Prediction by Numerical Process (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1922; facsimile reprint, New York: Dover Publications, 1965), 219. 14.Olaf Stapledon to Agnes Miller, 8 December 1916, in Crossley, Talking Across the World, 192–193. 15.Olaf Stapledon, Death into Life (London: Methuen, 1946); reprinted in Olaf Stapledon, Worlds of Wonder: Three Tales of Fantasy (Los Angeles: Fantasy Publishing Co., 1949), 130 (page citation is to the reprint edition). 16.Olaf Stapledon, The Star Maker (London: Methuen, 1937); reprinted in Last and First Men & Star Maker (New York: Dover Publications, 1968), 263–264. 17.Stapledon, Last and First Men, 119. 18.Ibid., 117–118. 19.Ibid., 118. 20.Ibid., 129. 21.Ibid., 142. 22.Frederic W.


pages: 386 words: 113,709

Why We Drive: Toward a Philosophy of the Open Road by Matthew B. Crawford

1960s counterculture, Airbus A320, airport security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Bernie Sanders, Boeing 737 MAX, British Empire, Burning Man, call centre, collective bargaining, crony capitalism, deskilling, digital map, don't be evil, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, gig economy, Google Earth, Herbert Marcuse, hive mind, Ian Bogost, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, labour mobility, Lyft, Network effects, New Journalism, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Ponzi scheme, Ralph Nader, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Sam Peltzman, security theater, self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, smart cities, social graph, social intelligence, Stephen Hawking, surveillance capitalism, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, traffic fines, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, Wall-E, Works Progress Administration

His first attempt, a six-cylinder engine, solved the smoke problem. He also increased power output from 105 horsepower to 150, climbing to 260 HP in later iterations over the course of the war. During the Second World War he turned to aircraft engines, with similarly spectacular results. Elected a Fellow of the Royal Society for his wartime accomplishments, he would enter the peerage as Knight Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. I wonder if Sir Harry still smelled of carb cleaner as he kneeled before the queen, to be touched upon the shoulders with the ancient sword. Ricardo’s magisterial work, The High-Speed Internal-Combustion Engine, was first published in 1923 and rewritten in 1953.


Rummage: A History of the Things We Have Reused, Recycled and Refused To Let Go by Emily Cockayne

Cape to Cairo, carbon footprint, card file, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, New Journalism, oil shale / tar sands, On the Economy of Machinery and Manufactures, paper trading, South Sea Bubble

Amid the gathered throng were three men: Henry Constantine Jennings and Joseph Hume (who had requested the ship be set on fire in the first place); they were joined by a Mr Good, probably a shipbuilder, described as a ‘dry-rot doctor’. The son of a shipmaster, Hume had trained as a doctor. When he became a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1818, he was described as being an expert in chemistry.35 Senior to his friend Jennings by about a decade, Hume was the radical MP for Aberdeen Burghs. Jennings was an ‘energetic merchant’ and ‘practical chemist’. Nine years previously Jennings had designed a lifeboat made from calico stuffed with waste ‘cork-shaving, cutting, or old cork’, milled into pieces that were bigger than sawdust but smaller than peas.36 Internal Admiralty correspondence refers to him as ‘that impudent fellow Jennings’.37 Jennings’s current obsession was the use of coal tar by the navy.


The Next Great Migration by Sonia Shah

Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, European colonialism, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, Garrett Hardin, hive mind, illegal immigration, immigration reform, index card, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mass immigration, meta-analysis, Nelson Mandela, open borders, out of africa, Scientific racism, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Steve Bannon, trade route, Tragedy of the Commons, urban sprawl

Produced by Walt Disney studios Jack Jungmeyer, “Filming a ‘Wilderness,’ ” New York Times, August 3, 1958; Cruel Camera: Animals in Movies, documentary film, Fifth Estate program, CBC Television, May 5, 1982. Elton is remembered today as the “founding father” Richard Southwood and J. R. Clarke, “Charles Sutherland Elton: 29 March 1900–1 May,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellow of the Royal Society, November 1, 1999; Chitty, Do Lemmings Commit Suicide? The truth about lemmings emerged Tim Coulson and Aurelio Malo, “Case of the Absent Lemmings,” Nature, November 2008; Chitty, Do Lemmings Commit Suicide?; Nils Christian Stenseth, interview by author, February 9, 2018. During snowy years, unknown to anyone Nicholls, “Truth About Norwegian Lemmings.


pages: 412 words: 122,952

Day We Found the Universe by Marcia Bartusiak

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Arthur Eddington, California gold rush, Cepheid variable, Copley Medal, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, horn antenna, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Louis Pasteur, Magellanic Cloud, Occam's razor, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, Pluto: dwarf planet, Solar eclipse in 1919, William of Occam

So passionate was his commitment to astronomy that his younger sister, Caroline, who had earlier joined him in England, fed him morsels of food by hand, so that he would not have to pause while grinding and polishing. Pointing his home-built instruments toward the sky, he came to memorize the heavens and in 1781 climactically spotted Uranus, the first planet discovered since the dawn of history. He was promptly elected a fellow of the Royal Society and procured an annual stipend from England's King George III, a pension that at last allowed Herschel to devote himself to his astronomical interests, especially building ever-larger telescopes (the largest he ever constructed was forty feet long). Herschel was far ahead of his time, as he used his telescope to examine the universe much the way an astronomer would today.


pages: 381 words: 120,361

Sunfall by Jim Al-Khalili

airport security, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Carrington event, cosmological constant, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Attenborough, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, MITM: man-in-the-middle, off grid, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Turing test

A recipient of the Royal Society Michael Faraday Medal, the Institute of Physics Kelvin Medal and the inaugural Stephen Hawking Medal for Science Communication, he is also the current president of the British Science Association. He was appointed OBE in 2007 for services to science and was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 2018. Sunfall is his first novel. Also by Jim Al-Khalili BLACK HOLES, WORMHOLES AND TIME MACHINES QUANTUM: A GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED PATHFINDERS: THE GOLDEN AGE OF ARABIC SCIENCE PARADOX: THE NINE GREATEST ENIGMAS IN SCIENCE QUANTUM MECHANICS: A LADYBIRD EXPERT BOOK GRAVITY: A LADYBIRD EXPERT BOOK With Johnjoe McFadden LIFE ON THE EDGE: THE COMING OF AGE OF QUANTUM BIOLOGY With Ray Mackintosh, Björn Jonson and Teresa Peña NUCLEUS: A TRIP INTO THE HEART OF MATTER As editor ALIENS: SCIENCE ASKS: IS ANYONE OUT THERE?


pages: 436 words: 127,642

When Einstein Walked With Gödel: Excursions to the Edge of Thought by Jim Holt

"Robert Solow", Ada Lovelace, Albert Einstein, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, anti-communist, Arthur Eddington, Benoit Mandelbrot, Brownian motion, cellular automata, computer age, dark matter, David Brooks, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fellow of the Royal Society, four colour theorem, Georg Cantor, George Santayana, haute couture, Henri Poincaré, inventory management, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Joseph-Marie Jacquard, Long Term Capital Management, Louis Bachelier, luminiferous ether, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Monty Hall problem, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, Norman Macrae, Paul Erdős, Peter Singer: altruism, probability theory / Blaise Pascal / Pierre de Fermat, random walk, Richard Feynman, Schrödinger's Cat, scientific worldview, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, selection bias, Skype, stakhanovite, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Thorstein Veblen, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, union organizing, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, wage slave

* * * It was by precisely such logic that Alfred Bray Kempe, a London barrister and amateur mathematician, claimed in 1879 to have proved the four-color conjecture. Kempe’s reasoning was replete with mathematical convolutions, but it appeared persuasive, and not just to C. S. Peirce. Leading mathematicians in Britain, on the Continent, and in the United States agreed that it was the long-sought solution to the map problem. Kempe was made a fellow of the Royal Society and eventually knighted. His “proof” stood for a decade, until a subtle but fatal flaw was found. The man who detected this flaw was a classicist and mathematician called Percy Heawood—or “Pussy” Heawood by his friends, owing to his catlike whiskers. Heawood, who was almost apologetic about overturning the result, had personal oddities that make him stand out even in this eccentric-filled saga.


pages: 420 words: 143,881

The Blind Watchmaker; Why the Evidence of Evolution Reveals a Universe Without Design by Richard Dawkins

epigenetics, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, lateral thinking, Menlo Park, pattern recognition, phenotype, random walk, silicon-based life, Steven Pinker

He has also won the 1989 Silver Medal of the Zoological Society of London and the 1990 Royal Society Michael Faraday Award for the furtherance of the public understanding of science. In 1994 he won the Nakayama Prize for Human Science and in 1995 was awarded an Honorary D.Litt. by the University of St Andrews and by the National University, Canberra. In 1997 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and won the Cosmos International Prize. To my parents PENGUIN BOOKS THE BLIND WATCHMAKER ‘The most brilliant contemporary preacher of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution … Dawkins has done it again and defended modern Darwinist orthodoxy with wit and passion’ Daily Telegraph ‘A lovely book, original and lively, it expounds the ins and outs of evolution with enthusiastic clarity, answering, at every point, the cavemen of creationism’ Isaac Asimov ‘It succeeds quite brilliantly.


pages: 403 words: 138,026

Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger

back-to-the-land, clean water, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, MITM: man-in-the-middle, the market place

In recognition of his journeys he received the Founder’s Gold Medal from the Royal Geographical Society, the Lawrence of Arabia Medal from the Royal Central Asian Society, the Livingstone Gold Medal from the Royal Scottish Geographical Society and the Burton Memorial Medal from the Royal Asiatic Society. He was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and an Honorary Fellow of the British Academy. In 1968 he received the CBE, and a knighthood in 1995. In his two greatest books, Arabian Sands and The Marsh Arabs, he gives a vivid account of a way of life which, until recently, had continued for thousands of years. The Marsh Arabs, which won the 1964 W.


pages: 420 words: 130,714

Science in the Soul: Selected Writings of a Passionate Rationalist by Richard Dawkins

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, anthropic principle, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Boris Johnson, David Attenborough, Donald Trump, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Google Earth, John Harrison: Longitude, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mahatma Gandhi, mental accounting, Necker cube, nuclear winter, out of africa, p-value, phenotype, place-making, placebo effect, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Wozniak, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, twin studies

The same applies to almost everyone I meet outside the university: shopkeepers, waiters, taxi drivers, bartenders, random people I stop in the street to ask the way. Can you imagine a visitor to England addressing a London cabbie in French or German? And you’d have little more luck with a Fellow of the Royal Society. The conventional explanation goes like this, and there’s probably something in it. Precisely because English is so widely spoken, we don’t need to learn any other language. Biologists like me tend to be suspicious of ‘need’ as an explanation for anything. A long-discredited alternative to Darwinism, Lamarckism, invoked ‘need’ as the driver of evolution: ancestral giraffes needed to reach high foliage and their energetic striving to do so somehow called longer necks into existence.


pages: 449 words: 129,511

The Perfectionists: How Precision Engineers Created the Modern World by Simon Winchester

Albert Einstein, ASML, British Empire, business climate, Dava Sobel, discovery of the americas, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, interchangeable parts, Isaac Newton, Jacques de Vaucanson, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, lateral thinking, lone genius, means of production, planetary scale, Richard Feynman, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, trade route, William Shockley: the traitorous eight

William’s son, John Herschel, was to become so revered a scientist—polymathic but supreme in sky-searching—that he was buried in Westminster Abbey beside Sir Isaac Newton (the common man may bless him for his interest in cameras, and his invention of the terms positive, negative, snap-shot, and photographer). He was also happily fertile: his fifth child (of twelve) and second son, Alexander, was himself no mean astronomer, and would become a professor, a Fellow of the Royal Society, and a leading authority on meteorites. * NASA has now all but completed a vastly more powerful (and at eight billion dollars, much costlier) device, the James Webb Space Telescope, which is due to be launched from the European spaceport in French Guiana, in April 2019. The telescope will float almost a million miles from Earth, well beyond the reach of any shuttle-hoisted repair teams; consequently, its manufacture, and the planning of the deep-space maneuvers that have to be successfully accomplished before it can make a single observation, are being rehearsed over and over, to ensure that everything works down to the finest detail


pages: 473 words: 130,141

The Goodness Paradox: The Strange Relationship Between Virtue and Violence in Human Evolution by Richard Wrangham

agricultural Revolution, Alfred Russel Wallace, Defenestration of Prague, domesticated silver fox, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, impulse control, income inequality, meta-analysis, out of africa, phenotype, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Steven Pinker, twin studies, ultimatum game

The story suggested that our tendencies to behave well come from our being human, whereas our tendencies to behave badly come from our inner ape. A critical feature was missing, however. The aggression that was so prominent in Hyde, and suppressed in Jekyll, was almost all reactive. Proactive aggression was hardly to be seen. The fictional Jekyll was a London doctor with everything going for him—a wealthy Fellow of the Royal Society, good-looking, hardworking, ambitious, respectful, and a morally guided thinker. He was the “very pink of the proprieties.”1 His alter ego, Mr. Hyde, was “pale and dwarfish,…with a sort of murderous mixture of timidity and boldness.” Hyde lost his temper easily. He hit children at will, and in a fit of rage he killed an old man.


Adam Smith: Father of Economics by Jesse Norman

"Robert Solow", active measures, Andrei Shleifer, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Basel III, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Broken windows theory, business cycle, business process, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, centre right, cognitive dissonance, collateralized debt obligation, colonial exploitation, Corn Laws, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, crony capitalism, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, frictionless, frictionless market, future of work, George Akerlof, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, incomplete markets, information asymmetry, intangible asset, invention of the telescope, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, Jean Tirole, John Nash: game theory, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, lateral thinking, loss aversion, market bubble, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, means of production, money market fund, Mont Pelerin Society, moral hazard, moral panic, Naomi Klein, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, Pareto efficiency, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, random walk, rent-seeking, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, scientific worldview, seigniorage, Socratic dialogue, South Sea Bubble, special economic zone, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, The Chicago School, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Nature of the Firm, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, The Wisdom of Crowds, theory of mind, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, time value of money, transaction costs, transfer pricing, Veblen good, Vilfredo Pareto, Washington Consensus, working poor, zero-sum game

In the event, however, he was persuaded by Buccleuch to reject the offer in the expectation of something better after the new book was completed, and in due course Buccleuch did indeed procure for him the post of Commissioner of Customs in Edinburgh. But all this lay in the future. For the present, London offered much to entertain him, and Smith was quickly admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society. Founded in 1660 at the instigation of Sir Christopher Wren to promulgate the ‘new science’, the Society had experienced something of a decline since the days of Newton, Hooke and Herschel, but it remained highly prestigious even so. Smith periodically attended lectures at the Society’s premises off Fleet Street, and carefully collected copies of its Transactions.


pages: 517 words: 139,824

The Difference Engine by William Gibson, Bruce Sterling

card file, clockwatching, Fellow of the Royal Society, Isaac Newton, Jacquard loom, Plutocrats, plutocrats, spinning jenny, the scientific method

As they walked, she seemed to recover herself somewhat. Her gloved hand rested on his forearm as lightly as a cobweb. Mallory waited for a break in the hubbub. He found one at last beneath the whiled pillars of the stands. "May I introduce myself, ma'am? My name is Edward Mallory. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society; a paleontologist." "The Royal Society," the woman muttered absently, her veiled head nodding like a flower on a stalk. She seemed to murmur something further. "I beg your pardon?" "The Royal Society! We have sucked the life-blood from the mysteries of the universe . . . " Mallory stared.


pages: 493 words: 139,845

Women Leaders at Work: Untold Tales of Women Achieving Their Ambitions by Elizabeth Ghaffari

Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Bear Stearns, business cycle, business process, cloud computing, Columbine, compensation consultant, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, dark matter, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, follow your passion, glass ceiling, Grace Hopper, high net worth, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, longitudinal study, performance metric, pink-collar, profit maximization, profit motive, recommendation engine, Ronald Reagan, Savings and loan crisis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Ballmer, Steve Jobs, thinkpad, trickle-down economics, urban planning, women in the workforce, young professional

The next thing I knew, I had to pick this package up at the US-Canadian border. They sent me a beautiful, black-lacquered captain's chair with an inlaid medal with my name and the award inserted in the back of the chair. That was very exciting. Everyone likes to be patted on the back. I still have the chair in my living room. Then again, to be named a fellow of the Royal Society is the highest honor that a Canadian scientist or scholar can have bestowed on them. So, obviously, that is very, very important to me. Finally, the other recognition was being invited to be a member of the Dana Alliance for Brain Initiatives in New York because there are only around two hundred and fifty neuroscientists who are members from around the world.


pages: 495 words: 136,714

Money for Nothing by Thomas Levenson

Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, bank run, British Empire, carried interest, clockwork universe, credit crunch, Edmond Halley, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, experimental subject, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial innovation, Fractional reserve banking, income inequality, Isaac Newton, joint-stock company, market bubble, Money creation, open economy, price mechanism, quantitative easing, Republic of Letters, risk/return, side project, South Sea Bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

Several expedients had been tried over the preceding few years. Finally, in September 1695, the Treasury sought outside help to deal with one aspect of the crisis: the disappearance of England’s hard currency due to its stock of silver coin flowing across the Channel to Paris and Amsterdam. Among those consulted were four fellows of the Royal Society: Davenant, Sir Christopher Wren, the philosopher John Locke—and Isaac Newton. Here the scientific revolution, in the persons of some of its greatest minds, collided directly with a financial transformation, at a moment when the fate of a nation hung in the balance. *1 These early companies faced more problems than the quantitative one of figuring out what to charge for protection.


pages: 506 words: 133,134

The Lonely Century: How Isolation Imperils Our Future by Noreena Hertz

"side hustle", Airbnb, airport security, algorithmic bias, Asian financial crisis, Bernie Sanders, big-box store, Broken windows theory, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, Cass Sunstein, centre right, conceptual framework, Copley Medal, coronavirus, correlation does not imply causation, Covid-19, COVID-19, dark matter, deindustrialization, Diane Coyle, disinformation, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, future of work, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, housing crisis, illegal immigration, independent contractor, industrial robot, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, meta-analysis, move fast and break things, move fast and break things, Network effects, new economy, Pepto Bismol, QWERTY keyboard, Ray Oldenburg, remote working, rent control, RFID, Ronald Reagan, San Francisco homelessness, Second Machine Age, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Skype, Snapchat, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Steve Jobs, surveillance capitalism, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Great Good Place, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, Wall-E, WeWork, working poor

An evangelical at heart, he initially pursued a career in the Church of Scotland but found public speaking too stressful; he once fainted at a dinner party when invited to say grace.1 Instead, he turned to a different kind of evangelism: evangelism for science. In 1817, Brewster – by now a fellow of the Royal Society and winner of its prestigious Copley Medal for his contribution to the field of optics – patented a ‘philosophical toy’ that used angled mirrors and small pieces of coloured glass to create beautiful symmetrical forms. This device, he hoped, would allow people to amuse themselves while simultaneously observing the wonders of science.


A Dominant Character by Samanth Subramanian

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, Arthur Eddington, British Empire, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gunnar Myrdal, Louis Pasteur, peak oil, phenotype, statistical model, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, Tim Cook: Apple

Charlotte’s displeasure with Cambridge was compounded now by her wish that Ronnie, nearly 14, enroll in a London school. Haldane could quit Cambridge at any time to teach somewhere else, she thought. So he resigned in 1932, in the middle of a year of furious productivity: two books, more than a dozen scientific papers, and a confirmation as a fellow of the Royal Society, the last a salve for the snub by Cambridge. In August, he went to America to lecture at Columbia and Cal Tech and to attend the Sixth International Congress of Genetics. He was feted everywhere. At a dinner in his honor, he was introduced to the 250 guests present as the man “to whom our country owes more than to any other foreign scientist for his work in the popularization of science.”


pages: 486 words: 139,713

Land: How the Hunger for Ownership Shaped the Modern World by Simon Winchester

agricultural Revolution, British Empire, Cape to Cairo, colonial rule, Donald Trump, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, Garrett Hardin, glass ceiling, Haight Ashbury, invention of the steam engine, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, Jones Act, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, land value tax, Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, Ralph Nader, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, stakhanovite, Tragedy of the Commons, white flight, white picket fence

*In the mid-eighteenth century the German-born but London-based astronomer William Herschel and his sister Caroline between them discovered a score of comets, twenty-five hundred nebulae, and, most notably, the planet Uranus. William’s son John became in turn so accomplished in the field that he was buried in Westminster Abbey beside Sir Isaac Newton. And Alexander Herschel, John’s second son, was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society and was the world’s leading nineteenth century expert on meteorites. *He fathered eighteen children by his two wives. *The fact that a secretive revolutionary organization tried to topple him from the throne as soon as he assumed office in December 1925—the group thereafter being known as the Decembrists—left him understandably nervous during the first years of his reign.


pages: 592 words: 152,445

The Woman Who Smashed Codes: A True Story of Love, Spies, and the Unlikely Heroine Who Outwitted America's Enemies by Jason Fagone

Albert Einstein, Charles Lindbergh, Columbine, cuban missile crisis, Drosophila, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Fellow of the Royal Society, index card, Internet Archive, pattern recognition, Robert Gordon, Ronald Reagan, side project, Silicon Valley, two and twenty, X Prize

Troy, “Donovan’s Original Marching Orders,” Studies in Intelligence 17, no. 2 (1973): 39–67, https://www.cia.gov/library/center-for-the-study-of-intelligence/kent-csi/vol17no2/html/v17i2a05p_0001.htm. 216 “incomparably better” British Security Coordination, The Secret History, 471–72. “The whole system” Ibid. a husky, apple-cheeked colonel James Chadwick, “Frederick John Marrian Stratton, 1881–1960,” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 7 (November 1961): 280–93. 217 looked like Santa Claus ESF interview with Benson. The British operated Bob King, “The RSS from 1939 to 1946,” November 22, 1944. He wanted assistance “History of USCG Unit #387,” Foreword. others relied on “turning grilles” Ibid., 68–84. made special devices and tools Jones, “History of OP-20-GU.” 218 “Fireside Chat” radio speech Franklin Delano Roosevelt, “Fireside Chat 16: On the Arsenal of Democracy,” December 29, 1940, University of Virginia Miller Center, https://millercenter.org/the-presidency/presidential-speeches/december-29-1940-fireside-chat-16-arsenal-democracy. 36 minutes and 56 seconds Ibid.


pages: 528 words: 146,459

Computer: A History of the Information Machine by Martin Campbell-Kelly, William Aspray, Nathan L. Ensmenger, Jeffrey R. Yost

Ada Lovelace, air freight, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Apple's 1984 Super Bowl advert, barriers to entry, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, Build a better mousetrap, Byte Shop, card file, cashless society, cloud computing, combinatorial explosion, computer age, deskilling, don't be evil, Donald Davies, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, Frederick Winslow Taylor, game design, garden city movement, Grace Hopper, hockey-stick growth, Ian Bogost, informal economy, interchangeable parts, invention of the wheel, Jacquard loom, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, light touch regulation, linked data, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, Menlo Park, Mitch Kapor, natural language processing, Network effects, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, optical character recognition, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, Pierre-Simon Laplace, pirate software, popular electronics, prediction markets, pre–internet, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, Robert X Cringely, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the market place, Turing machine, Vannevar Bush, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce, young professional

Babbage never built a full-scale Difference Engine because in 1833 he abandoned it for a new invention, the Analytical Engine, the chief work on which his fame in the history of computing rests. He was at that time at the very height of his powers: Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge University, Fellow of the Royal Society, one of the leading lights in scientific London, and author of the most influential economics book of the 1830s, the Economy of Manufactures. As important as the Difference Engine had been, it was fundamentally a limited conception in that all it could do was produce mathematical tables.


pages: 523 words: 143,139

Algorithms to Live By: The Computer Science of Human Decisions by Brian Christian, Tom Griffiths

4chan, Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, algorithmic bias, algorithmic trading, anthropic principle, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, Bayesian statistics, Berlin Wall, Bill Duvall, bitcoin, Community Supported Agriculture, complexity theory, constrained optimization, cosmological principle, cryptocurrency, Danny Hillis, David Heinemeier Hansson, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, diversification, Donald Knuth, double helix, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Firefox, first-price auction, Flash crash, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Garrett Hardin, George Akerlof, global supply chain, Google Chrome, Henri Poincaré, information retrieval, Internet Archive, Jeff Bezos, Johannes Kepler, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, knapsack problem, Lao Tzu, Leonard Kleinrock, linear programming, martingale, Nash equilibrium, natural language processing, NP-complete, P = NP, packet switching, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, RFC: Request For Comment, Robert X Cringely, Sam Altman, sealed-bid auction, second-price auction, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, sorting algorithm, spectrum auction, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, stochastic process, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Malthus, Tragedy of the Commons, traveling salesman, Turing machine, urban planning, Vickrey auction, Vilfredo Pareto, Walter Mischel, Y Combinator, zero-sum game

The son of a minister, Bayes went to the University of Edinburgh to study theology, and was ordained like his father. He had mathematical as well as theological interests, and in 1736 he wrote an impassioned defense of Newton’s newfangled “calculus” in response to an attack by Bishop George Berkeley. This work resulted in his election in 1742 as a Fellow of the Royal Society, to whom he was recommended as “a Gentleman … well skilled in Geometry and all parts of Mathematical and Philosophical Learning.” After Bayes died in 1761, his friend Richard Price was asked to review his mathematical papers to see if they contained any publishable material. Price came upon one essay in particular that excited him—one he said “has great merit, and deserves to be preserved.”


Investment: A History by Norton Reamer, Jesse Downing

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, asset allocation, backtesting, banking crisis, Bear Stearns, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, break the buck, Brownian motion, business cycle, buttonwood tree, buy and hold, California gold rush, capital asset pricing model, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, colonial rule, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, debt deflation, discounted cash flows, diversified portfolio, dogs of the Dow, equity premium, estate planning, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial innovation, fixed income, Gordon Gekko, Henri Poincaré, high net worth, impact investing, index fund, information asymmetry, interest rate swap, invention of the telegraph, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Kenneth Rogoff, labor-force participation, land tenure, London Interbank Offered Rate, Long Term Capital Management, loss aversion, Louis Bachelier, margin call, means of production, Menlo Park, merger arbitrage, money market fund, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Myron Scholes, negative equity, Network effects, new economy, Nick Leeson, Own Your Own Home, Paul Samuelson, pension reform, Performance of Mutual Funds in the Period, Ponzi scheme, Post-Keynesian economics, price mechanism, principal–agent problem, profit maximization, quantitative easing, RAND corporation, random walk, Renaissance Technologies, Richard Thaler, risk free rate, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Sand Hill Road, Savings and loan crisis, Sharpe ratio, short selling, Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, statistical arbitrage, survivorship bias, tail risk, technology bubble, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, time value of money, too big to fail, transaction costs, two and twenty, underbanked, Vanguard fund, working poor, yield curve

In the end, the court recognized the absurdity of this defense and the insurers were held liable, but the episode speaks to how nascent and often ill defined financial responsibilities in the insurance industry were at the time.34 While simple term life insurance had existed for some time, in 1756 the English mathematician and Fellow of the Royal Society James Dodson devised the level premium plan that allowed policyholders to pay a flat premium, and, in turn, they would receive coverage for their entire lives. With this idea, James Dodson became the father of whole life insurance. He created this system after he himself had applied for life insurance coverage from the Amicable Society, a group offering insurance chartered by Queen Anne in 1706, but was denied for being too old.


pages: 736 words: 147,021

Safe Food: The Politics of Food Safety by Marion Nestle

Asilomar, biofilm, butterfly effect, clean water, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, illegal immigration, out of africa, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, software patent, Upton Sinclair

In this situation, the genetic engineering of a single nutrient or two into a food, while attractive in theory, raises many questions about its benefits in practice. In 2001, I sent a brief letter outlining these nutritional points to the Journal of the American Dietetic Association.31 An electronic copy appeared on the Internet and drew responses from colleagues around the world. A British scientist (who identified himself as a Fellow of the Royal Society) wrote, “It would seem to me that the simplest way to find out if vitamin A rice [sic] works as a vitamin supplement is to try it out. If it doesn’t then what has been lost except a lot of hot air and propaganda; on the other hand if it does work and your letter has delayed its introduction, could you face the children who remain blind for life as a consequence?”


pages: 475 words: 156,046

When They Go Low, We Go High: Speeches That Shape the World – and Why We Need Them by Philip Collins

anti-communist, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, collective bargaining, Copley Medal, Corn Laws, crony capitalism, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, desegregation, Donald Trump, F. W. de Klerk, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, full employment, invention of the printing press, late capitalism, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, Plutocrats, plutocrats, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, Rosa Parks, stakhanovite, Thomas Malthus, Torches of Freedom, World Values Survey

At the age of forty-two Franklin retired to devote himself to the pursuit of civil life, science and literature, in all three of which endeavours he was accomplished to an almost incredible standard. Franklin was the first American to become internationally famous. He became renowned as the greatest scientist of the mid-eighteenth century. He was a fellow of the Royal Society in London and a foreign member of the French Royal Academy of Science. Franklin’s proof that lightning was electrical opened a new frontier of knowledge. For his studies in electricity he won the 1753 Copley Medal of the Royal Society of London, the nearest contemporary equivalent of which would be the Nobel Prize for Physics.


pages: 517 words: 155,209

Kingdom of Olives and Ash: Writers Confront the Occupation by Michael Chabon

airport security, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boycotts of Israel, call centre, clean water, Donald Trump, facts on the ground, Fellow of the Royal Society, glass ceiling, land tenure, mental accounting, Mount Scopus, Nelson Mandela, off grid, Right to Buy, Skype, traveling salesman, WikiLeaks

ANITA DESAI was born and raised in India. She is the author of several novels of which three—Clear Light of Day, In Custody, and Fasting, Feasting—were short-listed for the Booker Prize. She is also the author of two collections of short stories, Games at Twilight and Diamond Dust. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in London and the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and a professor emeritus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. DAVE EGGERS is the author of ten books, among them Heroes of the Frontier, The Circle, and A Hologram for the King, which was a finalist for the 2012 National Book Award.


pages: 492 words: 149,259

Big Bang by Simon Singh

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Andrew Wiles, anthropic principle, Arthur Eddington, Astronomia nova, Brownian motion, carbon-based life, Cepheid variable, Chance favours the prepared mind, Commentariolus, Copley Medal, cosmic abundance, cosmic microwave background, cosmological constant, cosmological principle, dark matter, Dava Sobel, Defenestration of Prague, discovery of penicillin, Dmitri Mendeleev, Edmond Halley, Edward Charles Pickering, Eratosthenes, Ernest Rutherford, Erwin Freundlich, Fellow of the Royal Society, fudge factor, Hans Lippershey, Harlow Shapley and Heber Curtis, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Henri Poincaré, horn antenna, if you see hoof prints, think horses—not zebras, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Karl Jansky, Kickstarter, Louis Daguerre, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Murray Gell-Mann, music of the spheres, Olbers’ paradox, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, Paul Erdős, retrograde motion, Richard Feynman, scientific mainstream, Simon Singh, Solar eclipse in 1919, Stephen Hawking, the scientific method, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, unbiased observer, Wilhelm Olbers, William of Occam

Crucially, the contraction phase compresses the outer layer of the star, which causes it to become more opaque, resulting in the dimming phase of the Cepheid. Although Goodricke was unaware of the explanation behind the variability of Cepheids, the discovery of this new type of star was in itself a great achievement. At the age of just twenty-one, a new honour was bestowed on him: he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. Then, just fourteen days later, the life of this brilliant young astronomer was cut short. Goodricke died of pneumonia, contracted during long freezing nights spent staring at the stars. His friend and collaborator Pigott lamented: ‘This worthy young man exists no more; he is not only regretted to many friends, but will prove a loss to astronomy, as the discoveries he so rapidly made evince.’


pages: 668 words: 159,523

Coffeeland: One Man's Dark Empire and the Making of Our Favorite Drug by Augustine Sedgewick

affirmative action, Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, business cycle, California gold rush, collective bargaining, European colonialism, family office, Fellow of the Royal Society, Food sovereignty, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Honoré de Balzac, imperial preference, Joan Didion, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, land reform, land tenure, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, Monroe Doctrine, Philip Mirowski, race to the bottom, refrigerator car, the scientific method, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, trade route, wage slave, women in the workforce, working poor, zero-sum game

Lorraine Boissoneault, “How Coffee, Chocolate and Tea Overturned a 1,500-Year-Old Medical Mindset,” Smithsonian.com, May 17, 2017, https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-coffee-chocolate-and-tea-overturned-1500-year-old-medical-mindset-180963339/. 11. Brian Cowan, The Social Life of Coffee: The Emergence of the British Coffeehouse (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2005), 47–53. 12. Cowan, 31. 13. As reported by John Houghton, a Fellow of the Royal Society, in his “Discourse of Coffee,” Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 21, no. 256 (September 1699): 311–17; recounted in Ellis, The Coffee-House, 26–41. 14. Cowan, Social Life, 49; Ellis, The Coffee-House, 34–36. 15. For a searchable version, see The Diary of Samuel Pepys, www.pepysdiary.com. 16.


pages: 1,799 words: 532,462

The Codebreakers: The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication From Ancient Times to the Internet by David Kahn

anti-communist, British Empire, Claude Shannon: information theory, computer age, cuban missile crisis, Fellow of the Royal Society, Honoré de Balzac, index card, interchangeable parts, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, Louis Daguerre, Maui Hawaii, Norbert Wiener, out of africa, pattern recognition, place-making, popular electronics, positional goods, Republic of Letters, Searching for Interstellar Communications, stochastic process, the scientific method, trade route, Turing machine, union organizing, yellow journalism, zero-sum game

Blencowe did so well that six years later this salary was doubled, and he stood high in the royal favor: Queen Anne intervened in his behalf during a dispute with All Souls College at Oxford, where he was a fellow. But he shot himself in a fit of temporary insanity during his recovery from a violent fever in 1712. He was succeeded by Dr. John Keill, 50-year-old professor of astronomy at Oxford, who, though a fellow of the Royal Society, proved totally incompetent. On May 14, 1716, Keill was replaced by Edward Willes, a 22-year-old minister at Oriel College, Oxford. Willes embarked at once upon a career unique in the annals of cryptology and the church. He not only managed to reconcile his religious calling with an activity once condemned by churchly authorities, but also went on to become the only man in history to use cryptanalytic talents to procure ecclesiastical rewards.

He constructed an electric telegraph before Morse did, invented the concertina, improved the dynamo, studied underwater telegraphy, produced some of the first stereoscopic drawings, published half a dozen papers on acoustics, discussed phonetics and hypothetical speaking machines in print, conducted numerous electrical experiments, and popularized a method for the extremely accurate measurement of electrical resistance now in frequent use and called the “Wheatstone bridge.” His work was highly enough regarded for him to be elected a fellow of the Royal Society and to be knighted. He was nominally professor of experimental philosophy at King’s College, London, but was so excessively shy that he hardly ever actually lectured. Around 1860, in his late fifties, he solved a long cipher letter of Charles I. It consisted of seven folio pages filled with numerals, each page signed at the top by the king; it proved to be instructions in French for the Sieur de Goffe, enciphered in a small one-part nomenclator (a = 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; b = 18, 19; France = 478).

As for the variations, “The words ‘plus’ and ‘equal’ are so different from the regularly fluctuating signals that you cannot be mistaken. I am absolutely sure that any Chinese peasant who has never understood the English words ‘plus’ and ‘equal’ will understand what you have said.” Lancelot Hogben, a Fellow of the Royal Society, editor of the best-selling The Loom of Language, and himself inventor of an interstellar language, agreed with Freudenthal up to the establishment of temporal signals. But he thought—and, many believe, rightly—that the step after that would be to set up a common factual framework based on mutual experience, which would have to be celestial phenomena.


pages: 544 words: 168,076

Red Plenty by Francis Spufford

affirmative action, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, asset allocation, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, cognitive dissonance, computer age, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, John von Neumann, Kickstarter, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kitchen Debate, linear programming, market clearing, MITM: man-in-the-middle, New Journalism, oil shock, Philip Mirowski, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, RAND corporation, Simon Kuznets, the scientific method

His second, The Child That Books Built, gave Neil Gaiman ’the peculiar feeling that there was now a book I didn’t need to write’. His third, Backroom Boys, was called ’as nearly perfect as makes no difference’ by the Daily Telegraph and was shortlisted for the Aventis Prize. In 2007 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He teaches writing at Goldsmiths College and lives near Cambridge. By the Same Author THE CHATTO BOOK OF CABBAGES AND KINGS: Lists in Literature THE CHATTO BOOK OF THE DEVIL CULTURAL BABBAGE: Technology, Time and Invention (with Jenny Uglow) I MAY BE SOME TIME: Ice and the English Imagination THE CHILD THAT BOOKS BUILT BACKROOM BOYS: The Secret Return of the British Boffin Copyright First published in 2010 by Faber and Faber Ltd Bloomsbury House 74–77 Great Russell Street London WC1B 3DA This ebook edition first published in 2010 All rights reserved © Francis Spufford, 2010 The right of Francis Spufford to be identified as author of this work has been asserted in accordance with Section 77 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 This ebook is copyright material and must not be copied, reproduced, transferred, distributed, leased, licensed or publicly performed or used in any way except as specifically permitted in writing by the publishers, as allowed under the terms and conditions under which it was purchased or as strictly permitted by applicable copyright law.


pages: 615 words: 168,775

Troublemakers: Silicon Valley's Coming of Age by Leslie Berlin

AltaVista, Apple II, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bear Stearns, beat the dealer, Bill Atkinson, Bill Gates: Altair 8800, Bob Noyce, Byte Shop, Clayton Christensen, cloud computing, computer age, discovery of DNA, don't be evil, Donald Knuth, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Dynabook, Edward Thorp, El Camino Real, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, game design, Haight Ashbury, hiring and firing, independent contractor, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, inventory management, John Markoff, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, Leonard Kleinrock, manufacturing employment, Mark Zuckerberg, Menlo Park, Minecraft, Mother of all demos, packet switching, Ralph Nader, Robert Metcalfe, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, software as a service, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, union organizing, upwardly mobile, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, women in the workforce

By the end of 1984, former PARC employees at Digital’s Systems Research Center (DEC SRC) included Andrew Birrell, Marc Brown, Leo Guibas, Jim Horning, Steve Jeske, Butler Lampson, Roy Levin, Carol Peters, Phil Petit, Lyle Ramshaw, Paul Rovner, Mike Schroeder, Larry Stewart, Chuck Thacker, Mary-Claire van Leunen, and John Wick. 35. Citation as Fellow of the Royal Society; Crystal Lu, “The Genius: Mike Burrows’ Self-Effacing Journey Through Silicon Valley” at http://web.archive.org/web/20080217003150/http://www.stanford.edu/group/gpj/cgi-bin/drupal/?q=node/60. Video Nation — Al Alcorn 1. Charles P. Alexander, “Video Games Go Crunch!,” Time, Oct. 17, 1983. 2.


pages: 523 words: 195,307

Travels in West Africa by Mary Henrietta Kingsley

Fellow of the Royal Society, trade route

There can be little doubt that the very earliest human beings found, as their descendants still find, their plans frustrated, let them plan ever so wisely and carefully; they must have seen their companions overtaken by death and disaster, arising both from things they could see and from things they could not see. The distinction between these two classes of phenomena is not so definitely recognised by savages or animals as it is by the more cultured races of humanity. I doubt whether a savage depends on his five senses alone to teach him what the world is made of, any more than a Fellow of the Royal Society does. From this method of viewing nature I feel sure that the general idea arose — which you find in all early cultures — that death was always the consequence of the action of some malignant spirit, and that there is no accidental or natural death, as we call it; and death is, after all, the most impressive attribute of life.


pages: 699 words: 192,704

Heaven's Command (Pax Britannica) by Jan Morris

British Empire, Cape to Cairo, centralized clearinghouse, Corn Laws, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, land reform, land tenure, Livingstone, I presume, Magellanic Cloud, mass immigration, means of production, Monroe Doctrine, Plutocrats, plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, trade route

Not only was it the Corcyra of the ancients, but it was also the place where Lord Guilford himself, in 1791, had been received into the Greek Orthodox Church. For this civilized man, Eton and Christ Church, and a son of the Lord North who had lost the American empire, was a genuine cosmopolitan. De Quincey once called him ‘a semi-delirious Lord’, but he spoke six languages, wrote poems in classical Greek, and was a Fellow of the Royal Society. He had been the first British Governor of Ceylon, a post he found uncomfortably beyond even his varied capacities, and ever since the British acquisition of the Ionians he had devoted his energies to the idea of the university. It was founded in 1824, with Guilford as its President. He lavished upon it books, scientific equipment, manuscripts and works of art, and for a time it really was the prime centre of higher learning in the Greek-speaking world.


The Secret World: A History of Intelligence by Christopher Andrew

active measures, Admiral Zheng, airport security, anti-communist, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, British Empire, Chelsea Manning, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, disinformation, Edward Snowden, en.wikipedia.org, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, Francisco Pizarro, Google Earth, invention of movable type, invention of the telegraph, Julian Assange, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murano, Venice glass, RAND corporation, Robert Hanssen: Double agent, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, the market place, trade route, two and twenty, union organizing, uranium enrichment, Vladimir Vetrov: Farewell Dossier, WikiLeaks, éminence grise

The King himself was personally responsible for establishing a secret alliance between his Hanoverian codebreakers at Nienburg and those in Britain, who exchanged both intelligence and personal visits. Decrypts from Nienburg were forwarded by the Hanoverian minister in London to the King and distributed to leading ministers.5 After the suicide of Queen Anne’s royal decipherer, William Blencowe, in 1712,6 he had been succeeded by a 39-year-old Fellow of the Royal Society, John Keill, who, like Blencowe, was an Oxford don. Keill had been about to accept a post as mathematician in the Venetian Republic when Robert Harley offered him the post of decipherer. The fact that the offer came directly from Queen Anne’s Chief Minister (not yet called ‘Prime Minister’) is evidence of the importance of the post, though Keill was paid only £100 a year – half the salary of Blencowe.

His chief assistant at Passy, near Paris, where he established the American mission, was his protégé, Edward Bancroft. Born in Massachusetts, Bancroft had moved to London in 1767, studied at St Bartholomew’s Hospital and begun a successful career as scientist and writer. With Franklin’s backing, he was elected Fellow of the Royal Society (FRS) in 1773 at the age of only twenty-nine. Bancroft was the first FRS to become a major spy. Franklin instructed Silas Deane, who arrived in Paris five months before him as the first American commissioner in July 1776, to make secret contact with Bancroft, whom Deane had once taught at school: ‘Procure a meeting with Mr.


pages: 686 words: 201,972

Drink: A Cultural History of Alcohol by Iain Gately

barriers to entry, British Empire, California gold rush, corporate raider, delayed gratification, Deng Xiaoping, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Fellow of the Royal Society, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, Haight Ashbury, Hernando de Soto, imperial preference, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Jones Act, Louis Pasteur, megacity, music of the spheres, Norman Mailer, Peace of Westphalia, post-work, refrigerator car, Ronald Reagan, South Sea Bubble, spice trade, strikebreaker, the scientific method, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, traveling salesman, Upton Sinclair, V2 rocket, working poor

In contrast to his first visit, when he had worked as a jobbing printer and had been teased for being a water-drinking American, this time he had traveled as the official representative of the Pennsylvania Assembly to petition the king on its behalf. He was, moreover, a celebrated Enlightenment figure, an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society, whose experiments with electricity had won him fame throughout Europe. The petition he had been appointed to present related to taxes imposed on Pennsylvania to support the cost of the Seven Years’ War, which were considered by the Pennsylvania Assembly to be inequitable. This was not the only point of difference between Britain and its American settlements to have emerged during the French and Indian War, as it was known in the colonies, whose prosecution had also aggravated preexisting disagreements.


pages: 654 words: 204,260

A Short History of Nearly Everything by Bill Bryson

Albert Einstein, Albert Michelson, Alfred Russel Wallace, All science is either physics or stamp collecting, Arthur Eddington, Barry Marshall: ulcers, Brownian motion, California gold rush, Cepheid variable, clean water, Copley Medal, cosmological constant, dark matter, Dava Sobel, David Attenborough, double helix, Drosophila, Edmond Halley, Ernest Rutherford, Fellow of the Royal Society, Harvard Computers: women astronomers, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, Kevin Kelly, Kuiper Belt, Louis Pasteur, luminiferous ether, Magellanic Cloud, Menlo Park, Murray Gell-Mann, out of africa, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, supervolcano, Thomas Malthus, Wilhelm Olbers

Thanks almost entirely to Croll's persuasive theory, people in Britain began to become more responsive to the notion that at some former time parts of the Earth had been in the grip of ice. When his ingenuity and aptitude were recognized, Croll was given a job at the Geological Survey of Scotland and widely honored: he was made a fellow of the Royal Society in London and of the New York Academy of Science and given an honorary degree from the University of St. Andrews, among much else. Unfortunately, just as Agassiz's theory was at last beginning to find converts in Europe, he was busy taking it into ever more exotic territory in America.


pages: 829 words: 186,976

The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail-But Some Don't by Nate Silver

"Robert Solow", airport security, availability heuristic, Bayesian statistics, Bear Stearns, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, big-box store, Black Swan, Broken windows theory, business cycle, buy and hold, Carmen Reinhart, Claude Shannon: information theory, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, cognitive dissonance, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, cuban missile crisis, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, disinformation, diversification, Donald Trump, Edmond Halley, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, en.wikipedia.org, equity premium, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, Freestyle chess, fudge factor, George Akerlof, global pandemic, haute cuisine, Henri Poincaré, high batting average, housing crisis, income per capita, index fund, information asymmetry, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, invention of the printing press, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Nash: game theory, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, Laplace demon, locking in a profit, Loma Prieta earthquake, market bubble, Mikhail Gorbachev, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, Nate Silver, negative equity, new economy, Norbert Wiener, PageRank, pattern recognition, pets.com, Pierre-Simon Laplace, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, random walk, Richard Thaler, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Saturday Night Live, savings glut, security theater, short selling, Skype, statistical model, Steven Pinker, The Great Moderation, The Market for Lemons, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Bayes, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, too big to fail, transaction costs, transfer pricing, University of East Anglia, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, wikimedia commons

It is not even clear that anybody knows what Bayes looked like; the portrait of him that is commonly used in encyclopedia articles may have been misattributed.19 What is in relatively little dispute is that Bayes was born into a wealthy family, possibly in the southeastern English county of Hertfordshire. He traveled far away to the University of Edinburgh to go to school, because Bayes was a member of a Nonconformist church rather than the Church of England, and was banned from institutions like Oxford and Cambridge.20 Bayes was nevertheless elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society despite a relatively paltry record of publication, where he may have served as a sort of in-house critic or mediator of intellectual debates. One work that most scholars attribute to Bayes—although it was published under the pseudonym John Noon21—is a tract entitled “Divine Benevolence.”22 In the essay, Bayes considered the age-old theological question of how there could be suffering and evil in the world if God was truly benevolent.


pages: 812 words: 205,147

The Anarchy: The Relentless Rise of the East India Company by William Dalrymple

British Empire, colonial rule, crony capitalism, Dava Sobel, deindustrialization, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, global reserve currency, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, land reform, lone genius, megacity, offshore financial centre, reserve currency, spice trade, surveillance capitalism, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, upwardly mobile

A frequent broadcaster, he has written and presented three television series, one of which won the Grierson Award for Best Documentary Series at BAFTA in 2002. He has also won the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award, the Sunday Times Young British Writer of the Year Award, the Foreign Correspondent of the Year at the FPA Media Awards, and has been awarded five honorary doctorates. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the Royal Asiatic Society and the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and has held visiting fellowships at Princeton and Brown. He writes regularly for the New York Review of Books, the New Yorker and the Guardian. In 2018, he was presented with the prestigious President’s Medal by the British Academy for his outstanding literary achievement and for co-founding the Jaipur Literature Festival.


pages: 669 words: 195,743

Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic by David Quammen

Alfred Russel Wallace, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, conceptual framework, coronavirus, dark matter, digital map, double helix, experimental subject, facts on the ground, Fellow of the Royal Society, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, invention of agriculture, Isaac Newton, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, South China Sea, urban sprawl

“Influenza: An Emerging Disease.” Emerging Infectious Diseases, 4 (3). ———. 2004. “Wet Markets—a Continuing Source of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome and Influenza?” The Lancet, 363 (9404). ———. 2010. “William Graeme Laver, 3 June 1929–26 September 2008.” Biographical Memoirs of the Fellows of the Royal Society, 56. Weeks, Benjamin S., and I. Edward Alcamo. 2006. AIDS: The Biological Basis. Sudbury, MA: Jones and Bartlett. Weigler, Benjamin J. 1992. “Biology of B Virus in Macaque and Human Hosts: A Review.” Clinical Infectious Diseases, 14. Weiss, Robin A. 1988. “A Virus in Search of a Disease.”


pages: 927 words: 216,549

Empire of Guns by Priya Satia

banking crisis, British Empire, business intelligence, Corn Laws, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, hiring and firing, independent contractor, interchangeable parts, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, Khyber Pass, Menlo Park, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, rent-seeking, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, the scientific method, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, zero-sum game

His father’s action smacks of expedience, perhaps expected from this eternal worrier, who must have borne the Society’s admonitions with a great deal of anxiety. His son was made of stiffer stuff and determined to engage in an analytical contest with his judges. Some of his self-assertion, bordering on arrogance, stemmed from his consciousness of his cultural stature as a scientist and fellow of the Royal Society—as a practitioner of Enlightenment civility. His pose in engaging with the Society’s complaints was self-consciously analytical and modern. The distinction was temperamental, too. Galton Jr. had long experience in defending himself and his principles in public squabbles since his youthful clash with Thomas Hadley.


God Created the Integers: The Mathematical Breakthroughs That Changed History by Stephen Hawking

Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, Albert Einstein, Antoine Gombaud: Chevalier de Méré, Augustin-Louis Cauchy, British Empire, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, Fellow of the Royal Society, G4S, Georg Cantor, Henri Poincaré, Isaac Newton, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, p-value, Pierre-Simon Laplace, Richard Feynman, Stephen Hawking, Turing machine

John Boole was its first curator and he made sure that the library was well stocked with Royal Society publications and great English and continental works such as Newton’s Principia, Laplace’s Mécanique céleste, and Lagrange’s Mécanique analytique. George Boole devoured this material reading it not once, but again and again, if necessary, in order to master it. Boole also benefited greatly from his acquaintance with one of the patrons of the Mechanics Institution, Sir Edward Bromhead, a Fellow of the Royal Society. Bromhead was a Cambridge graduate and a talented amateur mathematician who had an eye for mathematical genius. (He had recently been a sponsor of the Nottingham mathematician George Green.) Boole must have spent many hours visiting Bromhead at his family manor, Thurlby Hall, just outside Lincoln, and borrowing volumes from Bromhead’s library.

Mary Boole finally agreed to call a medical doctor on December 5. But it was already too late. By then Boole was in a deep feverish coma. Three days later he died. Boole achieved many honors in his life. Trinity College Dublin and Oxford Universities awarded him honorary doctorates. In 1857 he was made a Fellow of the Royal Society. But perhaps posterity has bestowed the greatest honor on Boole. Many computer languages have objects that take the values TRUE or FALSE. They are called “Booleans”! AN INVESTIGATION OF THE LAWS OF THOUGHT CHAPTER I NATURE AND DESIGN OF THIS WORK 1. The design of the following treatise is to investigate the fundamental laws of those operations of the mind by which reasoning is performed; to give expression to them in the symbolical language of a Calculus, and upon this foundation to establish the science of Logic and construct its method; to make that method itself the basis of a general method for the application of the mathematical doctrine of Probabilities; and, finally, to collect from the various elements of truth brought to view in the course of these inquiries some probable intimations concerning the nature and constitution of the human mind. 2.


She Has Her Mother's Laugh by Carl Zimmer

23andMe, agricultural Revolution, clean water, clockwatching, cloud computing, dark matter, discovery of DNA, double helix, Drosophila, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Fellow of the Royal Society, Flynn Effect, friendly fire, Gary Taubes, germ theory of disease, Isaac Newton, longitudinal study, medical bankruptcy, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral panic, mouse model, New Journalism, out of africa, phenotype, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Scientific racism, statistical model, stem cell, twin studies

Neuropathology Suggests a Disorder of Cellular Lineage.” Journal of Child Neurology 18:776–85. Flynn, James Robert. 2009. What Is Intelligence?: Beyond the Flynn Effect. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Ford, Edmund Brisco. 1977. “Theodosius Grigorievich Dobzhansky, 25 January 1900–18 December 1975.” Biographical Memoirs of Fellows of the Royal Society 23:59–89. Fordham, Alfred J. 1967. “Dwarf Conifers from Witches’-Brooms.” Arnoldia 27:29–50. Forsberg, Lars A., David Gisselsson, and Jan P. Dumanski. 2016. “Mosaicism in Health and Disease—Clones Picking Up Speed.” Nature Reviews Genetics 18:128–42. Fosse, Roar, Jay Joseph, and Ken Richardson. 2015.


pages: 872 words: 259,208

A History of Modern Britain by Andrew Marr

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, battle of ideas, Beeching cuts, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Geldof, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brixton riot, clean water, collective bargaining, computer age, congestion charging, cuban missile crisis, deindustrialization, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial independence, floating exchange rates, full employment, Herbert Marcuse, housing crisis, illegal immigration, Kickstarter, liberal capitalism, Live Aid, loadsamoney, market design, mass immigration, means of production, Mikhail Gorbachev, millennium bug, Neil Kinnock, Nelson Mandela, new economy, North Sea oil, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, open borders, out of africa, Parkinson's law, Piper Alpha, Red Clydeside, reserve currency, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, strikebreaker, upwardly mobile, Winter of Discontent, working poor, Yom Kippur War

When Hitler came to power in 1933 it was agreed at cabinet level to try ‘to secure for this country prominent Jews who were being expelled from Germany and who had achieved distinction’ in science, medicine, music and art. Beveridge himself helped set up an organization to help Jewish refugees, the Academic Assistance Council, which, using public donations, helped 2,600 intellectuals escape. No fewer than twenty of them later won Nobel prizes, fifty-four were elected Fellows of the Royal Society, and ten were knighted for their academic brilliance.31 In their invasion plans for 1940, the German SS reckoned the Jewish population of Britain to be above 300,000, and hugely influential. Then there were the Irish, a big group in British life after a century of steady immigration, the vast majority of it from the south.


pages: 945 words: 292,893

Seveneves by Neal Stephenson

Biosphere 2, clean water, Colonization of Mars, Danny Hillis, digital map, double helix, epigenetics, fault tolerance, Fellow of the Royal Society, Filipino sailors, gravity well, Isaac Newton, Jeff Bezos, kremlinology, Kuiper Belt, low earth orbit, microbiome, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, phenotype, Potemkin village, pre–internet, random walk, remote working, selection bias, side project, Silicon Valley, Skype, statistical model, Stewart Brand, supervolcano, the scientific method, Tunguska event, zero day, éminence grise

Unfortunately for him, he had to do it in his drawing room in Falkirk, where there is, I’m sorry to say, gravity. He had to approximate this sort of thing”—Rhys nodded at the whirring loop of chain—“by building exceedingly clever machines.” “Then he must have been a clever man indeed.” “Fellow of the Royal Society and friend of Lord Kelvin, since you mentioned it. Do you see where I’m going?” “Well, a minute ago you gave me a fat clue by suggesting that I turn off all of the motors in the Siwi train. Were I to do that, it would go completely limp and become, for all practical purposes, a length of chain.”


pages: 932 words: 307,785

State of Emergency: The Way We Were by Dominic Sandbrook

anti-communist, back-to-the-land, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, Corn Laws, David Attenborough, Doomsday Book, edge city, estate planning, Etonian, falling living standards, fear of failure, Fellow of the Royal Society, feminist movement, financial thriller, first-past-the-post, fixed income, full employment, German hyperinflation, global pandemic, Herbert Marcuse, mass immigration, moral panic, Neil Kinnock, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, North Sea oil, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, sexual politics, traveling salesman, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Winter of Discontent, young professional

In the Guardian, Anthony Tucker compared the Blueprint’s impact to that of the Communist Manifesto; in The Times, a long leader concluded that its thesis was ‘too plausible to be dismissed’; in the Sunday Times, Lewis Chester wrote that it was ‘nightmarishly convincing’; and even the Daily Mail thought that its ‘prophecy of a world blindly careening towards self-destruction remains profoundly disturbing’, and that ‘the prophets of doom deserve to be heard with as much respect as those who continue to worship the Gross National Product’. If that were not enough, a week or so later 187 scientists, including nine Fellows of the Royal Society and twenty university professors, signed a letter to The Times explaining that though they were unable to sign the Blueprint because of its errors of fact or emphasis, they welcomed it as a ‘major contribution to current debate’ and a reminder that only population control, conservation and recycling could save the planet.


Into the Silence: The Great War, Mallory, and the Conquest of Everest by Wade Davis

British Empire, Columbine, Etonian, Fellow of the Royal Society, Khartoum Gordon, Khyber Pass, Mahatma Gandhi, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route

In short order Hinks, with Younghusband’s tacit approval, would usurp virtually all administrative authority, reducing Eaton to irrelevance and eclipsing even Farrar, himself a dogmatic and formidable adversary; after numerous battles with Hinks, Farrar would ultimately resign from the committee in 1922. Arthur Hinks was a complex and difficult man. A fellow of the Royal Society, he was a brilliant mathematician and academic cartographer, a world authority on map projections who, ironically, had little interest in exploration and no experience whatsoever of life on an expedition. Before coming to the Royal Geographical Society in 1913, he had spent much of his career sequestered at Cambridge on the staff of the University Observatory, calculating the mass of the Moon.


pages: 1,213 words: 376,284

Empire of Things: How We Became a World of Consumers, From the Fifteenth Century to the Twenty-First by Frank Trentmann

Airbnb, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, choice architecture, clean water, collaborative consumption, collective bargaining, colonial exploitation, colonial rule, Community Supported Agriculture, critique of consumerism, cross-subsidies, Daniel Kahneman / Amos Tversky, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, equity premium, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial exclusion, fixed income, food miles, full employment, germ theory of disease, global village, haute cuisine, Herbert Marcuse, high net worth, income inequality, index card, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, Joseph Schumpeter, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, labour mobility, libertarian paternalism, Livingstone, I presume, longitudinal study, mass immigration, McMansion, mega-rich, moral panic, mortgage debt, Murano, Venice glass, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, Pier Paolo Pasolini, post-industrial society, Post-Keynesian economics, post-materialism, postnationalism / post nation state, profit motive, prosperity theology / prosperity gospel / gospel of success, purchasing power parity, Ralph Nader, rent control, Richard Thaler, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, school vouchers, Scientific racism, Scramble for Africa, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, stakhanovite, the built environment, the market place, The Spirit Level, The Theory of the Leisure Class by Thorstein Veblen, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, trade liberalization, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, union organizing, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working poor, young professional, zero-sum game

The microscope, optical glass and other new instruments showed that ‘we have a far greater number of different things reveal’d to us, than were contain’d in the visible Universe before.’ Trade and novelties injected constant fresh energy into Britain: the more the better.55 Novelties were also news, and the latest goods were promoted by the burgeoning market for printed news. In addition to selling tea and coffee, the apothecary John Houghton, a fellow of the Royal Society, ran a weekly, single-folio commercial newsletter between 1692 and 1703. Sold at two pence, the Collection for Improvement of Agriculture and Trade mixed information on the price of coal and company stock with adverts for chocolate and spectacles. These texts were about more than this or that novelty item.


The Master and His Emissary: The Divided Brain and the Making of the Western World by Iain McGilchrist

Albert Einstein, Asperger Syndrome, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, cognitive bias, cognitive dissonance, computer age, Donald Trump, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, epigenetics, experimental subject, Fellow of the Royal Society, Georg Cantor, hedonic treadmill, Henri Poincaré, Lao Tzu, longitudinal study, Louis Pasteur, mandelbrot fractal, meta-analysis, music of the spheres, Necker cube, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, pattern recognition, randomized controlled trial, Sapir-Whorf hypothesis, Schrödinger's Cat, social intelligence, social web, source of truth, stem cell, Steven Pinker, the scientific method, theory of mind

THE MASTER AND HIS EMISSARY IAIN McGILCHRIST is a former Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford, where he taught literature before training in medicine. He is an Associate Fellow of Green Templeton College, Oxford, a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a Consultant Emeritus of the Bethlem and Maudsley Hospital, London, and has researched in neuroimaging at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He now lives on the Isle of Skye, where he continues to write, and lectures worldwide. Copyright © 2009 Iain McGilchrist Introduction to the New Expanded edition © 2018 Iain McGilchrist First published in paperback 2010 New Expanded paperback edition published 2019 Figures 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1 and 2.2 by Advanced Illustrations Ltd M.


pages: 1,993 words: 478,072

The Boundless Sea: A Human History of the Oceans by David Abulafia

Admiral Zheng, Alfred Russel Wallace, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, colonial rule, computer age, dark matter, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, discovery of the americas, domestication of the camel, Edmond Halley, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Kickstarter, land reform, lone genius, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, Maui Hawaii, megacity, new economy, out of africa, p-value, Peace of Westphalia, polynesian navigation, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, spice trade, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, undersea cable, wikimedia commons, yellow journalism

But social reform so far away was of no interest to the EIC in London. He was summoned back to London, and was disillusioned by the return of the East Indies to the Dutch in 1816, following the fall of Napoleon. Raffles redeemed his reputation back home – his scholarly interests were acknowledged when he became a Fellow of the Royal Society and received a knighthood, thanks to the support of Queen Charlotte. He used his time after his recall to London well, writing a History of Java in two volumes, which was as much a compendium of geography, natural history, ethnography and archaeology as a somewhat higgledy-piggledy history in the traditional sense.


pages: 1,060 words: 265,296

Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S. Landes

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Atahualpa, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bartolomé de las Casas, British Empire, business cycle, Cape to Cairo, clean water, colonial rule, Columbian Exchange, computer age, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, deskilling, European colonialism, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial intermediation, Francisco Pizarro, germ theory of disease, glass ceiling, illegal immigration, income inequality, Index librorum prohibitorum, interchangeable parts, invention of agriculture, invention of movable type, invisible hand, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, John Harrison: Longitude, joint-stock company, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Arrow, land tenure, lateral thinking, mass immigration, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Murano, Venice glass, new economy, New Urbanism, North Sea oil, out of africa, passive investing, Paul Erdős, Paul Samuelson, Philip Mirowski, rent-seeking, Right to Buy, Savings and loan crisis, Scramble for Africa, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, spice trade, spinning jenny, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, Vilfredo Pareto, zero-sum game

In the nineteenth century Alphonse de Candolle, from a Huguenot family of Geneva, counted that o f ninety-two foreign members elected to the French Académie des Sciences in the period 1 6 6 6 - 1 8 6 6 , some seventy-one were Protes­ tant, sixteen Catholic, and the remaining five Jewish or o f indetermi­ nate religious affiliation—this from a population pool outside of France of 107 million Catholics, 68 million Protestants. A similar count of for­ eign fellows of the Royal Society in London in 1829 and 1869 showed equal numbers o f Catholics and Protestants out of a pool in which 14 15 WINNERS AND LOSERS: T H E BALANCE S H E E T OF EMPIRE 177 16 Catholics outnumbered Protestants by more than three to o n e . Much of this no doubt reflected the greater access o f Catholics in Catholic countries to the older liberal professions and the governing bureaucracy, and hence their preference for a different kind o f school­ ing.