Royal Society and the rise of scientific medicine, c. 1600-1850

Robert Boyle

Public history of science lecture by Dr Allan Chapman

Event details

The period 1600-1850 saw fundamental changes in how we understand natural processes.  Chemistry and medicine especially moved away from classical ideas of 'balance' and 'vital properties' - such as fire and water - to understanding nature as an integrated mechanism.  And the way to investigate nature's mechanism was experiment.  This would lead Harvey, Hooke, Hunter, Bichat, and many others to a new approach to physiology which developed in tandem with new ideas on how matter behaved: from Boyle's experiments on the vacuum and combustion in the early Royal Society to Lavoisier and on to what would become the Periodic Table of Elements.  This lecture will trace how a new understanding of matter made possible revolutionary breakthroughs in medicine and healing.

Attending this event

This event is free to attend and open to all. No tickets are required. Doors open at 12.30pm and seats will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

We have a limited number of spaces for wheelchair users and ten bookable seats for people with impaired mobility who are unable to queue. To book in advance, please contact the events team. Further information about accessibility is available.

Recorded audio will be available on this page a few days after the event.

Enquiries: Contact the events team

Royal Society and the rise of scientific medicine, c. 1600-1850 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

Events coming up

  • The interaction of fire and mankind 14 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Professor Claire Belcher and Dr Chris Roos
  • The interaction of fire and mankind - further discussion 16 September 2015 at The Royal Society at Chicheley Hall, home of the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire Scientific discussion meeting organised by Professor Andrew Scott, Professor William Chaloner FRS, Dr Claire Belcher and Professor Chris Roos
  • Volcanoes and us 28 September 2015 at The Royal Society, London Discover why volcanoes matter as Steve Sparks FRS talks to Jim Al-Khalili OBE.

For more events please see the events diary.

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