(Re)Inventing science publishing: the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society from the 17th to the 20th century

Public history of science lecture by Dr Julie McDougall-Waters and Dr Noah Moxham

Phil Trans Title page of Phil Trans volume 1, 1665

Event details

Julie McDougall-Waters and Noah Moxham are postdoctoral researchers on an AHRC-funded collaborative project between St Andrews University and the Royal Society to produce the first full history of the Philosophical Transactions, from its foundation to the present.

Philosophical Transactions is the world’s first and oldest scientific journal. Still published by the Royal Society, it is about to mark its 350th anniversary, and was instrumental in establishing many forms and facets of modern scholarly publishing. Most notably, it is usually credited with having given rise to the system of academic peer review.

The Philosophical Transactions also saw the publication of some of the most important discoveries by many of the greatest names of the Scientific Revolution and gave rise to a host of imitators and analogues, in Britain and on the Continent and eventually beyond. Though Philosophical Transactions has long since ceased to be unique, its prestige remains extraordinarily high. This talk explores how the journal was published, perceived and used at various points, from its foundation to the early 20th century, asking how authors actually published in it, what challenges they faced, and how they responded to the journal’s influence and impact.

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

(Re)Inventing science publishing: the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society from the 17th to the 20th century 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

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