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Tuesday 4 October 2005 at 6.30pm

John Gribbin

How did a group of scientists who first came together in Oxford during the Parliamentary Interregnum get to establish a Royal Society, in London, almost as soon as Charles II was restored to the throne? John Gribbin, author of The Fellowship , a new history of the scientific revolution and the origin of the Royal Society, argues that it was largely thanks to Robert Moray, a Scot who managed to serve on both sides in the Civil War, acted as a spy for Cardinal Richelieu, and in the words of John Aubrey "had the kings eare as much as any one." He was the man with the Big Idea and the contacts to make it real.