Buku Mendeleyev’s Dream by Paul Strathern

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Mendeleyev’s Dream by Paul Strathern

Author:Paul Strathern

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Published: 2019-04-11T16:00:00+00:00

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Mendeleyev’s Dream by Paul Strathern

Where Copernicus started the scientific revolution, Bacon set out the mental revolution which would have to accompany it. His style and breadth of mind were to prove an inspiration to the coming generations, which provided the major accomplishments of this revolution. ‘If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.’ ‘They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, where they can see nothing but sea.’ ‘Silence is the virtue of fools.’ Yet for all his brilliance, it was Bacon’s example which was most influential. While he was lord chancellor he was created a peer, and took the title Lord Verulam. If this newfangled science, with its menial experiments, was good enough for a lord, it was good enough for any gentleman. Science became acceptable, even fashionable, amongst the educated English classes. (Yes, once upon a time snobbery actually encouraged science!)

Bacon felt sure that one day science would bring immense benefits to mankind. The early stages of the scientific revolution, during the seventeenth century, produced a number of important inventions – such as the telescope, the microscope and the calculating machine, to name but a few. But for the most part these aided science only; they brought about great achievements in the field of knowledge, but not in the world at large. Science had little effect in these early years. Bacon’s idea that science would improve the world was far ahead of its time. (It would be almost two centuries before the steam engine helped bring about the Industrial Revolution.) And like his thirteenth-century namesake Roger Bacon, Francis Bacon also had an uncannily accurate idea of what these benefits would be. In The New Atlantis, which was first published after his death, Bacon sketches in some detail his prototype vision of a scientific utopia. The very word utopia had entered the language only half a century previously, when Sir Thomas More published Utopia, whose title came from the Greek for ‘no place’. More’s Utopia had been a social, legal and political paradise. Bacon was the first to realize the role scientific invention would play in such a brave new world.

In The New Atlantis the narrator describes how his ship is driven off course and is eventually wrecked on an unknown shore. Here he discovers the New Atlantis, where science has produced spectacular benefits for its inhabitants. There are machines that can travel under water, others that can fly. Medicines have been found that can cure diseases and prolong life. There is artificial lighting; and people can speak to each other over long distances by means of sound carried through pipes. Artificial weather can be produced; natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods can be predicted; animals are crossed to form new species, which are used to test new medicines and chemicals; and buildings have been erected that reach high into the atmosphere.

 

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Mendeleyev’s Dream by Paul Strathern

Author:Paul Strathern , Date: June 17, 2019

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Author:Paul Strathern

Language: eng

Format: epub

Publisher: Pegasus Books

Published: 2019-04-11T16:00:00+00:00
Where Copernicus started the scientific revolution, Bacon set out the mental revolution which would have to accompany it. His style and breadth of mind were to prove an inspiration to the coming generations, which provided the major accomplishments of this revolution. ‘If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties.’ ‘They are ill discoverers that think there is no land, where they can see nothing but sea.’ ‘Silence is the virtue of fools.’ Yet for all his brilliance, it was Bacon’s example which was most influential. While he was lord chancellor he was created a peer, and took the title Lord Verulam. If this newfangled science, with its menial experiments, was good enough for a lord, it was good enough for any gentleman. Science became acceptable, even fashionable, amongst the educated English classes. (Yes, once upon a time snobbery actually encouraged science!)

Bacon felt sure that one day science would bring immense benefits to mankind. The early stages of the scientific revolution, during the seventeenth century, produced a number of important inventions – such as the telescope, the microscope and the calculating machine, to name but a few. But for the most part these aided science only; they brought about great achievements in the field of knowledge, but not in the world at large. Science had little effect in these early years. Bacon’s idea that science would improve the world was far ahead of its time. (It would be almost two centuries before the steam engine helped bring about the Industrial Revolution.) And like his thirteenth-century namesake Roger Bacon, Francis Bacon also had an uncannily accurate idea of what these benefits would be. In The New Atlantis, which was first published after his death, Bacon sketches in some detail his prototype vision of a scientific utopia. The very word utopia had entered the language only half a century previously, when Sir Thomas More published Utopia, whose title came from the Greek for ‘no place’. More’s Utopia had been a social, legal and political paradise. Bacon was the first to realize the role scientific invention would play in such a brave new world.

In The New Atlantis the narrator describes how his ship is driven off course and is eventually wrecked on an unknown shore. Here he discovers the New Atlantis, where science has produced spectacular benefits for its inhabitants. There are machines that can travel under water, others that can fly. Medicines have been found that can cure diseases and prolong life. There is artificial lighting; and people can speak to each other over long distances by means of sound carried through pipes. Artificial weather can be produced; natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods can be predicted; animals are crossed to form new species, which are used to test new medicines and chemicals; and buildings have been erected that reach high into the atmosphere.

Yet most intriguing is the element of the vision which he got wrong.

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