Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
United Kingdom Science

350 Years of Science Online 70

Posted by Soulskill
from the gradually-less-wrong dept.
arkenian writes "The BBC reports that the Royal Society is putting all of its old papers online and has a fascinating sample of articles from the first several years. You can reach all the old journal articles from this page at the Royal Society by selecting a journal and going to past issues."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

350 Years of Science Online

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @01:17AM (#37841286)

    This :
    https://thepiratebay.org/torrent/6554331/3b85cac56a5810d4a24e13d79af58c48

    ?

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Well, if they are I sure do respect, even admire their reaction! Don't sue the guy, publish it yourself - and pay for infrastructure, tools to access the stuff, etc.!
      Quite commendable, really.

      If they do not sue Greg Maxwell.

    • As an academic researcher beset by paywalls, I am downloading this entire collection at the earliest opportunity. As a professional, I need free and open access to knowledge in order to do my job effectively.

      Content producers can argue about threats to their livelihoods. Well, this is about my livelihood; and moreover the ability of my society to improve itself through scientific and technological development. You can depreciate my agitation if you like, but I am not going to sit around wasting time waiting for the system to change on its own, and neither should society.

      If the profit motive and existing copyright regime restricts access to information, then I see no difference between it and the censorship systems of the old Soviet Union and modern China. As such I see no reason to abide by it, and every reason to circumvent it. Ironically, as those countries now do not currently respect copyrights, researchers there have better access to journal articles, books, and material now than I have ever enjoyed in my entire life (Plus ca change..?). My actions merely put me on the same level as people living in totalitarian states.

      I'm looking forward to reading historical and seminal papers from the past, and I hope they will benefit my future contributions to the literature. I would encourage and implore others who have access to similar archives to make them freely available to the public at the earliest opportunity. Mankind as a whole will benefit from your altruism.

      • If the profit motive and existing copyright regime restricts access to information, then I see no difference between it and the censorship systems of the old Soviet Union and modern China.

        There's a very important difference: If you are the author of an article hidden behind a paywall, then you don't have to fear being put in prison or worse because of it.

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        As an academic researcher beset by paywalls

        As a genuine academic researcher, you could surely get access to this archive on request?

      • by Gospodin (547743)
        I would never "depreciate your agitation", sir, and I hope you appreciate my inhibitation of the assassination of your cogitation.
  • I'm pretty sure they haven't been doing science online for 350 years yet.

    • I wish there were an edit button on /. 350, 350, 350, 350. Ok, my fingers seem to have that pattern down now.

      • I wish there were an edit button on /. 350, 350, 350, 350. Ok, my fingers seem to have that pattern down now.

        Yeah, that training will surely pay out as soon as you want to type the number 305. :-)

    • The Royal Society has been publishing since 1655. They published papers from the earliest sorts of scientific discovery and exploration.

      • 1655

        1665 (the year before the great fire).

      • by slick7 (1703596)

        The Royal Society has been publishing since 1655. They published papers from the earliest sorts of scientific discovery and exploration.

        Add to that, 300 years of the HRE refusing to accept that the Earth wasn't the center of the universe; net sum, 0 + or - 50 years, or so.

  • I looked over their website, and I couldn't find the answer to this basic question...

    From when to when? What's the earliest year of archives and the latest year? Surely this is a lagged version of whatever they charge for access.

  • Royal Society, thank you! This is how science management should be done.

    Now we have to wait for the other academies to follow their lead.

    • by Lotana (842533)

      They had 350 years to follow their lead. If they haven't done it thus far, it will never happen.

    • by ThorGod (456163)

      I think we'll see much more open access. It'd be great, since a crucial part of all academia *is* communication with the lay audience.

      Who knows, maybe 50 years from now we'll have journal articles that are actually legible. >:)

      • by tsa (15680)

        Legible as in readable for laymen? I hope not. But you know what's strange? I pay taxes so we can have universities in Holland. Those universities pay ridiculous amounts of money for all the Journals they have subscriptions to. But if I want to read any of the articles in those Journals I have to have an affiliation with the university, or I have to physically go there and download them there and then. And then I can only take them home on paper. How oldfashioned!

        • by ThorGod (456163)

          Legible as in readable for laymen? I hope not. [...] But if I want to read any of the articles in those Journals I have to have an affiliation with the university, or I have to physically go there and download them there and then. And then I can only take them home on paper. How oldfashioned!

          No, just better written. Everyone in academia has to publish and put forth a facade of being 'well read', but some articles are just soooo poorly written and/or poorly edited. If there were more people actively attempting to read academic journals, at some point the feedback *should* help produce better articles. (Just a hypothesis of mine.)

          Yeah, if nothing else they could have an 'online only' reader. Load up whatever pdfs you want in their embedded reader and you can only read 'em there. It's still not id

          • by tsa (15680)

            Indeed, that would help. Like the Kindle application on the PC.

        • by tehcyder (746570)

          Legible as in readable for laymen? I hope not. But you know what's strange? I pay taxes so we can have universities in Holland. Those universities pay ridiculous amounts of money for all the Journals they have subscriptions to. But if I want to read any of the articles in those Journals I have to have an affiliation with the university, or I have to physically go there and download them there and then. And then I can only take them home on paper. How oldfashioned!

          I pay taxes to fund the army, but I don't get to play in their tanks. Unless I'm a soldier.

    • by Joce640k (829181)

      Seconded!

      I've just been reading some of the early ones and it's incredible stuff...

  • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @01:41AM (#37841354)

    Sadly, the subversive papers of the Royal Anti-Society are still being suppressed.

  • Now someone go and read Dean Swift, who, in Gulliver's Travels, used reported experiments from the Royal Society by example, described in Gulliver's voyage to Laputa.

  • by CaptainOfSpray (1229754) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @03:22AM (#37841650)
    So, will we finally be able to read Stephen Maturin's papers?
  • It should be interesting to see what the actual paperwork says to account for the history of the photographic process..

    Niepce got turned down on his Heliographic process in 1827... he was trying to sell the idea to the royal society.

    • by worf_mo (193770)

      Apparently some serious photography was available as early as 1794 [google.com]. (source: Baltimore Afro-American - May 11, 1794)

      On a related note, I was quite surprised to find out (via the same paper) that people liked to ride through the prairie on their 8-HP transaxle lawn tractor. A 36-inch mower, no less!

  • "350 Years of Science Online" has a different meaning than "350 Years of Science, Online".

    • At least we didn't read about helping your uncle jack off a horse. Capitalization matters, too!

    • by JimFive (1064958)
      Not really, they're both wrong. These sentences no verb. Correct would be e.g. "350 Years of Science is now online." Unless you want to pretend that online is now a verb and say "350 years of science online now at www.royalacademy.uk." You don't want a comma there, either, or you would have no subject.

      However, since this is a headline, more appropriate would be "350 Years of Science - Online"
      --
      JimFive
  • (I always seem to post to the dead submission of a pair).

    Greg Maxwell posted the torrent:
    18592 scientific publications JSTOR_01_PhilTrans
    http://science.slashdot.org/story/11/07/22/2254204/release-of-33gib-of-scientific-publications [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org]

    Over the treatment of Aaron Swartz
    http://yro.slashdot.org/story/11/07/19/1839237/aaron-swartz-indicted-in-attempted-piracy-of-four-million-documents [slashdot.org] [slashdot.org]

    Greg Maxwell's manifesto: http://pastebin.com/kFAENbCf [pastebin.com] [pastebin.com]

  • The subscription prices place this material well out of reach of anyone but college libraries or those who are wealthy.

    Way to go, Royal Society. Spur interest, inspire the young. Yeah, that's it, hook them on science. Ha!

    You sodding gits.

    • by dave420 (699308)
      Free is too expensive?
      • I see that I was mistaken. I started at the librarian tab and went to subscriptions.

        Thanks for calling this to my attention. I've always wanted to be able to read some of the early natural philosophy journals.

  • by CODiNE (27417) on Wednesday October 26, 2011 @06:43AM (#37842450) Homepage

    My favorite thing to see in old publications are some of the whack ideas and how completely obvious they were considered. Like this gem from Alexander Ross against Sir. Thomas Brown.

    So may he doubt whether in cheese and timber worms are generated; or if beetles and wasps in cows' dung; or if butterflies, locusts, grasshoppers, shellfish, snails, eels, and such like, be procreated of putrefied matter, which is apt to receive the form of that creature to which it is by formative power disposed. To question this is to question reason, sense and experience. If he doubts of this let him go to Egypt, and there he will find the fields swarming with mice, begot of the mud of Nylus, to the great calamity of the inhabitants

    Lest you think I'm anti-science, it was empirical evidence that finally showed the error of such beliefs. I'm just amazed how much people take for granted even in their own area of expertise.

    Also a lot of fun is the guy who believed all humans were born with tails that the midwives cut off to hide the truth from the general population. But I don't think anybody agreed with him.

    • Lest you think I'm anti-science, it was empirical evidence that finally showed the error of such beliefs. I'm just amazed how much people take for granted even in their own area of expertise.

      You don't have to go back nearly so far as Browne and Ross to find examples of this. My father got a PhD in physical geography in the mid 1960s, and spent a lot of time working with people in the geology department while doing so. There were several faculty (at a very respected school) who were absolutely convinced that plate tectonics was a ridiculous theory, and who loudly derided it whenever they had the chance. Now no geologist would say the same thing. When the entire Slashdot archive becomes available

      • by tehcyder (746570)

        When the entire Slashdot archive becomes available for neural uplinking, our post-singularity android descendants will chuckle

        I, for one, do not welcome our post-singularity android overlords.

  • It makes sense for historians of science, but for the sake of real science one need not go that far back. Once the science is in the textbook there is very little value when talking about Chargaff rules to cite http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15421335 [nih.gov] (there is very little value even mentioning them in the first place, but that's not my point here).

    It is much more important to freely open to the scientists the articles that were published tomorrow than those published 61 years ago. I pity ambitious resea

  • I always imagined those old articles to be beautifully typeset. Looking at first article in first issue of Philosophical Transactions A (from 1887) doi: 10.1098/rsta.1887.0001 (On the Luni-Solar Variations of Magnetic Declination and Horizontal Force at Bombay, and of Declination at Trevandrum), there are several tables with values set with a bunch of leading zeroes taking up most of the space (tables are full of values on the order of 10^-5 typeset like +0.000016). What a disappointment!

  • The Baroque Cycle? That whole trilogy kind of revolves around the creation of the Royal Society - I'd love to dig through some of the first articles and see exactly what Newton, Hooke and crew were publishing right out of the gate.
  • From Newton (1671) [royalsocie...ishing.org]

    A Letter of Mr. Isaac Newton, Professor of the Mathematicks in the University of Cambridge; containing his New Theory about Light and Colors.

    7. But the most surprising and wonderful composition was that of Whiteness. There is no one sort of Rays which alone can exhibit this. 'Tis ever compounded, and to its composition are requisite all the aforesaid primary Colours, mixed in a due proportion. I have often with Admiration beheld, that all the Colours of the Prisme being made to converge, and thereby to be again mixed as they were in the light before it was Incident upon the Prisme, reproduced light, intirely and perfectly white, and not at all sensibly differing from a direct Light of the Sun, unless when the glasses, I used, were not sufficiently clear; for then they would a little incline to their colour.

    Cool stuff...

  • If you aren't currently interested in the old papers of The Royal Society, then read Stephenson's Baroque Cycle [wikipedia.org]... you will be.

    • by tehcyder (746570)

      If you aren't currently interested in the old papers of The Royal Society, then read Stephenson's Baroque Cycle [wikipedia.org]... you will be.

      Not really recommended unless you're a fast/speed reader. As Rossini said about Wagner, it has beautiful moments but bad quarters of an hour.

As in certain cults it is possible to kill a process if you know its true name. -- Ken Thompson and Dennis M. Ritchie

Working...