Episode

In Our Time

BBC Radio 4

Society & Culture, History

Chart Positions

Society & Culture 60
History 20

Melvyn Bragg and guests discuss the history of ideas

Website

The Royal Society and British Science: Episode 1

January 4th, 2010

Episode 72 of 522 episodes

As part of the BBC's year of science programming, Melvyn Bragg looks at the history of the oldest scientific learned society of them all: the Royal Society. Melvyn travels to Wadham College, Oxford, where under the shadow of the English Civil War, the young Christopher Wren and friends experimented in the garden of their inspirational college warden, John Wilkins. Back in London, as Charles II is brought to the throne from exile, the new Society is formally founded one night in Gresham College. When London burns six years later, it is two of the key early Fellows of the Society who are charged with its rebuilding. And, as Melvyn finds out, in the secret observatory in The Monument to the fire, it is science which flavours their plans.

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