Published: 10-10-2011, 15:09

Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge - American Education

A scientific organization officially founded in 1660, but convening informally beginning in 1645 at regular meetings of England’s leading scientists. It rivaled Oxford and Cambridge Universities as a source of the latest scientific advances, simply because it did not restrict members to the stifling rules and regulations of a university. Its membership included the foremost thinkers and scientists from the American colonies as well as England, and its findings formed the basis of much of the early science curriculum of American academies and colleges. Among its members were Robert Boyle (1627–91), Francis Bacon, JOHN LOCKE, ISAAC NEWTON and Connecticut governor JOHN WINTHROP, JR., who was also a chemist and mineralogist and who provided a steady flow of materials and learned observations to the society from America. COTTON MATHER, WILLIAM PENN and JOHN MORGAN, the pioneer of American medical education, were all members of the Royal Society, and Benjamin Franklin used the society as a model for forming the American Philosophical Society.