Hooke manuscript is returned to Royal Society





The long-lost manuscript belonging to pioneering scientist Robert Hooke has returned to the Royal Society. The hand-written notes are thought to contain a "treasure trove" of information about the early endeavours of the UK's academy of science.

A digitised version of the notes will eventually be available on the web.

The document, which had lain hidden in a house in Hampshire, was rescued from a public auction after a fundraising effort pulled in the £940,000 needed.

The "white knights" have been revealed as the Wellcome Trust, which gave £469,000, and 150 donors who came forward after the Royal Society appealed to its fellows and the general public.

The manuscript will now be rebound, transcribed and carefully analysed; and infrared scanning will be used to reveal some notes that have become illegible over time.

Robert Hooke, who died in 1703, was a polymath whose many contributions included coining the term "cell", devising a law of elasticity, creating spring regulators for time pieces; and designing several major buildings, such as the Monument to the Fire of London.

In 1662, Hooke became curator of experiments at the Royal Society, and he was later elected a fellow in 1664.

They are scattered with sketches and marginal observations, which the society hope will give insight into the man whose work crossed so many fields.




comments powered by Disqus

Subscribe to our mailing list