Thought for the month

“Contradiction is not a sign of falsity, nor the lack of contradiction the sign of truth.” Blaise Pascal, French mathematician and physicist (1623 – 62).

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Newton, Franklyn and a dead student

The Royal Society has announced that its historical journal archive has been made permanently free to access online. Around 60000 historical scientific papers are available to be searched with those over 70 years old being freely available. The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society appeared in 1665 as the first peer reviewed journal. The archives include Newton's first paper (1672) on the colour properties of light; Franklyn's famous 1752 paper on safely using a kite to investigate the properties of lightning and the slightly less well known 1665 paper by a Dr Wallis describing the death and subsequent post mortem of a student struck by lightning whilst boating in a thunder storm. One trusts he was an arts graduate.

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