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August 31, 1935

Scientific Organizations in Seventeenth Century France (1620-1680)

JAMA. 1935;105(9):743. doi:10.1001/jama.1935.02760350103030

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This book attempts to supplement Ornstein's "The Rôle of the. Scientific Societies of the Seventeenth Century" and Morgan's "Histoire du journal des savants," the former of which the author thinks is particularly lacking in references to the ultimate sources of our knowledge of that time, namely, the books, pamphlets and letters of that period—a source material more illuminating than the documentation of modern authors, which is sometimes not especially discriminating. "Academies" prior to the seventeenth century, the author points out, were not very effective, since they were opposed by the princes and churches alike as dangerous on political and religious grounds Scholarly historical exploitation by the authors of the manuscripts and letters and books of the savants of the time are most important in elucidating how these men of science worked and thought and just how the learned bodies and academies came into being under the guidance of certain leaders.

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