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The Royal Society: Background information when reading A Garden of Marvels

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A Garden of Marvels

How We Discovered that Flowers Have Sex, Leaves Eat Air, and Other Secrets of Plants

by Ruth Kassinger

A Garden of Marvels
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  • First Published:
    Feb 2014, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2015, 416 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Heather A Phillips

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
The Royal Society

Gresham CollegeMany of the scientists discussed in A Garden of Marvels were members of The Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge. Known today as simply The Royal Society, the group was founded in November 1660, and began as the Gresham College group – a loose collection of natural philosophers and physicians who started meeting at London's Gresham College in the mid-1640s.

Located in the heart of London, Gresham College has been hosting lectures for the edification of the general public since 1597. On November 28, 1660, after a lecture by Christopher Wren, members of the Gresham College Group, including Wren, met to propose a new "Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning." This proposed group was to meet weekly to witness and participate in experiments and discuss what we would now call scientific topics, including the use and construction of microsopes and viewing of the microscopic world, the properties of air and vacuum, as well as ...

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