Tuesday March 28, 2006

Lost and Found

The Journal of Robert Hooke

A manuscript "charting the birth of modern science" and misplaced for more than 200 years, has been found, sold to a private party, and will be housed at Britain’s Royal Society.

Hailed as "science's missing link", the journal of Robert Hooke contains details of experiments he conducted as curator at the Royal Society from 1662 and his correspondence as its secretary from 1677.

It was found by chance in a cupboard at a private house in Hampshire by experts from auctioneer Bonhams conducting a routine valuation.

[ "Missing link" science manuscript up for sale, Reuters, Mon Mar 27, 2006 ]

Robert Hooke was a contemporary of Isaac Newton, Samuel Pepys, and Antoni van Leeuwenhoek.

Hooke discovered that Jupiter revolved on its own axis, suggested that gravity could be measured using a pendulum and, as a talented architect, was chief assistant to Christopher Wren in rebuilding London after the Great Fire of 1666.

He also suggested the presence of gravitational 'vortices' pulling comets from their orbit, and invented the reflecting telescope, the sextant, the punched-paper record-keeper, the wind gauge, the worm gear and the wheel barometer.

The manuscript was originally slated to go on the auction block....
But just before the sale was due to take place, auctioneers Bonhams said an anonymous private bidder had agreed to buy it and give it to the Royal Society, Britain's academy of leading scientists, which had said it could not afford to buy it.

"This is great news for science and great news for Britain," said Lord Rees of Ludlow, President of the Royal Society.

[ Royal Society to house Hooke journal Tue Mar 28, 2006 ]


Additional references:

Lost and Found ( in category In The News , SciTech ) - posted at Tue, 28 Mar, 22:05 Pacific | «e»