Science, Religion and Politics: The Royal Society at the National Portrait Gallery


LONDON.- A new display at the National Portrait Gallery to mark the 350th anniversary of the foundation of the Royal Society celebrates a critical moment in the development of modern science. The display of 20 works, drawing from the Collection of the National Portrait Gallery and including two loans from the Royal Society, show the key figures in the early history of the Royal Society such as Sir Christopher Wren, Robert Boyle, Samuel Pepys and Sir Isaac Newton. The Royal Society was founded on 28 November 1660 when a dozen men gathered to hear the young Christopher Wren give a lecture on astronomy. In the discussion that followed they decided to form ‘a Colledge for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematicall Experimentall Learning.’ They drew on the ‘new philosophy’ devised by Sir Francis Bacon to pursue knowledge through the observation of nature, the systematic collection of data and the testing of hypotheses through experim