The origins of the Royal Society lie in an 'invisible college' of natural philosophers who began meeting in the mid-1640s to discuss the new philosophy of promoting knowledge of the natural world through observation and experiment, which we now call science. Its official foundation date is 28 November 1660, when a group of 12 met at Gresham College after a lecture by Christopher Wren, then the Gresham Professor of Astronomy.
When Scientists Were Artists: The Royal Society's Picture Library Goes Digital A hammerhead shark's baleful stare. A longnose batfish's fierce armor and delicate fins. These masterpieces of expression and scientific detail fill the pages of the world's first ichthyology book, De Historia Piscium, published in 1686 by the Royal Society.
Snowflake research. 18th-century journal page showing snowflake configurations described in 1755 by John Nettis a physician from Middelburg, the Netherlands. Nettis used early forms of microscope lenses to make his observations. This page is from volume 49 (1755-6) of the journal 'Philosophical Transactions', published by the Royal Society of London.