Development of Science in 17th and 18th Century

Science is defined as intellectual and practical actives that involve systematic organization of knowledge obtained through observations and experiment. 17th and 18th centuries are periods where we see human being conducting thorough scientific research which has seen been tested and proven real. It is also through these sessions that technological changes were significantly observed ranging from Revolution of Ideas, a discovery of new machines, widespread of scientific knowledge through learning institutions, improvement in speed work and Institutionalization of well discussed and documented experiments.

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As a result, the period was defined as a century of genius. Some of the significant scientific development is presented below.

Wide Spread Science Training

Before the seventeenth century, there were few universities in Europe and the major which primarily existed for a law, physicians and the clergy and Training focusing on men only. Few students studied of sciences were since they were technical nature and required exclusively formal training (Loukas, pg, 274). By the 18th century, some structural changes were made in Science curriculum together with practical demonstration. For instance, presentation of centrifugal force was done around this period by swinging a bucket of water. Towards the end of 18th-century propositions were made by Sweden University to reform natural science into18th-century propositions were made by Sweden University to reform natural science into faculties of physics and mathematics.

By so doing the complex science became an attractive discipline to many students thus increasing the widespread of scientific knowledge. MathematizationIt is during this period that the development of quantitative analysis of scientific knowledge began. Aristotelians believe that to establish an actual and necessary cause of the observations, it was required to make the comparison between the measurement of a physical quantity and that of the value computed by theory (Lightman,66). European scientist similarly increasingly began making measurements of physical phenomena on the earth. Galileo in his book maintained vigorously that mathematics provided a kind of necessary certainty that could be compared to God’s.

The mechanical philosophy 17th and 18th century form a period where the revolution in science resulted in automatic philosophy discovery. Philosophers like Aristotle observed a critical cause called the “final cause.” The final objective was the aim and goal of natural process and things made by man. In his view, it activities like one growing from child to adult were original aims that one could easily see otherwise intelligence was a human-made artifact that was purposefully acquired by nature. Also, it is during these mechanical philosophers agreed that matter is made up of tiny particles that are in constant state of motion. In their observation, it was proved that these particles are fundamentally inert.

The movement is as a result of the direct natural collision of these particles. (Mueller, Pg 106) Isaac Newton Theory of God conserved the amount of motion in the universe seemed like overtaken by this scholar at this period. Towards the end of 18th century, it was almost universally accepted that Gravity was an innate attraction between every pair of particles of matter.


In the middle of 16th centuries, the first c Scientific Society was introduced which was to institutionalize research, publicize and disseminate discoveries. Moreover, the 1660 committee of 12 formed the College for the Promoting of Physico-Mathematical Experimental Learning to discuss science and conducts some experiments under the watch of Robert Hooke. (Reisch, 234).

The establishment of the Royal Society further enhanced the spread of scientific knowledge through publication of Philosophical Transactions? journal at around 1776 which later become an exclusively longest-running scientific world journal. Similarly, French Government under the leadership of ? Jean-Baptiste Colbert also established the Academic Science institution which was to conduct continuous research and assist in expanding the scientific revolution world.

In the process of scientific revolution, a lot of new mechanical devices were also discovered which have similarly played significant roles in the development of the society. To begin with, calculating devices were found during these periods. The powerful mathematical tool called algorithm was introduced by Henry Briggs to assist in computations. This was through Introduction of Napier’s bones a calculator helped in breaking down complex mathematics faster. Further, Oxford University introduced Gunter’s scale, an analog device which equally assisted in computation and was seen as a predecessor of the slide rule. (Tambolo, Pg 37) The introduction of Pascaline first mechanical calculator with pure binary numbers in Europe was also witnessed at early 17th century which significantly improved the navigation of science.

Use of Telescopes

Early 17th century was characterized by an invention of a refracting device called telescope which was very useful in astronomic observations in first days. In conducting a further survey, Isaac Newton concluded that the device could not bring accurate result due to chromatic abbreviations and therefore came up with a more advance reflecting telescope which was seen as a significant contribution to the scientific world (Tambolo, Pg 39). Later the scholar John Hadley developed parabolic mirrors to which further enhanced revolution of a more efficient and successful device.

Industrial Machines

This period was characterized by Industrial Revolution and an invention of machines like steam digesters which facilitated rising and distribution of water in many parts of Europe. (Tambolo, Pg 43).  These computers become more useful to especially in pumping water out of mines thus the name “The miner’s Friend”. Also, Scholars like Abraham Darby become the first people to produce high-quality Iron, a significant raw material in Industrial Revolution through the development of blast furnace fueled by coke.

New IdeasIn the course of the revolution of science many ideas were also developed which later become revolutions in different fields. The major ones being an adventure of Gravitational force. Isaac Newton came up with a theory of natural phenomena which stated that all masses attract one another through an authority. He pointed out that Planet, atoms, and particles of light together with stars have energy which influences their pull and further explained three important laws of motion (inertia, momentum, action, and reactions) which significantly changed industrial revolution through the foundation of classical mechanics. (Kuehn, pg 263).

Similarly, the idea of Heliocentric emerged during this period, with initial believes that the earth was at the center of the universe as explained by many astronomies taking a different dimension. On this model, the up to date research that the sun is at the center and the earth revolves around the sun in its orbit was established. Furthermore, Kelper, the astronomers observed that all planets rotate around the world in orbit to form the solar system which replaced the traditional Copernicus’ original method.

Discoveries and Development of Medical Facilities

A great deal of human and animal research dominated this period during which the dissection of human and animal corpses, a process called anatomy provided a better understanding of human structures. Besides, detailed analysis of human brain and heart also took center stage. William Harvey, break down of heart showed that pulsation depends on the contraction of the left ventricle while the contraction of right ventricle pumps blood to the pulmonary artery. It is during this phase where it was noted that these ventricles work together almost simultaneously but independently (Loukas, pg 275). Similarly, it is during this period that advance medical understanding was witnessed. Pierre Fauchard, the French scholar, added into the research dentistry science which has since become a dental science.

Chemical Reactions

17th and 18th century is characterized by series of chemical reactions. Chemistry and the alchemy become increasingly important aspects of scientific research. The philosophical chemist placed a lot of emphasis on the active power of the matter. Besides, there were also attempts on how to extract and refine ore into smelt metals. ? Georg Agricola, a senior alchemist, developed a highly complex process of mining metal ore a method which developed a practical approach lowering the theoretical believes about the process.

In the middle of 17th century, Robert Boyle’s further research showed clear boundaries between the traditional alchemy and the modern chemistry. Robert believed that all theories would only be correct if tested practically (Dolan, 341). He is considered to be further of current chemical experiments besides his work on the variation of pressure and volume of gas when a temperature is kept constant “Boyle’s Law.” Some of the significant ideas he postulated were in atoms, chemical reaction, and molecules which further shaped the science of chemical reactions to the modern Chemistry.


Before scientific revolution, geology existed as separate ideas of rocks, landforms, and minerals. Shen Kua, a Chinese scholar, developed a theory about the land formation processes where he deduced that there must be a preexisting mountain that will erode and for the fossils be transported to a basin. He further stated that continuous erosion and deposition would result into formations of cemented layers that finally become land. During the scientific revolution, Steno argued that fossils are remains of the dead organism that was once living creature. Modern geology equally has played a significant role in scientific development through classification of minerals and rocks an achievement that transformed geology toward the end of 18th century.

Electric Charges

After conducting a series of research, Dr. William Gilbert such as wax and sulfur could manifest electrical property charges. His further study showed that when a body is heated, it loses its electrical expenses while at the same time revealed the moisture as an insulator on electrification. Besides, he found out that electrified bodies attract all substances contrary to a magnet which drew only iron (Mueller, Pg 127). Similarly, Robert Boyle invention on the same field revealed that electric charges attract one another not only on air but even in a vacuum. By the end of the 17th-century generation of an electrical generator was already witnessed.


This is a science of that studies behavior of light and properties of transmission and diffraction of other forms of radiation. The seventeenth century is seen as a period of discovery of whole pin cameras, an instrument that demonstrated the inverse reflection of light. Philosophers like Willebrorb Snell lead the revolution in the field of refraction where the bending nature of fire was discovered in water (Mueller, Pg 130.). Isaac Newton conducted further investigation refraction process by demonstrating how prism decomposes white light into the different spectrum of colors and that such spectrum could be recomposed to a white light using a lens.

In conclusion, it is apparent the significant discoveries made in Scientific Revolution period significantly shaped the world. It is at this time that human anatomy useful to doctors came into sharp focus. Similarly, the inventions of industrial machines on industrial revolution prompted the widespread application of mechanisms thus reducing manual labor. Science development has since become a continuous discipline of modern research focusing on better and more efficient machines to enhance further discoveries.

Work Cited:

Dolan, Brian P. “”Black holes and Boyle’s law “The thermodynamics of the cosmological constant.”” Modern Physics Letters A 30.03n04 (2015): Lightman, Bernard, ed. A Companion to the History of Science. John Wiley & Sons, 2016.

Mueller, Georg P. “Simulating Thomas Kuhn’s Scientific Revolutions: The Example of the Paradigm Change from Systems Dynamics to Agent-Based Modelling.” Advances in Social Simulation

Reisch, George. “Pragmatic engagements: Philipp Frank and James Bryant Conant on science, education, and democracy.” Studies in East European Thought 69.3 (2017): 227-244.

Tambolo, Luca. “”A tale of three theories: Feyerabend and Popper on progress and the aim of science.””Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A? 51 (2015): 33-41.

Kuehn, Kerry. “Newton’s Laws of Motion.” A Student’s Guide Through the Great Physics Texts. Springer New York, 2015. 261-264.

Loukas, Marios, et al. “History of cardiac anatomy: A comprehensive review from the Egyptians to today.” Clinical Anatomy 29.3 (2016): 270-284.

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