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Royal Society Puts 60 Historic Papers Online

The Royal Society, one of the world's oldest scientific societies, turns 350 next year, but the British institution is starting its birthday celebrations a little early. Today, the Society launches an interactive timeline, Trailblazing, which highlights its publishing history by making the original...

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Benjamin Franklin flies a kite in a thunder storm. Frontispiece to The Life of Benjamin Franklin, 1848 (courtesy of The Royal Society)




The Royal Society, one of the world's oldest scientific societies, turns 350 next year, but the British institution is starting its birthday celebrations a little early. Today, the Society launches an interactive timeline, Trailblazing, which highlights its publishing history by making the original texts of 60 of its most significant papers available online.



Have you ever wanted to read Benjamin Franklin's own account of flying a kite in a rainstorm and discovering electricity? Now you can. ( A Letter of Benjamin Franklin, Esq; to Mr. Peter Collinson, F. R. S. concerning an Electrical Kite)



Other highlights include:



There's enough in the timeline to keep me reading well into 2010, when the Society's celebrations pick up speed. I think I'll tackle Franklin's letter first, followed by Caroline Herschel's comet discovery. Which one will you read?
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About Sarah Zielinski
Sarah Zielinski

Sarah Zielinski is an award-winning science writer and editor. She is a contributing writer in science for Smithsonian.com and blogs at Wild Things, which appears on Science News.

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