Happy to answer questions about the meeting minutes or their historical significance if anyone is interested. Hans Sloane is pretty fascinating in his own right and was recently the subject of a biography: http://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674737334
"A proposall was read by Dr. Papin concerning
a new invented [deleted] to be row'd with oars mov'd
by heat. The farther consideration of It was also referred to ye. next meeting.
A letter was read from Mr. Leibnitz concerning
Mr. Papin & this new boat."
> In 1705 he developed a second steam engine with the help of Gottfried Leibniz, based on an invention by Thomas Savery, but this used steam pressure rather than atmospheric pressure. Details of the engine were published in 1707.
> Papin returned to London in 1707, leaving his wife in Germany. Several of his papers were put before the Royal Society between 1707 and 1712 without acknowledging or paying him, about which he complained bitterly. Papin's ideas included a description of his 1690 atmospheric steam engine, similar to that built and put into use by Thomas Newcomen in 1712, thought to be the year of Papin's death.
One of the more interesting examples is Robert Boyle's list of "desiderata" for future scientific discoveries which includes entries like "Potent Druggs to alter or Exalt Imagination, Waking, Memory, and other functions, and appease pain, procure innocent sleep, harmless dreams" and "Freedom from Necessity of much Sleeping exemplify’d by the Operations of Tea and what happens in Mad-Men."
It looks like coffee houses became a thing around this time. 
I also like that that is basically a list of what we want from drugs today, other than curing disease. (would the concept of taking a pill to cure something have existed then???)
The idea of taking a pill to cure a disease did exist; it would’ve been called a “specific.” Pills were handmade but were fairly common based on what I’ve seen, although cordials, electuaries, and other drinkables predominated.
"or even a stimulant at all"
Its strange that tea was thought of as a stimulant but not coffee?! I could drink 10 cups of tea, and only feel the urge to wee. That much coffee and I'd be up the wall!
But then the Victorians were shooting up opiates whilst warning of the dangers of alcohol so I suppose there is a lot of 'cultural conditioning' going on there (and here).
This just looks like evidence that you don't drink tea and don't know what's in it, or that you've confused herbal tea with tea from the tea plant. Tea seems to have about half the amount of caffeine coffee does. For example, here are figures from the Mayo Clinic:
Coffee is more of a stimulant than tea, but tea is still very strong, so it's unsurprising that the British were aware of its effects. If you're trying to stay awake, tea will do the job.
> The whole of the day's tea would be brewed in the morning, taxed by a visiting excise officer, and then kept in barrels and reheated as necessary throughout the rest of the day.
If I was a coffeehouse owner, I would brew that tea for a long time to get as concentrated a drink out of it as possible.
One of the nice things about science is that its members keep their religion and their scientific work separate. It's particularly noticeable when you look through the history of science. There's a long tradition of secularism that has benefited the religious and the non-religious alike.
Issac Newton, for example, had very unorthodox opinions about God and the Trinity. To become the Lucasian Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, he needed a get a special exemption from King Charles II, as traditionally the chair had required that you be an ordained Anglican priest. It's that very same exemption that Newton got for his unusual religious views that allowed Stephan Hawking to hold the chair as an atheist.
Looking back, there were many very good reasons why the religions were not put in the constitution.
I supposed you could try to create a better religion. Do what thou whilst as the basic creed basically - which, incidentally, is what the church of satan preaches :)
Mr Hook gave an account of the book recommended to him affirming that the Author had well determined the problem of the pressure of a body upon an enclined plain; the second part about the separation of the gall in the Liver to which he could not so readily asset Mr Hook affirmed that the manner of evacuating Damps at Leige is after the manner of the engine for consuming smoke (17 Nov 1686) At that time (~November 1686) body preservation is a pretty hot topic, interspersed with say Mr Hook Shewed to the Satisfaction of the Company the Shells in & on the Nautilus
This is a window on the past that is absolutely priceless. The minutes are terse and have the feel of being hastily scribbled at times but that adds to their charm. You keep on finding gems:
the Magnitudes et cet of London and Paris; - so et cet is perhaps the original abbreviation of et cetera, before the modern etc. etc is very much a feature in modern English usage and to see it in use back in the 1680s shows a pretty deep continuity within some aspects of English (yes, I know it is really Latin).
I can't zoom in enough and when I do zoom in I can't pan around when the page doesn't fit my browser window. Both left and right click turn the page.
Whom ever is behind this, can we just have images please? Thank you.
But really, cursive is optimized for reducing the possibility of failure (inkblots) on primitive quill pens, not for readability. Even the best most precise cursive tends to be more difficult to read than modestly competent print.
That's purely a practice effect, like the fake finding that lowercase text is easier to read than all-caps text. (People you pull off the street do indeed read lowercase text faster. After a minor amount of practice, this advantage disappears.)
There are a lot of cases here where a series of letters appears to have been reduced to just a wave pattern. But the biggest problems I have at first glance are
- You can't zoom in far enough
- Some letters are written in an unexpected (consistent, but not modern) way. Look at how e is always written like you'd expect a cursive o or a σ to look. This difficulty will be easily overcome if you spend any time reading the text, but as of now I have a lot more trouble identifying what letters have been written than identifying what word a sequence of known letters is supposed to represent.
On the other hand, a lot of it looks perfectly fine. "This occasioned much discourse of the cause of Fountaines, and Dr Robinson was of opinion that (stormes?) occasiond by a subterraneall heat, either of fire or" (eighth bullet point at the beginning of 1686).
Have you used Zooniverse in the past? If so, what was the outcome/experience like?
My research group actually has a project in beta at the moment on there: https://www.zooniverse.org/projects/rossmcwhirter/astro-ecol...
We're asking people to tag animals in infrared images. There isn't much data on there yet while we figure out the simplest way to get people involved (feedback driven). The site engine is pretty good, it's very easy to set up your own data campaign. It's quite challenging to frame your problem in a way that people with no domain knowledge can label your data accurately.
The only disadvantage (from a research perspective) is that you need exposure and traction to really succeed, because you need a huge number of classifications (multiple times per image) to get good results. If you look, there are a lot of projects with quite a lot of classifications but 0% completion. Certain categories are just popular - e.g. exoplanet detection and astronomy always gets a lot of interest.
The will probably be a 'readme' somewhere on the site about old style dates.
Super interesting, thanks!