King Charles II, Viscount Brouncker and Francis Bacon, 16th-17th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Engraving by Wenceslaus Hollar of 1667, after Evelyn. Frontispiece (in the larger impressions) to the first edition of Sprat's 'History of the Royal Society of London' (1667). In the centre is a bust of King Charles II (1630-1685), patron of the Society, flanked (left) by Viscount Brouncker (c 1620-1684), mathematician and first president of the Society, and (right) Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626) statesman and essayist. Bacon, who lived much earlier, was revered by scientists for the so-called Baconian method. This argued that the great scientific problem is to analyse the experience by mechanical means so as to arrive at true conclusions. Bacon was the instigator of the concept of a society of scientists and philosophers. Dimensions: 200mm x 165mm.