Science is social institution. In the 1600s, Robert Boyle coined the phrase “invisible colleges” to refer to the informal networks of individuals with mutual interest in “natural history.” In the current era, individuals interested in science are helped enormously if they feel a part of a social enterprise that treats them respectfully, encourages their questions, and provides continuing relationships with peers doing research similar to their own. Since the 1600s, scientific societies have existed to support their members. From the days of Isaac Newton and the British Royal Society to the current era, scientific societies have benefited scientists and people in general by supporting the search for a deeper understanding of the world.

According to Martha Ornstein, Italy is recognized as the birthplace of the scientific ...

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