Robert Hooke
A return to his under-spoken Genius.
(includes access to Micrographia, & The Robert Hooke Diaries)
 


by Mol Smith Jan. 2014

 

The original is an oil painting on board by Rita Greer, history painter, 2004. This was digitized by Rita and sent via email to the Department of Engineering Science, Oxford University, where it was subsequently uploaded to Wikimedia.


As no contemporary portrait of Robert Hooke seems to have survived from the seventeenth century, this one is a reconstruction from the descriptions by his colleagues Aubrey and Waller. It shows him with a spring, pocket watch, fossil and map of the City of London after the Great Fire of 1666. He helped to survey and plan the rebuilding. The sky on the left indicates his interest in astronomy.

Date 2004


I wrote an
  article about Robert Hooke   a while back, inspired by the fact that recognition of his extraordinary input and contribution to science, especially Microscopy, is wholly under-spoken. Much of this, I believe, is because of the nature of Sir Isaac Newton and his spite against Robert following his death. Appreciating that Newton gave much to science and that he has been completely recognised, it is somewhat sad that a human trait (Newton's egotism?) probably was instrumental in trying to dismiss Robert Hooke from the scientific pedestal he so rightly deserves. Robert Hooke not only gave an enormous amount of original concepts to science, he facilitated (single-handedly) the cross-fertilization of new thinking, scientific investigation, and created the atmosphere and forum for new ideas to flourish. We owe much to his work back then in the 17th century today. I believe he deserves the honour being known as the Founding Father of Science in the Western Hemispere.


New research suggests that Robert Hooke was more than just an adviser for the rebuilding of London after the Great Fire of 1666. Read it abou that   
here from The Royal Society.  
 

What is probably not known to many is the fact that his diaries were discovered, edited, and are now available to the public. They make interesting reading, although they are quite dense.  You can read them on-line here:    The Robert Hooke Diaries   

  Robert Hooke's original work - Micrographia    - is now on-line! But you can read this original and extraordinary work below:

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