Our new season is now open: Spring 1677 !
This is a skill, which requires you to detail a specialization: Law, Natural Philosophy (you will have to pick which area within Natural Philosophy, not the entire knowledge-base), Theology, Medicine etc. Under our Rules of Realism we sometimes require that you specialize further, or limit your knowledge/expertise if you play a younger character.
Science circa 1675
During the Renaissance, the knowledge of the finest minds of antiquity resurfaced and spread across Europe ending the Dark Ages with the light of Truth. Aristotle, Galen, Hippocrates, and Ptolomy to name just a few were believed to have discovered everything that there was to learn about physics, medicine and the movement of the stars. Scientists merely had to be faithful custodians and refiners of that knowledge. Anything witnessed that contradicted the ancient scholars were clearly errors on the part of the scientist.
In the 17th century this mindset began to change. Contradictions and observations became more and more difficult to explain away as errors especially when they were confirmed by multiple researchers. The scientific method of detached observation followed by controlled experiment began to come into its own and new names like Harvey and Newton fought with Hippocrates and Aristotle to be the example of the great man of science.
Gradually people became aware of new realities, both in the skies and in the wide world, which expanded their way of thinking.Since 1492, the New World had become an established fact, and the encounter of Europeans with other peoples and cultures revealed that other ways of life were possible, perhaps even satisfying. Together with the discoveries in astronomy it made humanity aware of the fact that they were perhaps not the center of the universe.
See also the main article Royal Society
A great center of learning was the Royal Society for the Improvement of Natural Knowledge. It was founded soon after Charles II took the throne and was fully endorsed by him with a Royal Charter. Under the guidance of the Society experimental evidence was established as the arbiter of truth. Moreover, it was now expected that these scientific results should be repeatable both by the original researcher and his peers. The Society began publishing their findings in scholarly journals and established the process of peer review whereby no finding would be published until other researchers had deemed it credible. This tried and tested method removed science from secrecy, and thus allowed scientists to collect and analyze the work of others, and build upon them further, instead of reinventing the wheel. Science became a cooperative effort for the greater good.
Despite some collaboration and publishing among scientists, there was still a lot of secrecy among the leading minds as they conducted their research; it was not shared willy-nilly, and the newest findings were not disseminated. It still took some years for most of these new finds to make their way into the universities. Some relationship with a scientist as a patron or through meeting them and working with them IC will be required before you can assume to know the most cutting-edge findings. Remember the RP is a journey!