Scientific Wonder

This 1776 painting by Joseph Wright of Derby illustrates nicely Eighteenth century ideas of scientific progress and curiosity in Britain. Britain had no monopoly on educated individuals but it also had few restrictions on intellectual curiosity. Their was no monolithic religion or political power that restricted or inhibited scientific questions or research at all. Openness to scientific enquiry was one of the prime reasons Britain was able to become the birthplace of the Industrial Revolution and to maintain its scientific and technological lead for so long.

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by Stephen Luscombe