Awesome Advent Day 10: Silly Society
Today in 1684 Isaac Newton’s derivation of Kepler’s laws from his theory of gravity, contained in the paper De motu corporum in gyrum, is read to the Royal Society by Edmond Halley. Newton was lucky to get the book published at all, as the Royal Society weren’t always financially supported.
Did you know?
Samuel Pepys, the treasurer, once spent the Royal Society’s budget to publish a book: A History of fishes. The book didn’t sell very well and prevented Newton to be able to publish his more important, philosophical book. So, Halley had to personally finance the publication of Newton’s book, and was informed that the society could no longer afford to provide him the promised annual salary of £50. Guess what they did pay him with? Yep, Halley was paid with left-over copies of De Historia Piscium!