Why The Philosophical Breakfast Club…?

This organization’s name is based on the men described in Laura J. Snyder’s book, The Philosophical Breakfast Club. Charles Babbage, John Herschel, William Whewell, and Richard Jones met as students at Cambridge in 1812, forming a life-long friendship. Recognizing that they shared a love of science (as well as good food and drink) they began to meet on Sunday mornings to talk about the state of science in Britain and the world at large.  Inspired by the great 17th century scientific reformer and political figure Francis Bacon—another former student of Cambridge—the Philosophical Breakfast Club plotted to bring about a new scientific revolution.   And to a remarkable extent, they succeeded, even in ways they never intended.

 

Whewell (who not only invented the word “scientist,” but also founded the fields of crystallography, mathematical economics, and the science of tides), Babbage (a mathematical genius who invented the modern computer), Herschel (who mapped the skies of the Southern Hemisphere and contributed to the invention of photography), and Jones (a curate who shaped the science of economics) were at the vanguard of the modernization of science.

 

The original Philosophical Breakfast Club members inaugurated an intellectual revolution, one that continues to mold our understanding of the world around us and of our place within it.  It was not just the brilliance of these four men, but also the fellowship between them, that enabled them to transform science and help create the modern world.

 

See Laura J. Snyder discuss The Philosophical Breakfast Club on TED.com: https://www.ted.com/talks/laura_snyder_the_philosophical_breakfast_club?language=en

 

Order the book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Philosophical-Breakfast-Club-Remarkable-Friends-Transformed-Science/dp/0767930495/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1460406379&sr=8-1&keywords=philosophical+breakfast+club