7 writer/artists/thinker groups whose members made a tremendous impact on their time — and ours

Originally posted on TED Blog:

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

Photo: James Duncan Davidson

In 1812, four men met for a “philosophical breakfast” at Cambridge University: Charles Babbage, John Herschel, Richard Jones and William Whewell. Over food and drinks, they debated the state of knowledge –- imagining a world in which thinkers drew conclusions based on data, where research was done for the good of humanity rather than for financial gain, where researchers questioned each other in the name of moving each other forward and where research received outside funding rather than requiring an individual to pay for it themselves.

[ted_talkteaser id=1712] In today’s talk, historian Laura Snyder gives us an introduction to the discussions of these four men, who eventually became known as The Philosophical Breakfast Club. While their ideas form the basis of scientific inquiry now, their concepts were radical at the time, says Snyder in this talk from TEDGlobal 2012. It would be another 20…

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