The Scientific Revolution

By Ethan Regan-Byrne

Francis Bacon

The father of empiricism, Bacon believed that only observation and interpretation based on observation could produce a reasonable scientific basis for thought. This helped to bring credibility to new arguments about the universe, such as Newton's. While he could prove his work mathematically, it also made sense in the real world.
This scientific revolution was a complete change in how people viewed the nature of knowledge. Before, people believed that there was no new knowledge left in the universe to discover. The birth of new ideas and new interpretations of old systems was a serious culture shock to Europe. This complete revision of scientific thought has prevailed to this day, much longer than Cromwell's revolution.

Women in science

Many women were unable to actively pursue the sciences as a career. The lives of noblewomen were often taken up with ritual, and had little freetime or freedom. Craftswomen had more freedom, since they could continue their husbands business after his death, and oftentimes worked with court scientists. Many other women, while discouraged from university work, often used their husbands to advance their own ideas. Rich women were also able to give patronage to scientists in their own courts, and aid the sciences through their resources.
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Witch hunts were essentially the growing pains of the scientific revolution. The reformation contributed to them since it made Religious minorities and dissidents even more stigmatized in society. They occurred because of local fear over unexplained phenomena, which is why most "witches" were social outcasts or very dangerous careers like midwives.