- Ricerca scientifica
- Dettaglio Progetti di ricerca
TACITROOTS. The Accademia del Cimento in Florence: Tracing the roots of the European scientific enterprise
- Tipologia incarico:
Progetto di ricerca europeo
30-11-2025 - Ore 17:30
The Accademia del Cimento (Florence) is the first European society to put experimentation at the core of scientific activity and to be supported by a public power. It lasted only ten years (1657-1667), the same years that saw the establishment of societies of greater fame and longevity such as the Royal Society and the Académie Royale des Sciences. The copious amount of records – most still unpublished – left by its members casts new light onto the process of establishment of scientific societies in Europe, on the emergence of a shared scientific discourse, and its normalisation. It also clarifies the “viral” aspect of some experiments as well as the dynamics of competition, imitation and (self-) censorship from which these institutional and scientific endeavours originated.
This project analyses for the first time in its entirety the extensive corpus of unpublished documents (ca. 15,000 papers), descriptions of experiments and thousands of epistolary exchanges between members of the Cimento and scholars throughout Europe. By looking at the sources in their entirety, it aims at systematically connecting the strictly experimental, theoretical and philosophical aspects of the Accademia with its intellectual history. The research analyses the hundreds of experiments designed and conducted by the members, without losing sight of the specific context in which they were produced and disseminated. It will reassess the Cimento’s contribution to the development of a scientific lexicon and the materiality of its work, which was heavily reliant on the design and use of scientific instruments. The substantive body of correspondence – neglected by historians so far – uncovers members’ aims and philosophical concerns, (self-) censorship mechanisms as well as the Cimento’s ties with scholars in the founding process of other famous academies.
This research will thus provide new insights into the origin of scientific institutions in the Early Modern period.
- Principal Investigator: