Library Card 5478 / The New Atlantis
Bacon is considered the father of empiricism and the scientific method for his position that knowledge can only be based on inductive reasoning and careful observation, with the use of a skeptical and methodical approach.
In addition to his contributions to science, Bacon also donated greatly to libraries, even developing a system of cataloging books by dividing them into three categories and further breaking those down into subjects and subheadings.
In his novel, “The New Atlantis”, Bacon created a utopia which was to represent what he considered the greatest aspects of human civilization; a community based on scientific enlightenment, generosity; in which the collected scientific knowledge was shared equally with all for ultimate betterment of society. At the center of this society was a state-sponsored scientific institution that served as the blueprint for what he considered the ideal college or what we think of today as a scientific research university.
It should be pointed out that due to Bacon’s death in 1626, this novel about the perfect society was left unfinished and its promise unfulfilled. Would the newcomers to this ideal society thrive in their new environment? Or did they represent the corruption of the European state, and would seek to take advantage of the scientific discoveries of Bensalem, to use them for their own gain rather then the greater, societal good, and cause conflict on the island?