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?
This library card comes from an old copy of Roy A. Gallant’s “Exploring the Moon” and shows the circulation history of this particular edition throughout the 1980s.
Gallant has been a professor at the University of Southern Maine since 1979 and is the director there of the Southworth Planetarium. Before that however, he began his writing career with “Boy’s Life” magazine. When his article on the origin of the moon resulted in hundreds of letters of interest, he began to consider a career as a science writer.
Gallant’s first book, “Exploring the Moon,” was published in 1955 and not only sold over 100,000 copies but led to a series of ‘Exploring’ books touching on chemistry, weather and planets.
This book was, for many, an introduction to the Moon, as it would be another fourteen years before Neil Armstrong set foot on it, and four years before the Soviet Union crashed their Luna II probe into the surface.
Gallant’s career would span 50 years and include 96 titles. His last book, “Meteorite Hunter”, was published in 2001, and chronicled his journey across Siberia in search of anything related to the Tunguska Event of 1908, an unexplained explosion said to be 1000 times more powerful than Hiroshima.