Invisible College

1) Introduction: In the middle of the 17th century small groups of scholars and philosophers began to meet in various places (including taverns) in London to discuss the experimental method of scientific inquiry propounded by Francis Bacon. This groups which later become known as “invisible colleges” could not meet openly and regularly due to civil strife in England. The term invisible college is coined by Robert Boyle. After the civil war ended, these natural philosophers decided to established a formal constitution which results in the foundation of one of the greatest scientific societies – The Royal Society on July 15, 1662 and the meeting of individual colleges in England eventually culminated in the establishment of the Royal Society.

2) Characteristic: The characteristic of invisible colleges are -

a) Membership in these invisible colleges is not formalized but is dependent on the acceptance of one’s research effort by peers.

b) The scientists see himself as belonging to amorphous groups of fellows scientist who share his research interest and attitude regardless of their organizational or geographical locations.

c) The personal communication among eminent workers in a given field keeps the others informed of the developments in their field.

d) This group falsely assumes that researches not included in their peer group or work done not in exactly their field will not be of interest.

e) This group also assumes that the researcher should be able to duplicate any steps along the way to his own research goal.

f) It also assumes that one knows what problem remains to be solved in one’s specialty.