In the beginnings of the Royal Society there is found a closely
wrought nexus between science and society. The Society itself arose
from an antecedent interest in science and the subsequent activities of
its members provided an appreciable impetus to further scientific advance.
The inception of this group is found in the occasional meetings of devotees
of science in 1645 and following. Among the leading spirits were
John Wilkins, John Wallis, and soon afterwards Robert Boyle and Sir William
Petty, upon all of whom religious forces seem to have had a singularly
strong influence (1968, p. 637).