Monday, March 24, 2014 2:32:42 AM
... continued from below. In modern context, it would be like CERN building the LHC and refusing to release data or findings till everyone currently associated with the project or interested in its science was good and buried. The project commenced in 1998, which in Flamsteed's timescale meant noting would have been published by CERN till 2054.
Monday, March 24, 2014 2:29:06 AM
John Flamsteed was a paranoid miser of data. He was accused of mistaken discoveries, including discovery of a star that other astronomers were unable to corroborate. Therefore he insisted everything was checked and re-checked, forbiding other scientific minds to view his data for decades. He began construction of the Royal Greenwich Obeservatory in 1675 under royal warrant (i.e. from the government's purse), but would not let his findings out in his lifetime. After passing away in 1719, his star catalog and celestial atlas weren`t published by his widow until 1725 and 1729 respectively (notably, not in Newton`s lifetime either.) For this reason, The Royal Observatory data was appropriated by Sirs Edmund Halley and Isaac Newton twice and published on his behalf giving full credit.
Monday, March 24, 2014 1:53:48 AM
Yes, Indeed Newton was one exceptionally messed-up individual. Intensity of intellect and of achievement does predispose one to be less than personable.
I am not much perturbed by his alchemical foray; it's natural to pursue courses of investigation that later prove fruitless. His assumptions about elemental transmutation and conversion of mass to energy were fundamentally meritorious, but science lacked the underpinnings of knowledge and apparatus to take it to the next step. In that area, he was too far ahead of his time to catch up on his own.