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The Royal Society Supports Newton in the Dispute with Leibniz over the Invention of the Calculus


In response to Leibniz’s appeal to the Royal Society for a fair hearing concerning the dispute over the invention of the differential calculus between Newton and himself, the Royal Society issued Commercium epistolicum D. Johannis Collins, et aliorum de analysi promota: Jussu Societatis Regiae in lucem editum in 1712. The report was hardly impartial, however, because Newton, as the president of the Royal Society, hand-picked a committee of supporters to review the case and composed its favorable findings himself. The John Collins mentioned in the title was a bookseller, amateur mathematician and member of the Royal Society. In 1669, Collins was sent a copy of Newton's manuscript on the calculus, De analysi, portions of which Leibniz transcribed in 1676.

Hook & Norman, The Haskell F. Norman Library of Science and Medicine (1991) no. 1591.

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