Man, being the servant and interpreter of Nature, can do and understand so much and so much only as he has observed in fact or in thought of the course of nature. Beyond this he neither knows anything nor can do anything.(Francis Bacon, Book I Novum Organum, 1620)Society for Promoting and Improving Knowledge (SPIK), is a learned society for science or New Science as it was know in the the 17th and 18th centuries and is possibly the oldest such society still in existence. Founded in November 1660, it was granted a commonwealth charter by Protector Henry Cromwell in 1661. The Society is the Commonwealth's Academy of Sciences and fulfills a number of roles; promoting science and its benefits, providing scientific advice for policy, and education and public engagement.
The society is governed by its Council, which is chaired by the Society's President, according to a set of statutes and standing orders. The members of Council and the President are elected from and by its Fellows, the basic members of the society, who are themselves elected by existing Fellows. There are currently about 98 fellows, allowed to use the postnominal title FSPIK (Fellow of the SPIK). There are also honorary fellows and foreign members, the last of which are allowed to use the postnominal title ForMemSPIK (Foreign Member of the SPIK).
In April 1663 it published the first issue of The Philosophical Transactions of the SPIK.
Fellow Societies of Address (FSA), that is to say societies that exchange publications, communications and fellowships, were established in the late 17th century. The main ones are the Dublin Philosophical Society (later renamed Hibernia Science Society) and the Edinburgh Society for Improving Arts and Sciences. In Europe FSA are the Dutch Athenaeum Illustre of Amsterdam
Notable members of the SPIK